Greek Halloumi Rolls recipe
Who doesn’t love Halloumi? It’s one of the ingredients I always have in the fridge; although I do have to hide it if I’m saving it for a particular recipe as the boys will devour it on sight. It’s squeaky, salty and incredibly versatile. I made these Halloumi Rolls as a Greek-ish Saturday night nibble but, as the sun’s out at last, pack them up and take on a picnic.
These are based on a traditional recipe courtesy of The Greek Food Alchemist. I meddled with it a little, adding more halloumi, because you can never have too much halloumi to create a stuffed, olive oil dough based treat. The dough is simple; it needs a couple of hours to rise, so you can sit in the sun while you wait. The filling has all the flavours of Greece with sautéed onions and dried mint. The halloumi crisps beautifully in the oven to create a golden, dough based scroll, with just a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Drizzle them with honey for a touch of sweetness against the salty cheese.
Making dough is so comforting and satisfying; I spent a lot of time bread making in lockdown. Minimal effort for huge halloumi based rewards.
So few ingredients for such a tasty treat. I actually used a packet and a half of halloumi, preferring a well stuffed roll, but you could stretch out one packet, or use two for extra Greek cheese based love. The dried mint adds such a traditional flavour and sautéed onions are sweet and soft.
The dough is a good place to start as you’ll need a couple of hours for it to rise. Take a large bowl and measure in the flour, dried yeast, salt and sugar. Give the mix a stir to combine.
Pour in the 80ml of olive oil and rub it into the flour until you have a mixture resembling breadcrumbs.
Pour in between 250ml to 300ml of warm water and bring the dough together in a shaggy ball. It should be soft not dry.
Knead the dough for a good 10 minutes until silky smooth and soft. Pop it back into the bowl with a drizzle of oil to stop it sticking, cover the bowl in cling film and leave to rise for 1 and a half to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
While the dough is rising, crack on with the filling. The original recipe called for raw onions, but I decided to sauté for extra sweetness. Cook for around 10 minutes in a pan with olive oil and salt and pepper until soft and only just golden. Tip into a large bowl to cool slightly.
Cut your halloumi into small cubes, add to the onions then stir through the dried mint.
Once your dough’s risen pre heat the oven to 180 degrees fan assisted, remove from the bowl and give it a gentle knead. Press it into a rough rectangle then use a rolling pin to roll the dough into a large rectangle. Tip the halloumi mixture onto the dough and spread out to cover right to the edges.
Roll the dough up into a large sausage shape from the long side facing you.
Using a sharp knife or dough cutter, carefully cut the sausage into thick slices, holding the filling in as you go. Don’t panic if any halloumi falls out though, just pop it onto the top of the rolls. Place the rolls cut side up onto a large lined baking trays. Sprinkle generously with sesame seeds.
Place your trays of rolls into the oven for around 20 minutes. The finished, divinely smelling articles will be golden and crisp.
Leave to cool slightly so there’s not a burnt roof of your mouth situation then serve sprinkled with more sesame seeds, some sea salt and a drizzle of honey.
Salty halloumi, warm dough, mint, sesame seeds; these are warm mouthfuls of joy.
Greek Halloumi Rolls recipe
Makes around 12 to 16, size dependent
You will just need bowls and two lined baking sheets for these
500g strong bread flour or plain flour
1 teaspoon dried yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
80ml olive oil
250ml to 300ml warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large, or two smaller, onions, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
400g halloumi, cubed (a packet and a half)
2 tablespoons dried mint
A couple of tablespoons of sesame seeds
More sesame seeds, sea salt and honey to serve
Start with the dough. Take a large bowl and measure in the flour, yeast, salt and sugar and mix. Pour in the 80ml olive oil and rub it into the flour mixture until it resembles rough breadcrumbs. Pour on the warm water; your dough should be soft but not dry. Bring the dough together into a rough, shaggy ball.
Turn this out onto a floured work surface and knead until the dough is silky and smooth. This will take 8 to 10 minutes. Pop the dough ball back into the bowl, add a drizzle of oil to stop the dough sticking, then cover in cling film and leave somewhere warm to double in size. This will take around 1.5 to two hours.
While the dough is rising, heat the two tablespoons of oil over a low heat in a frying pan. Add the chopped onions, salt and pepper, and cook, slowly, until they’re soft and only just turning golden. This will take around 10 minutes. Tip into a medium sized bowl and leave to cool a little. Cube the halloumi, tip into the bowl and mix in the dried mint. Stir well to combine.
Once your dough has risen pre heat the oven to 180 degrees fan assisted, tip onto a work surface and knead briefly to knock it back. Shape into a rectangle then use a rolling pin to create a larger rectangle. Spread the filling all over the dough, making sure it reaches the edges.
Roll up the dough, from the long side nearest you, then turn over so the seam is on the bottom. Cut the cylinder of dough into around 12 to 16 rolls with a sharp knife and carefully place on your lined baking sheets, cut side up. If any halloumi falls out, just press it onto the top of the rolls. Sprinkle the them with sesame seeds then bake for around 20 minutes, or until the rolls are golden brown, and smelling amazing.
Leave to cool slightly then serve warm, sprinkled with more sesame seeds, a sprinkle of sea salt and a good drizzle of honey, if you like.
Any leftovers can be reheated in the oven briefly for the next couple of days, or freeze for another day.