Halloumi-graviera pull-aparts are individual filled bread placed next to each other and baked, so that when baked they join into one large bread which can easily be separated by pulling each piece apart.
When I saw this recipe at Choosy Beggars, I knew I would like it, since halloumi is a cheese indigenous to Cyprus, where I come from and which I adore.
I knew that anything with halloumi in it would definitely be great.
Halloumi is made from a mixture of goat’s and sheep milk, and it has a high melting point, and so it can easily be fried or grilled.
Although Wikipedia says that halloumi resembles to mozarella, I totally disagree, as the two cheeses cannot compare.
Tina’s recipe reminded me of a similar recipe we make in Cyprus, called halloumopita or tyropita (depending on the cheese we use) but which however, does not have any garlic in it and we do not add the olive oil on the dough but we add spry shortening in the dough.
We make these as big or small individual breads especially during Easter when we make flaounes.
When grating the cheeses to make flaounes, there are always some leftover bits and pieces of cheese which we mix into the dough.
I still have a lot of recipes from Easter which I have not posted and hope to do this soon, so for the time being here is a glimpse of halloumopita.
Back to Tina’s recipe. I did not follow Tina’s recipe exactly so instead of adding halloumi and mozarella, I preferred another Greek cheese, called graviera of Crete.
Graviera of Crete is a traditional Greek cheese which is exclusively manufactured in Crete from ewe’s milk or mixtures with small quantities of goat’s milk.
It is ripened for at least for 5 months and it has a slightly sweet taste and is harder than Graviera of Naxos, which is made with cow’s milk.
Also, instead of adding parsley, I preferred to pair it with mint, as halloumi and mint pair perfectly together and did not use too much garlic.
I did not have any nigella seeds so I sprinkled some fennel seeds and sesame seeds on top.
Although I was reluctant to use the garlic, they turned out really good and we loved them.
I have also made these pull-aparts with graviera and feta (no garlic, no mint) with pepper and these were also amazing!
Pull-aparts with other cheeses
Since then, I have made these pull-aparts countless of times with different cheeses.
Sometimes I made them with a combination of up to five different Greek cheeses (halloumi, graviera, feta, kasseri, katiki Domokou, or galotyri, the two latter both Greek cheeses are soft), but also with other cheeses such as mozzarella, gouda, , buffalo cheese, etc.
You can read about these cheeses in another post.
On one occasion I used feta, graviera, galotyri and tyrokafteri, which had a little kick, as tyrokafteri is hot, which made them irresistible!
When I put a variety of cheeses inside, I add some milk in the mixture and mix them so that the cheese mixture becomes solid.
The reason I do this is that more cheese goes in and when the pull-aparts are baked and the cheeses melt, the bread is not left hollow inside.
The decoration above was made with a kitchen scissors, making small cuts around each bread.
Flattening the dough by hand
The dough is the same I make for pizza. However, plan making the dough from the previous day, put it in a large bowl as it will double in volume and let it rise overnight in the fridge.
You will surprised how fluffy and delicious that the dough will be.
At the beginning, I used a dowel to flatten the dough.
However, after making them so many times, I tried the same method of making shiamishi, so it’s easy to do this if you wet the dough with olive oil.
The dough becomes elastic and flattens very easily by hand.
You can watch me doing this in the video.
Individual Bread Rolls
(Update: August, 2018)
A nice treat to serve with coffee or tea is to make them into small buns.
Instead of making pull-aparts, I made individual cheese-filled bread, which I bake in cup cake baking trays.
You can use any combination of cheeses you like. I filled these ones with graviera and feta, added some dried mint and black pepper as well as two eggs.
The dough is the same and for each bread I weighed the dough to be 40 grams.
On top I brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled some sesame seeds. I baked them in a convection oven to 180 degrees Centigrade, for 20 minutes.
I am sending this recipe to Cinzia of Cindystar, who is hosting this months Bread Baking Day #19, Spring Country Breads.
- 500 grams all-purpose flour or mixed with bread flour
- 8 grams (0.28 oz) active dry yeast or 25 gr fresh yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 1/4 cups lukewarm water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 300 grams halloumi, grated
- 300 grams graviera, grated
- 2 tbsp dried mint or ½ cup fresh mint, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, grated (optional)
- 1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp sesame seeds
- ¼ cup olive oil
- In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil and add water and knead until the dough does not stick on your hands or the bowl.
- When the dough is ready, cover it with the 2 tbsp of olive oil and make sure it goes everywhere. Cover with cling film and a towel and allow to rise for about half an hour. See video for Pizza Dough.
- In the meantime grate the cheese and add the mint and garlic and mix.
- Remove the dough from the bowl, knead and divide it into 20 - 25 equal parts, depending on how big you want them to be. There will be some oil left in the bowl, which do not discard.
- Using your fingers flatten each piece into a round disc about 10 cm (4 inches).
- Add a generous spoonful of cheese mixture.
- Gather up the sides of your dough circle, and pinch the top together to enclose the filling.
- Brush a baking tin with the leftover olive oil and invert the filled dough in the pan, closely next to each other.
- Brush with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle some fennel and sesame seeds on top.
- Cover with cling film and a clean towel and allow to rise again (about half an hour).
- Preheat a fan forced oven to 180o C / 350o F and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until golden brown on top.
Resting time about half an hour to three hours, depending on the room temperature.
Nutrition InformationYield 16 Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 242Total Fat 11gSaturated Fat 3gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 7gCholesterol 15mgSodium 267mgCarbohydrates 27gFiber 2gSugar 1gProtein 9g
"These values are automatically calculated and offered for guidance only. Their accuracy is not guaranteed."
Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,