For the dough:
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
- 1 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp. honey
- 1 cup warm water (110°F)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- Olive oil, for coating the bowl and the pan
For the filling:
- 10 oz Halloumi, Nabulsi, Akawi or Home Made Cheese
- 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped fresh oregano or thyme leaves
- 20 large black olives, pitted and chopped
- 3 spring onions, finely chopped
- Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
For the Topping:
- 1/4 cup sesame seeds
- 1/4 cup olive oil
Variation: Yoghurt cheese (Labaneh) with olives, fresh or dried
mint or crushed red pepper can be
used for filling instead of cheese.
- Prepare the dough: Combine the yeast, honey, and warm water in a small bowl, and stir to dissolve. Set it aside until the mixture is foamy, about 5-10 minutes.
- Combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add the vegetable oil, and give the mixture a good stir. Add the yeast mixture and mix until the ingredients are incorporated.
Continue to Knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
- Coat a bowl with olive oil, put the dough in the bowl, and roll it around to coat it with the oil. Cover with a tea towel or plastic wrap, and set aside in a warm, place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Prepare the filling: Rinse the halloumi under cold running water; or, if you are using akawi packed in brine, submerge it in water, changing the water a few times to rid it of
the salty brine. Drain the cheese and shred it. Combine the cheese, mint,
olives, spring onions and oregano in a bowl, and stir to mix.
- Form and bake the rolls: Coat a 12-inch spring form cake pan with olive oil. Fill a small bowl with the 1/4 cup olive oil and fill a plate with the sesame seeds.
- Punch the dough down. Pull off a piece about the size of a golf ball. Flatten the ball
on a flat surface. Place 1 tablespoon of the filling in the center and gather the edges around it, pinching to seal it. Dip the smooth side into the olive oil, then into the sesame seeds, and place it, sealed side down, in the cake pan. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling, arranging the rolls tightly in concentric circles, beginning with the outer ring and working your way to the center.
- Let the rolls rest for 20 - 30 minutes and bake until they are golden brown for about 25 minutes
in a 475F preheated oven.