I adore Turkish bread and have done since I first tasted it, still warm from the oven during a trip to Turkey. Locals buy fresh bread every day, and the last time we were in Istanbul, it was fascinating watching the bread delivery. A man walked down the road shouting about his wares. A housewife lowered a basket with money from a second storey home, the man took his money, placed the bread inside the basket and the lady reeled up her fresh bread. Shopping made easy!
We did a food tour in one of the Istanbul districts, and this is a photo of the shop window where we had a stop. Our first stop, I think, which is where we had breakfast.
In my quest to try new recipes this year, I came across this recipe in Annabel Langbein’s book Simple Pleasures for Turkish Bread. It can be made with a mixer, a breadmaker or by hand.
Bread before baking
1 2/3 cups lukewarm water
2 teaspoons dried yeast granules
1/2 teaspoon sugar
5 tablespoons greek yoghurt (room temperature)
4 1/2 cups flour – slightly more if making by hand.
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon flaky salt
1. Place the warm water in a large bowl, sprinkle over the yeast and stir in the sugar. Stand for around five minutes until the yeast is frothy.
2. Add the oil and yoghurt to the yeast mixture and combine.
3. Add the flour and salt and mix together until you have a soft and wet batter.
4. If you’re mixing by hand, which I was, add an extra half a cup of flour.
5. Lightly flour a board and knead the mixture between 20 – 30 times.
6. Return to bowl and cover. Leave to rise in a warm place until double in size – around two hours.
7. Preheat the oven to 190C. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down and divide into two. Use well-oiled hands and shape into two ovals about 2 cm thick.
8. Place on a lined tray and press out. Drizzle olive oil over the top and use your fingers to dimple the top. Sprinkle with cumin and salt.
9. Bake until puffed and golden for around 20 minutes.
1. When I make the bread again, I’ll cook it for a few more minutes.
2. Hubby and I had sandwiches and also used the bread to dress up our hamburgers. It would also be perfect with soup, and Annabel Langbein suggested that it would make good crostinis.
Do you have a favorite bread?