I’m all about the mezze at the moment with my labneh and sumac cauliflower posts, and this is another string you can all add to your mezze bows! These halloumi-stuffed flatbreads are a great addition to an Eastern sharing feast and have a little hint of tomato and cinnamon to tickle the taste buds.
The idea for this dish started with the halloumi flatbreads I get from my local Lebanese restaurant and the addition of cinnamon and tomato was inspired by yet another Zaytinya dish, peynirli bread. The result is a deeply satisfying cheesy flatbread but with some added intrigue.
The recipe for the dough itself is adapted from Nigel Slater’s adaptation of a Paul Hollywood recipe so I figured it was pretty reliable. Once the dough has proved and risen, then the magic happens. You split the dough into 6 balls and roll them out to about 4mm thickness so that once you fold in the cheese and roll again they don’t tear.
Then it’s a case of spreading over a thin layer of tomato and cinnamon sauce – the trick is to be conservative with the amount here so that you get just a hint of these flavours without overpowering the halloumi. Then sprinkle grated halloumi over the top. I use grated halloumi here so that it’s easier to roll the finished flatbreads. If you use sliced halloumi it creates edges that can tear the dough.
The folding is the fun part – to get the effect in the photos, you gradually fold the outer edge into the middle and continue around the edge so that you have about 6 folds that eventually close all the gaps.
The flatbreads are then fried in a little oil for a couple of minutes on each side and are definitely best served warm as part of a mezze spread!
- 500g strong white bread flour
- 1 sachet instant yeast
- 30g unsalted butter, melted
- 300ml warm water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- Juice of half a lemon
- 1/2 tsp fresh oregano chopped
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- Mix the instant yeast and pinch of salt into the bread flour and add the melted unsalted butter. Add the water gradually until the dough forms a ball but isn’t sticky to the touch.
- Knead for 5 minutes until smooth and allow to rise in a warm place for at least an hour.
- While the dough rises, mix together the tomato purée, cinnamon, oregano and lemon juice.
- After an hour, knead the dough again to knock the air out and separate into 6 balls.
- Roll each ball out until just a few millimetres thick. Spread a small amount of tomato paste onto each and sprinkle a layer of halloumi (see pictures above).
- Fold the edges into the middle making sure there are no spaces and roll flat again. Leave to rest for about 15 minutes.
- Heat some olive oil in a frying pan on a medium heat and cook the flatbreads for about 3 minutes of each side, taking care not to burn them. Serve warm.