Melbourne's Best Snacks: A1 Bakery's halloumi pie

Published on 27 October 2021

Photo: A1 Bakery's halloumi pie (illustration: Esther Sandler)

The halloumi pie has been on the menu since A1 opened in 1992 and the recipe remains the same, even as the next generation moves into the family business.

According to Haik Raji, son of original co-owners Elias and Nadia Raji Farah, and a manager of the Brunswick bakery along with his brothers, “the key to a good pie is all in the pastry”. A1’s pastry recipe is both a secret and the secret of the pie’s success.

A symphony of simplicity – the filling is halloumi only, dried briefly after it’s soaked in brine, and then shredded and stuffed into the pastry – the pie straddles the sweet-savoury divide, aided by the gloriously textured pastry, powdery with flour on the outside, firm enough to inspire confidence, soft enough to preclude flaking.

According to Raji, it’s all about resting the dough. “We rest it for about 45 minutes when we first mix the dough, then again when we cut it into portions and then again for another ten minutes or so before we put it into the oven,” he says. He’s not letting on any more than that – the perfect excuse for consuming more halloumi pies in the quest for knowledge.

A1 Bakery, 643-645 Sydney Rd, Brunswick,

By Michael Harden

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