As I have told you in the past, Greece is a country that consists of thousands of islands. Crete, the largest one, has a very rich history that begins from the ancient ages. The island, once, was very powerful and developed a very prosperous and mighty civilization, the ruins of which can be seen even today in several places.
Today I am going to tell you the story about Theseus and Minotaur. Theseus was a hero of the ancient Greek mythology. He was considered to be the second more famous hero after Hercules. He was the king of Athens and son of Aegeas and Aethra.
When Athenians killed the son of Minoas, who was the king of Crete, the latter made a war against them in which he won. To punish the Athenians for killing his son Androgeo, he obliged them to send every nine years, 7 Athenian girls and 7 Athenian boys to Crete and get devoured by Minotaur inside his labyrinth. Minotaur was a creature with human body and head and tale of a bull.
When Theseus learned about it, he decided to go there and put an end to all this. He said to his father, Aegeas that he would take the place of one of the seven young boys and he would go there and kill Minotaur. His father was very anxious knowing that his son had to fight really hard to win and so he told him that if he won, he should put white sails in his boat. If he died, tell the sailors to put black sails.
Theseus left along with the other young people and during his travel to Crete he met Ariadne the daughter of King Minoas. She fell in love with him and she gave him a skein to use it to find his way out of labyrinth after killing Minotaur.
Indeed, Theseus followed the instructions, tied the one end of the skein at the door of the labyrinth and after killing Minotaur, he used the skein to find his way out. It was late at night and he, Ariadne and the rest of the crew and the youngsters took advantage of it and sailed away from Crete. On their way back home Theseus had to leave Ariadne in Naxos island because Dionysus wanted her as his wife.
In the meantime, everyday Aegeas was sitting on a rock in Cape Sounio gazing at the sea expecting to see the ships returning from Crete. Perhaps because of a curse from Ariadne, who was left in Naxos or just a trick of fate, they totally forgot to change the sails from black to white.
When Aegeas saw the black sails from the cliff he was standing, he felt so desperate he put an end to his life by falling to the sea. Thus, the sea that accepted him in her arms took the name Aegean Sea in his honor and Theseus became the King of Athens.
Cretan diet is among the top three healthiest diets in the world. They have unique, nutritious dishes that cannot be found in any other area of Greece. Today I am sharing with you these Sfakià Pies made from dough and soft mizithra. Mizithra is a soft Cretan cheese made from ship’s or goat’s milk similar to ricotta, but not the same. I am almost certain you will not be able to find soft mizithra where you live, but you can make these little pies with any soft, white cheese you have like ricotta for example. If you ever travel to Crete, remember to try the original ones. They have a combination of the sweet element from the honey and sour element from the cheese. It is a very interesting combination for your taste buds. For another Cretan recipe check here!
- 500 gr. / 17.5 oz. all purpose flour
- 250 gr. / 9 oz. lukewarm water
- 45 gr. / 1.5 oz. olive oil
- 45 gr. / 1.5 oz. white wine vinegar or tsikoudia
- 1 tsp salt
- 400 gr. / 14 oz. soft white cheese as soft mizithra or ricotta
- Place all the ingredients in your mixer’s bowl and whisk with the hook for 5 minutes.
- Stop whisking and let the dough rest for half an hour.
- Divide the dough in 10 equal little balls.
- My dough was about 840 gr. / 30 oz. so I divided it in balls weighing 84 gr. / 3 oz. each.
- Drain the cheese and divide it in ten equal balls each.
- As you see in pictures, open each ball of dough in a round disk about 10 cm. / 4 in.
- Put one ball of cheese in the center and cover it with the dough.
- Then start to work with the rolling pin and make rounded pies about 17 cm. / 6.6 in. to 20 cm. / 8 in. each. making sure that cheese is spread inside the dough.
- Place each pie in a non-stick pan without any fat and cook two minutes per side in medium low heat.
- Serve them with honey and cinnamon or maple syrup.
- 500 γρ. αλεύρι για όλες τις χρήσεις
- 250 γρ. νερό χλιαρό
- 45 γρ. ελαιόλαδο
- 45 γρ. λευκό ξύδι από κρασί ή τσικουδιά
- 1 κ.γ. αλάτι
- 400 γρ. μαλακή μυζήθρα ή ανθότυρο
- Για τη Ζύμη
- Βάλτε όλα τα υλικά στο μπολ του μίξερ και ανακατέψτε με το γάντζο για 5 λεπτά.
- Αφήστε τη ζύμη να ξεκουραστεί για μισή ώρα.
- Χωρίστε τη ζύμη σε 10 ίσα μπαλάκια.
- Η ζύμη μου ήταν περίπου 840 γρ. έτσι τη χώρισα σε μπάλες των 84 γρ. κάθε μία.
- Στραγγίστε το τυρί και χωρίστε το σε δέκα ίσες μπάλες.
- Όπως βλέπετε στις εικόνες, ανοίξτε κάθε μπάλα ζύμης σε έναν δίσκο περίπου 10 cm.
- Βάλτε μία μπάλα του τυριού στο κέντρο και καλύψτε τη με τη ζύμη.
- Στη ανοίξτε με τον πλάστη τη ζύμη σε στρογγυλές πίτες περίπου 17 cm. με 20 cm. κάθε μία.
- Φροντίστε το τυρί να πάει παντού μέσα στη ζύμη.
- Τοποθετήστε κάθε πίτα σε ένα αντικολλητικό τηγάνι, χωρίς οποιοδήποτε λίπος και ψήστε για δύο λεπτά από κάθε πλευρά σε μέτρια χαμηλή φωτιά.
- Σερβίρετε με μέλι και κανέλα.