Express baking has never been so delicious. I came up with this recipe on a late night when I was craving a savory pastry stuffed with a cheesy and herby filling. So, I simply took out a piece of thawed puff pastry that I had in the refrigerator from the day before and got creative. I have to say that this recipe is embarrassingly easy to make, but it represents so much more than the effort that actually goes into it. And oh my goodness, is it heavenly. A crispy, flaky, and buttery croissant-like pastry stuffed with a flavorful, melt in your mouth, cheesy filling… And all in about a half hour. What’s not to love?
INGREDIENTS/ MAKES 1 LARGE PASTRY
1 (10 x 9 inch, 25 x 23 cm.) sheet ready-made puff pastry
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 handful fresh thyme
100 grams halloumi cheese, sliced
5-6 sundried tomatoes, chopped
1 egg, for egg wash
sesame seeds, for sprinkling
1. Preheat oven to 200 C (400 F). Cut out a 25 x 23 cm. or 10 x 9 in. sheet from a defrosted puff pastry roll. You can always make it a few centimeters smaller or larger, (no need be precise with this recipe). Roll out the sheet by about 1 in. or 2 1/2 cm. on a floured surface.
2. Transfer the dough to the parchment paper that you will be using on your baking sheet. Brush the dough with olive oil, and then place the fresh thyme, halloumi cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes down the middle. Make downward slanted cuts down the left and right sides beginning from the edge of the dough and extending until just touching the filling, as pictured. You can make them about 1 in. (2.5 cm) wide or thinner for a more decorative look.
3. Next, fold each strip towards the middle to cover the filling. Begin by folding in the top left strip and then folding the opposite right strip towards the middle so that the bottom of it lays on the opposing strip. Continue this process all the way down the pastry. Discard any extra dough and seal the bottom of the pastry by folding it inwards. Transfer the pastry with the parchment paper to the baking sheet. Brush with a layer of olive oil, and then a layer of egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tbsp. water), making sure that the areas where the strips of dough meet each other are sealed. Top with sesame seeds and sea salt.
4. Bake for about 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and thoroughly puffed. Serve right away or leave to cool for later. Serves best right out of the oven, of course. Hope you will love this recipe as much as I do!
1. Thaw the puff pastry in the refrigerator overnight.
2. Puff pastry is very flexible to work with. You can experiment with the dough by making it into thinner strips, envelopes, etc.