MEDITERRANEAN CHEESE FATAYER
The other day I asked my hubby to pick up some yeast from the grocers, and he picked up enough to last us years, I’ve been obsessed with making breads in all shapes and forms! This is my latest conquest - a Mediterranean Fatayer stuffed with Feta and Cheddar. Breaking into these warm and fluffy Nigella seed crusted pockets of bread, you find a creamy and sour filling with earthy thyme notes. My family really enjoyed this with Chilli-Infused Burnt Butter Labneh, which was sooo perfect for a family brunch, as honestly, our bellies were full for the day!
PREP TIME: 40 minutes BAKE TIME: 20 minutes PASSIVE TIME: 40 minutes YIELDS: 16
For Bread Dough:
2/3 cup warm water
1 cup warm milk
2 tbsp sugar
14g instant yeast
4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup olive oil
250g creamy feta cheese, hand crumbled
100g cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
Dash of black pepper
1 tbsp nigella seeds
1 egg, lightly beaten
In a bowl, pour warm water and milk. Add yeast and sugar, mix and let it stand for 10 minutes until it’s foamy. Then pour oil and mix.
Mix flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl, gradually add flour to the yeast mix to make the dough. Transfer dough on benchtop, knead it for 5 minutes until the dough is smooth. Form a dough ball and place it in the oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap or wet kitchen towel and leave it to rise double in size, at least 30 minutes.
While the dough is resting, prepare the filling by mixing the cheeses, thyme, parsley and pepper together in a bowl.
Once the dough has risen, uncover and punch to knock the air out. Gently bring the dough together, do not over work the dough.
Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Divide the dough in 16 equal balls (65g each)and place it on the lined tray, leaving gap of 2-3 inch in between.
Flatten a dough ball into a circle with your fingers, about four inches in diameter. Place a tablespoon of filling(about 22g) in the center. Then take the edge of the dough, fold it over and press down tightly with your finger tips, around the filling to secure it. Repeat with the rest of dough balls. Cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 180°C. Uncover the rested fatayers, brush it lightly with egg wash, sprinkle nigella seeds on top and bake it in pre heated oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature with shakshuka.
I used feta and cheddar cheese for the filling but you can always use Greek cheese mixed with some mozzarella or even a meat or spinach stuffing.
Any other dried herbs like thyme or mint can also be added to the filling for a variation.
Top the bread with toasted sesame seeds if you don’t have nigella seeds, or top it with both.
I served these with chilli infused burnt butter lebnah but it can be paired with hummus, shakshuka or warm soup.