Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Tiganopsomo - Feta-Stuffed Fried Bread #BreadBakers

Tiganopsomo is a traditional Greek bread, so named because it is bread or psomi that is fried in a pan or tigani. Easy, right? It’s made of soft yeast dough, filled with cheese, then pan-fried in light oil. The finished bread circle is crispy and light, perfectly complemented by the salty filling.

This month’s Bread Bakers is being hosted by my friend Jenni, from Jenni Field’s Pastry Chef Online and her chosen theme is Stuffed Breads. Initially I signed up to make Char Siu Pau but when those didn’t work out so well, I started hunting around the interwebs for something new to try. And I found a winner!

Here’s my disclaimer: I have never been to Greece. I have never tasted tiganopsomo made in a Greek restaurant or by a Greek cook. Truth is, I had never even heard of tiganopsomo before. I have no idea if mine turned out the way they are supposed to. But I can tell you this: They are divine. And this is a dangerous recipe to have found and learned. It’s quick to put together and the dough only needs a  30-minute rest before you are ready to fill it and fry. Time enough to crumble or grate some cheese and chop some mint. And get the cocktails ready. Cut into small triangles, tiganopsomo would be perfect finger food for a cocktail party.

I used this recipe from My Greek Dish and made a couple of the suggested additions, mixing a harder yellow cheese with the feta – I used a sheep’s milk Kashkaval along with a sheep’s milk feta – and some fresh mint. Next time I am going to add some fresh chopped hot chilies. Don’t know why I didn’t think of it in time, this time.

1 1/4 cup or 160g flour, plus a little extra for kneading
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried yeast
1/4 cup or 60ml olive oil
1/2 cup or 120ml lukewarm water (You may not use it all.)
7 oz or 200g feta cheese, crumbled or a mixture of feta and hard cheese
(I used 3 oz or 85g feta and 4 oz or 115g Kashkaval cheese.)
About 8-9 fresh mint leaves
Vegetable oil for frying

Add the flour to a large mixing bowl and make a well in the middle. Add in the yeast, salt and sugar.

Pour in the olive oil and use your hands or a spatula to mix the flour in a little at a time.

When there is still quite a bit of dry flour showing, start adding the water, mixing as you go, until you have a soft dough.

I didn’t use quite all the water before my dough already looked really wet and sticky but I was surprised as I started kneading it because it wasn’t actually sticking to me at all. That’s what oil in your dough will do, it seems.

Knead your dough on a very lightly floured surface for just a few turns. Cover the dough with cling film and allow to rest for half an hour.

Meanwhile, wash and dry your mint leaves and cut them into thin strips, chiffonade-style.

Grate or chop your harder cheese, if using, and crumble your feta. Add the mint into the cheese and mix well.

When the rest period is up, cut your dough into four equal pieces and use a rolling pin to roll them into thin circles about 1/4 in or 1/2 cm thick. Any thicker and you risk the dough not cooking through before it gets brown. We are looking for light and crispy.

Top two of the circles with the cheese mixture and cover with the other dough circles. Use your hands to squeeze the air out from between them before pressing the edges together.

Seal the edges well, using a fork to add a decorative pattern all around the outsides. This is important, as you don’t want your filling leaking out.

Heat your skillet over a medium flame and add just enough oil to cover the bottom.

Fry the stuffed breads one at a time.

Turn when golden on the bottom.

Put them on paper towels to absorb any excess oil when they are crispy on both sides.

Cut into wedges to serve. These are fabulous warm but can also be eaten at room temperature or reheated till crispy once more in a dry non-stick skillet after being refrigerated. (I’ve tested all three ways!)


For appetizers, cut the circles into eight or 12 wedges instead of just four!

Many thanks to our host, Jenni from Jenni Field’s Pastry Chef Online for a great challenge! My fellow Bread Bakers have exceeded themselves this month and I can’t wait to try all the stuffed breads they’ve made.

Sweet Breads
Savory Breads


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme.  Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com.

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