Despite the lack of hot cross buns at Saturday's Bodrum Hugs The World event, there were a lot of tasty dishes on offer. These lovely ladies representing Kıbrıs, introduced me to Hellimli, a cross between a cake and bread made with Halloumi cheese. When I got home I fired up google to get the recipe and found about 20 different ways of making it. The only common ingredient was the cheese. Some recipes use yeast, some baking powder. Some favour oils, others butter. The hellimli I bought had sultanas but most recipes didn't. A few used no eggs, several used 3 or 4. Not being a great follower of recipes anyway, I felt this gave me free reign to bake my own. Every one from North and South Cyprus will probably throw up their hands in horror but this is Annie's Hellimli and even though I say so myself, its delicious and very easy to make.
3.5 cups of wholemeal flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt and pepper
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium egg
1 medium onion - finely chopped
250g Halloumi cheese - finely chopped
10 black olives, pitted and chopped
1/2 cup sultanas
Mix the flour, salt and pepper, baking powder, onion, cheese, olives and sultanas in a bowl. Whisk together the egg, milk and oil in a jug and then add to the bowl. Stir well to make a sticky dough.
Grease and flour a baking tray and press the dough into a round about 4 cms thick. Bake in the centre of an oven pre-heated to 190C (fan oven180C) for 25 to 30 minutes. If the centre still looks a bit doughy, give it another 5 minutes.
It was wonderful warm from the oven, but still good cold the next day. I will be making another batch for the next picnic as it's tasty enough to eat by itself with a little chutney on the side.