“Katimeri” are traditional Cypriot pancake/crepe type sweets. They are still made on special occasions in our family. It is essentially a bread-like crepe cooked in a skillet and filled with homemade olive oil and sugar and cinnamon. You can vary the filling so as to make it sweeter. Personally I tend to go a bit easy on the sugar-cinnamon filling but load it with gorgeous Cyprus honey and cinnamon on top after it has been cooked for added sweetness and flavour. You can eat these snacks for breakfast or as an afternoon snack. They are best eaten as soon as they are made, when they are hot and soft, as after a couple days they tend to go a bit hard. Nowadays, you can find “katimeri” for sale in shops – even in gas stations – wrapped in plastic, but this is really, truly something I prefer to only eat when homemade, with no preservatives added! It’s fairly easy to do, the only thing is that it is simply a bit time consuming to make the pancakes, and as a beginner, it can be hard to achieve the right thin-ness without the dough sticking to the table. You must flour the table, but if you over flour the table, then the flour will burn in the skillet, so there is a “magic” touch needed when making “katimeri”. Is it worth it? Yes, though I have compared “katimeri” to a crepe or pancake, it is a mix between these foods and bread. It is good as a stand alone meal, and it is not made to be paired with a meal like a bread. It is just a special treat in and of itself, and that is how it was traditionally enjoyed as well – sporadically on special occasions. I hope you try to make it and if you have any questions please just let me know! “Katimeri” is really something special and I really hope you enjoy it!
for the dough
1kg Mitsides Village Flour
2 & 1/2 cups warm water
1 tsp salt
scant 1/4 cup olive oil
for the filling
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
honey and sugar for drizzling on top
flour for dusting
1. In a large bowl suitable for kneading dough in, mix together the flour, warm water, salt and olive oil. Knead vigorously for about ten minutes. You could also make the dough in a mixer using a dough hook attachment – I have not tried this, but I don’t see why not, and in fact I will probably do this myself next time.
2. Wrap the dough in a plastic bag (yes, in a plastic bag – I think you could wrap it in a bowl with plastic wrap on top, but I actually quite liked how soft the dough became as a result of the plastic bag technique so will keep it) and let it rest in a warm place for about 30 to 45 minutes.
3. While the dough is resting, in a small bowl mix together the cinnamon and sugar.
4. Once the dough is ready, take a small handful and place it on a floured surface. Using a wide rolling pin roll out the dough so that it becomes very thin – about 2mm thick – in a square-ish shape (about 30-40 cm wide around the edges). You can cut the edges off with a knife to make the shape more square-like if necessary. Also, this is the tricky part. The dough likes to stick to the surface, so make sure the surface is properly floured. And if you have to lift up the dough, then you can roll it around the rolling pin and move it, like in the pictures. If you use a lot of flour then make sure you dust off as much as possible before you cook the “katimeri” as the flour will burn and affect the taste of the “katimeri”.
5. Once you have a thin square shape, drizzle a scant 1/4 cup of olive oil on it. Take each edge and quickly and gently press it into the center of the “katimeri” so that the surface is well coated, as in the picture.
6. Then sprinkle about 1 tbs of the sugar/cinnamon mix on top. (If you would like your “katimeri” very sweet, you can sprinkle more of the sugar/cinnamon mix, but I prefer to add honey after it has been cooked for extra sweetness instead.)
7. Fold the “katimeri” into a little square sized envelopes, as in the pictures. Fold each side in, and then bring the bottom to just below the top, and fold over the excess dough to close the square – like a little envelope top. If you have any questions, just drop me a comment below and I can explain it a bit better.
8. Preheat a skillet on high heat. Add one “katimeri” at a time and let it cook for about 1 minute before turning it over. Then let it cook for about 1 minute before turning it over again. After 1 minute, turn it over again. It needs to be cooked for about 3 to 4 minutes, you can tell when it is ready as the “katimeri” will have light to dark golden brown spots on either side.
9. Place the cooked “katimeri” in a large cover pot. Sprinkle a little sugar (1/4 tsp) on top of each “katimeri” before layering another “katimeri” on top as this will keep them soft. Serve the same day, drizzling with as much honey as you wish on top.