Some time ago I came across these bread. I have seen them before, but never really eaten them. They have different names, depending on their shape and where you get them. Gevrek, Simit or pogača are all small delicate bread stuffed with cheese, sausage, minced meat or even mashed potatoes. The one with cheese is clearly my favorite, because it is delicious and fresh with the slightly sour / salts filling inside. But all the others are of course also super good.
If you are a little confused by the many names, it is only understandable. I’ve looked quite a few recipes and explanations through, and the golden explanation is …… that there is no explanation. The closest I could get is, that around Izmir is, what in all areas of Turkey is known as Simit, called Gevrek. And elsewhere Gevrek is known as a variant of Simit, but with stuffing. Confused ?? Yes. Maybe you have a better explanation ??
Bread is generally not a big hit in my book – especially not white bread, as I often decidedly get a bad stomach. And in Turkey white bread are unfortunately more the rule than the exception and are totally overrated in my opinion. Why at least not use coarse meal ?? So when I recently was introduced to these small, warm Gevreks, it tasted them in a moment of weakness. But I was not sorry at all. These stuffed breads were special. There were delicious soft filling of cheese and parsley and it just made sense in some way. And it makes the stuffed breads super easy to serve next to the food or just snatch them on the road, on the way out the door or into the packed lunch , picnic basket, as breakfast – you name it ….
Turks eat usually Gevrek / pogača as a kind of quick breakfast on the way to work or school, or as a snack in between meals. Quick and Easy.
Homemade Gevrek – easy to make:
So the other day I baked them to my kids, so they had something to snack, when they came home from school. And I was really surprised. My kids were totally loving them and I could barely manage to save some for dinner and lunches the next day. They went quickly. So they were really popular – beyond all expectations actually. Even my husband – the tough judge, munching away and was quite happy with the result. I think my kids need to help make them the next time – something about contributing and enjoying 🙂
And it is not so difficult to make them – almost like an ordinary puff pastry for birthday. Just with a little filling in. I like when they get a little chewy in the crust, just like the “original” Simit without the filled (you can find the recipe for them here). That I get by brushing the surface with a mixture of egg yolk, yogurt and oil – and then just linger delicious sesame and nigella seeds on. You determine yourself if you prefer them round like buns, as triangular horns, small bread or twisted as the original simit. Here I made the twisted ones, this is Gevrek for me. One can also find a different type of bun, that resembles the others – Acma – it’s called. However, it is a bit more soft, sweet and without the chewy crust.
- 1 packet dry yeast
- ½ cup warm milk
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 egg white, save the yolk for later
- ½ cup taste neutral oil, sunflower or corn oil
- 650 gram wheat flour, (do not pour it all in at once, sometimes the dough should have more or less)
- 1½ round block crumbled Turkish feta cheese, (approximately equivalent to 1 cup)
- ½ bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 1 egg yolk
- 2 tbsp oil
- 2 tbsp youghurt
- sesame and nigella seeds
1: Stir yeast and milk together. Set aside for a minute or two
2: Mix the remaining ingredients together, flour a little at a time and pour in the yeast / milk mixture. Complete the flour without the dough turns too dry or wet. Knead the dough well - preferably for about 10 minutes. The dough should be moist, but so it can be rolled out.
3: leave the dough covered with a damped cloth in a warm place and let rise for about 45-60 minutes
4: In the mean time, mix the stuffing and set it aside.
5: Mix the ingredients for the brushing and set aside (not the seeds, they have to be sprinkled on the bread later)
6: Heat the oven to 200 degrees. Take the plates out and line with baking paper.
7: When the dough is raised to about double size, roll out to a rectangle (approximately 20x30 cm). The dough should be approximately ½ to 1 cm thick.
8: Divide the dough into 12 pieces and fill a spoonful of cheese on each of the pieces.
9: close the small lump of dough together around the cheese and roll it out into a sausage of about 25-30 cm. Twist the bread upon itself to form a fine pattern and secure the ends.
10: Set the breads on the baking paper and brush with the mixture and sprinkle with sesame and nigella seeds. Let them rise for about 10 minutes.
11: Put the baking tray in the oven and bake the bread at 200 degrees for about 15 minutes.