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Thanks for your sweet wishes dear readers. I am feeling much better, and looking forward to catching up on everything that fell through the cracks in my daze. This past week was a little challenging with the flu waltzing around between the kids and us. Food turned very simple quickly, and supplementing with loads of fresh squeezed juice and immunity boosters really helped us all. When I was a child, my mom would nurse us back to health with simple ingredients. Freshly baked mana'eesh (oregano pies) and tea were always favorites.
This morning I woke up thinking about baked pies and turnovers. I didn't have the energy to stand for hours chopping, cutting, roasting and frying anything. These halloumi turnovers were perfectly comforting and delicious. The dough was a little crunchy on the outside, and soft and chewy inside. The cheese was slightly melted and perfumed with oregano. Halloumi is a traditional cypriot cheese, usually made with sheep or goat milk. It's so popular in the Levantine region and can be found everywhere. It's great for grilling or baking. For these turnovers, I slightly broiled the cheese slices in the toaster oven to let some of the water out. Otherwise, you'll end up with soggy turnovers, then tossed them in olive oil, freshly ground pepper and plenty of oregano. Can't beat that in my book!
(My apologies for the quality of these photos, there were taken with an iPod)
Baked Halloumi and Oregano Turnovers
For Halloumi mixture
2 packets halloumi, sliced
2 tbsp oregano, fresh or dry
2 tbsp olive oil
Place the sliced halloumi on a tray lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper. Broil in the toaster oven for a couple of minutes until the water oozes out. Take out and toss with oregano and olive oil.
For the dough
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cups luke warm water (may vary based on altitude an humidity)
1 teaspoon dry active yeast
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unrefined cane sugar
1 teaspoon salt
In the bowl of a mixer, add the flour, salt, and mix well. Bloom the yeast in 2 tablespoons of luke warm water and unrefined cane sugar. Add oil and yeast mix to flour and slowly start adding the water as you mix. A water as needed to get all the flour incorporated well. Continue mixing until the edges of the mixer bowl are cleaned out (about 1 minute or 2). Test the dough with your finger. If too stiff, add a touch more water and mix again until all blended and bowl is cleaned again.
Place covered in an oiled bowl to rise for 1.5 to 2 hours. Once ready divide into individual and fold them onto themselves, roll in flour and line in a covered pan, let rest for 30 minutes before rolling them out on a lightly floured surface sprinkled with nigella seeds. Roll each to a 1/8th inch thickness, cut in half. Layer a couple of halloumi slices on one side and fold the other side over it. Seal and bake in 500˚F for a few minutes until turnovers are somewhat golden. Serve warm or room temperature.