I always make sure I treat myself to one or two Lountza and Halloumi hot sandwiches when I’m in Cyprus. They are the best and remind me of when I lived in Cyprus; my mum would take us shopping in Famagusta for new clothes and shoes, then we would always stop off for a hot sandwich or sometimes Souvlakia. What I really love about the sandwich shops in Cyprus is that they always have a large bowl of homemade pickles from which you can help yourself to as many as you like – they’re delicious, especially the celery, green peppers and caper sprig and bud shoots.
The sandwich rolls are sometimes made with olive oil and without eggs or milk, and traditionally don’t have a glaze on them, but I personally like them with a nice, shiny, golden colour.
Ingredients (makes 6):
550g flour (½ plain and ½ wholemeal)
1 x 7g sachet fast acting yeast
1½ tsp salt
2 tsp caster sugar
100ml lukewarm water
100ml lukewarm milk
1 large egg, lightly beaten
100g butter, softened
For the egg wash (optional):
1 large egg
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp melted butter for finishing
Sesame seeds (optional)
Whisk milk, sugar and yeast together. Allow to stand for 10 minutes until foaming.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, combine the flours and salt.
With the mixer running, add the yeast/milk mixture and allow to knead in. Add the egg and allow to beat in; you may need a little more milk. Add the melted butter, allow to knead again until the dough is soft, smooth and just slightly sticky and comes away from the bowl.
Place dough in a clean bowl, smother with a little olive oil, cover the bowl with clingfilm and allow it to rise for 1 hour.
While the dough is rising, prepare one or two baking sheets by lining them with parchment paper.
Transfer dough to a light floured work surface, knead and shape into a thick log. Cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and roll each section of dough into a smooth round ball. Cover with a clean cloth and let them rest for 30 minutes.
Flatten dough balls into 18cm (7 inch) long ovals. Starting with a long edge, roll the dough into a cylinder. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets (do not crowd them) and cover with clean dry towels until doubled (about 1 hour).
Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F
Whisk the egg and water together for the egg wash. If you like, brush the rolls with egg and water wash and with a small sharp knife, score each roll along one side somewhere between the side and the top.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds if using and bake in a preheated oven for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to 170c, rotate the trays and cook for another 15 minutes or until lightly golden on top and cooked (do not allow them to go very brown).
Remove from the oven, brush with a little melted butter and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving.