With such an excellent product as Island Pure's Haloumi I thought take the opportunity to make this Haloumi Bread from the latest Cuisine magazine.
From the outside it looks like a normal focaccia but there's a surprise in store - it's stuffed with a mix of herbs, haloumi pieces and lemon zest. The result is a bread you'll be coming back for more.
[Makes 2 small or 1 large loaf]
500 grams plain flour
2 teaspoons dried yeast
4 teaspoons sea salt
2 tablespoons Greek-style yoghurt
¼ cup olive oil
about 400ml water
¼ cup chopped parsley (I used basil)
2 teaspoon dried oregano (the Greek variety sold in batches is best)
1 lemon, zested
200 grams haloumi, cut into small 5mm pieces
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Make the dough:
Place the yeast with a pinch of sugar and 2 tablespoons of tepid water into a small bowl. Stir to dissolve and let sit until the mixture bubbles.
Put the flour and salt into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix it briefly on a low speed to ensure the salt is evenly spread through the flour. Add the oil and yoghurt and mix again, then slowly pour in the water, giving it time to incorporate the flour.
As all flours have different absorption rates always view the water content as an approximation and as soon as the correct consistency is reached then stop adding water. You might even find you need to add extra water than the amount listed.
Increase the speed to medium and continue beating about 5 minutes or until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Turn out onto a floured board and give it a very bread knead - shaping it into a ball. Put it in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave in a warm place until doubled in size - about 1 to 1½ hours.
Make the filling:
Place all the ingredients into a small bowl and mix well - season it to taste with salt and pepper. Do take into consideration that haloumi generally is a salty cheese.
Make the bread:
Turn out the dough onto a floured board and give it a brief knead to reshape. There's enough dough to make 2 loaves - if you want to do that just divide the loaf into two. For this post I've made just one large loaf.
Flatten the dough to form a rectangle, the dough is really elastic so you should be able to do this without resorting to using a rolling pin. It's a good idea to do this on a sheet of baking paper as once it's risen you can place it straight in the oven.
Sprinkle the filling evenly down the centre of the rectangle.
Then fold the sides over the filling to form a pillow shape, pinching the edges together to seal the bread. Now just using your hands shape the dough into a rough oval shape. For 2 loaves look to make about a 10x20cm (4x8 inch) shape. Rub the surface with a little olive oil and then cover with baking paper to let rise for about another hour.
The picture above shows the bread before and after rising.
Remove the baking paper top and then using your fingertips dimple the dough. You need to be quite firm here to ensure you get a good final result.
Bake at 200°C/390°F for 20-30 minutes or until golden and the base sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on a wire rack before slicing.
The lemon zest is really a most pleasant surprise in the bread and works so well with the cheese - besides fragrancing the bread it add such a great taste.
Tagged with Bread