Peinirli was brought to Greece by the immigrants who lived by the Black Sea almost 100 years ago. It is a boat-shaped bread with a Kaseri cheese filling, though meat is often added (and sometimes an egg cooked on top of the filing). The name derives from the Turkish word peynirli, meaning ‘with cheese’. This is my version using pasta flour and yoghurt, which keeps the dough very light. I have suggested some fillings below, but almost anything can be used – let your imagination run wild!
These are incredibly tasty – and they went down a storm even with my picky kids. The recipe makes 6 small individual portions – perfect for lunch or snack. Leftovers reheat really well if baked for 10 minutes in a hot oven.
One word of caution. When these babies come out of the oven do not be tempted to bite into them until they have cooled down for a few minutes. The melted cheese hides a molten lava centre and you might want to avoid 3rd degree burns! I speak from bitter experience.
- For the dough
- 260 g pasta flour | 2 cups
- 100 g Total Classic yoghurt | scant 1/2 cup
- 140 ml hot water | 1/2 cup
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 2 tbsp butter melted (to brush on while baking)
- Fillings each makes enough for 3
- 100 g Roquefort cheese crumbled | about 3 1/2 ounces
- 3 tbsp Total Classic yoghurt
- pinch salt
- Caramelised onion chutney
- Smoked pancetta
- 60 g Emmental cheese grated | 3/4 cup
- 4 tbsp Total Classic yoghurt
- 1 tbsp melted butter
- Optional toppings
- Chopped chorizo
- Sliced tomatoes capers & oregano
- Chopped ham
- Put the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Keep the salt away from the yeast.
- In a measuring jug, mix the yoghurt, oil and hot water together. Add to the mixing bowl and mix together using a wooden spoon.
- Once the dough comes together, oil your hands then mix the dough until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Heavy kneading is not required - just fold the dough together a few times in the bowl.
- Lift the dough out and lightly oil the bowl. Return the dough to the bowl. Cover the bowl with cling film or a clean tea towel and leave for an hour.
- Lightly flour your work surface and gently knead the dough to knock the air out. Roll into a long log shape then cut into 6 equal pieces.
- Flatten one of the pieces into a disk then roll out to an oval shape using a floured rolling pin. Fold the ends of the oval in then roll the right edge inwards to create a ridge. Repeat on the other side and pinch the ends together to create a boat shape. Transfer to a tray lined with baking paper and pierce the bottom of the 'boat' with a fork. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Loosely cover with cling film while you prepare your fillings.
- Preheat the oven to 220C | 430F. Make your fillings by thoroughly mixing the cheese with the yoghurt.
- For the Roquefort peinirli, spoon some onion chutney on the bottom of 3 cases. Top with the roquefort/yoghurt mix and place some pancetta on top. Try to pack as much cheese filling as the cases will take without spilling over.
- For the Emmental peinirli, spoon the cheese filling into 3 of the cases and either leave plain or top with chopped chorizo or sliced tomatoes and capers or what whatever else takes your fancy.
- Brush the dough with melted butter. Bake in the centre of the oven for 15-20 minutes until the dough is golden and cooked at the bottom. Cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.