Hal­loumi, dill and soured cream maslenica

The Observer Food Monthly - - CONTENTS - Hen­ri­etta In­man

This is de­li­cious warm but just as good cold and per­fect in a packed lunch, ei­ther for sand­wiches, or along­side a salad or a soup.

Makes 1 large loaf

dried yeast 2 tsp honey 1 tsp luke­warm wa­ter 200ml strong white wheat flour 300g, plus 1 tsp, plus more to dust strong whole­grain wheat flour 200g sea salt flakes 1 tsp eggs 2, lightly beaten ex­tra vir­gin olive oil 1 tbsp, plus more for the pan dill 20g, finely chopped un­salted but­ter 15g soured cream 100g freshly ground black pep­per hal­loumi 250g, sliced a bit less than 5mm thick


Mix to­gether the yeast, honey and warm wa­ter and set aside for 15 min­utes un­til a lit­tle foamy on top.

In a bowl, com­bine the flours and salt; make a well in the cen­tre. Add the yeast mix, eggs, oil and half the dill, and bring to­gether with your hands, mak­ing sure all the in­gre­di­ents are well com­bined. Knead the mix for about 5 min­utes on a lightly floured sur­face and then re­turn to the bowl, cover with a towel and leave to prove for 1 hour, or un­til dou­bled in size.

Place the dough on a floured sur­face. Melt the but­ter. Mix the soured cream and re­main­ing dill with a few pinches of black pep­per. Stretch and pat the dough into an oval mea­sur­ing 35cm x 21cm and a bit more than 1cm thick, us­ing a rolling pin if nec­es­sary.

Brush the right-hand side of it with a third of the but­ter, leav­ing 1cm of the edge un­cov­ered, then top this but­tered sec­tion with a third of the soured cream, then a third of the hal­loumi, again leav­ing the 1cm bor­der. Fold over the left side with­out the top­ping, and press it around the edges to seal the fill­ing in. Turn it over, then give it a quar­ter turn anti-clock­wise, flat­ten­ing out the dough. Use a rolling pin to form a rough oval again, rolling away from your body and mak­ing sure there is still enough flour on the work sur­face, and re­peat the process twice more.

Af­ter the third time, do not flat­ten it out, but in­stead shape the dough into a round. Oil a heavy-based oven­proof saucepan, casse­role dish or fry­ing pan (mine has a 20cm base and is deep), put the loaf in with the seal at the bot­tom and leave to prove for an­other hour. Pre­heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Bake for 20-25 min­utes un­til golden brown; when the bot­tom is tapped, the loaf should sound hol­low. It is nor­mal for this loaf to drop slightly in the mid­dle, due to the mois­ture of the fill­ing. It’s great with chut­ney.

Hal­loumi, dill and soured cream maslenica

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