Ftira Għawdxija tal-ġbejniet (Gozitan Cheese Flatbread)

Ftira is a traditional flatbread mainly famous in Gozo (one of the major islands of the Republic of Malta) and topped with special Maltese/Mediterranean ingredients. Locally is best known also as Gozitan Ftira or Ftira Ghawdxija.
Most common ftira toppings include sliced tomatoes, anchovies and/or tuna, capers, olives and potatoes. However, in Gozo the typical and traditional toppings are made of their unique goat’s cheese (gbejneit).

This is my version/interpretation of the Gozitan ftira, where I used durum wheat for the pastry.

Ftira Għawdxija tal-ġbejniet (Gozitan Cheese Flatbread)
  • DifficultyMedium
  • CostCheap
  • Preparation time20 Minutes
  • Rest time2 Hours
  • Cooking time30 Minutes
  • Servingmakes 2 ftajjar
  • Cooking methodOven
  • CuisineMediterranea


For the dough

  • 500 gdurum wheat flour ((I used Sicilian Russello variety))
  • 300 mltable water
  • 10 gfresh yeast
  • 3 spoonsextra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoontable salt

For the topping

  • 12gbejniet
  • 4medium size potato
  • 2 teaspoonsextra virgin olive oil
  • 2 spoonssesame seeds
  • 1 spoonwild fennel seeds
  • q.s.ground black pepper


  1. – pour some of the lukewarm water into an espresso cup, and pour the remaining water into a medium bowl;

    – put the salt into the small cup and blend it with the water;

    – put yeast in the bowl with the lukewarm water, melt it and blend it together with your clean fingers;

    – sift the flour onto a large bowl;

    – pour the content of the bowl with the yeast onto the flour while you mix well with your clean hands;

    – knead till you start getting a ball of dough, then pour the salty water from the espresso cup;

    – knead well till all water is absorbed;

    – pour the oil and knead well till it gets absorbed and you get a not-sticky ball of dough;

    – transfer the dough onto a working surface and knead as follow:– fold the dough in half and rock forward on the heels of your hands to press it flat, turn the dough slightly, fold it in half, and rock into it again with the heels of your hands. Do this for about 30 seconds, then take the dough and smash it against the surface a couple of time. Alternate the kneading and the smashing for at least 10 minutes.

    – put the dough back in its bowl, cover it with a clean kitchen towel and store it away from air drafts for a couple oh hours (I store it in the switched-off oven);

    – after 2 hours, check that the dough has doubled its volume (in winter it may take more than 2 hours due to lower temperatures);

    – transfer the raised dough onto the working surface and split it into 2 balls;

    – roll them down with your finger to form 2 discs for pizza trays of about 22cm diameter;

    – fold the trays with the dough-discs, cover them with the kitchen towel and allow to rest while you prepare the topping;

    – put the gbejniet into a bowl and mashed with a fork;

    – peel the potatoes and slice them in very very thin slices;

    – preheat the oven to 245 degrees;

    – put the smashed gbejniet onto the ftira base and spread them all over, top with some ground black pepper;

    – cover with the potatoes slices;

    – spread the wild fennel seeds all over the potato slices;

    – drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on top;

    – fold the edges of the ftira over the ingredients on the sides, brush them with the oil and top them with the sesame seeds;

    – put the ftira in the oven and lower the heat to 180 degrees;

    – bake for about 30 minute or till golden brown;

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