Easter Cakes • Flaounes (Φλαούνες)

Every Easter I get together with my girlfriends and we make Flaounes, just like my Mum used to with Aunty Veni. There is much arguing about the amount of spice, mainly cinnamon we add; I like lots, raisins too. The saying ‘less is more’ is completely lost on me.

But you must make flaounes to your own personal taste. Mine is only a guide line.

Ingredients

For Flaouna Mixture:

  • 1 kg flaouna cheese
  • 2 pkts hallomi
  • 400g 1 pkt cheddar cheese
  • 1 pkt semolina (small)
  • 2½ glasses (500g) plain flour
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, leaves
  • 20g dried yeast (said 2pkts)
  • 1-2 pkts raisins(small)or to taste
  • ½ cups of sugar (optional, I don’t put sugar as I put so many raisins)
  • ½ bottle of mehlepi
  • 1 bottle of mastiki
  • 5 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 12 eggs plus 1 egg to crack and smear over the top of the mixture

For the dough

  • 00 glasses (1kg) plain flour
  • ¾ glass (00ml) olive oil
  • 1x 500ml tub natural yoghurt
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp mehlepi
  • 1 tsp ground mastic
  • 1 tsp salt

Method

First make the Flauona mix. Grate the two cheeses – we usually do this the day before to dry them out.
Chop the mint leaves. Grind the mastic with a pestle and mortar adding a little sugar to prevent it from sticking.
Crack all but 1 egg into a large bowl and beat, then add the semolina, flour, sugar, mint, yeast, cheese, cinnamon and last but not least the raisins. Mix well with hands and flatten out in the bowl. Then crack on the last egg, smearing over the top of mixture, leaving to soak in.

Now for the dough: to the flour add the salt, mehlepi and ground mastic.

Mix using the palms of your hands and add olive oil and yogurt.
Slowly add water to make a dough consistency, knead well for 5-10 minutes.
Separate into 4 balls, cover and leave to stand for 20 minutes in a warm place.

Assembling:

  1. Roll out pastry into a square, add a heaped amount of the flaouna mixture, fold into a square around the mixture, press the corners down with a fork
  2. Place flaouna on lightly greased baking tray. Glaze with a beaten egg that has had a little sugar added to make it a more golden colour, make sure the egg yolk does not run as this will make the flaouna stick to the backing tray
  3. Leave flaounes to stand for 10 mins before placing in the oven.
  4. Cook in clay oven for about 20-25 minutes. Standard oven – 180c for the first 15 mins and then lower to 180 c for 10-15 mins. Very important DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR at all for the first 20 minutes as this will make the flaouna sink.

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