The other day, I surprised my husband. I actually managed to bake Turkish katmer, which he did not know and never had before! That was really big and very nice too (then he had no expectations – HA).
He got a little surprised, when he tired came to our living room last Sunday morning and found me in full swing at the dining table. Normally I cook and bake at the kitchen table. But I could realized, that this project was going to require a little space, and then it is the dining table, that is going to be used. I had been working for several hours, when he came down (even though it was only 8 o’ clock). I often wake up early in the morning, and then I always have to do something. Something he definitely can not understand.
Like a flat croissant:
But it was a pretty fun project to bake these Katmer. A bit like being a discovery traveler and embarking on a new, unknown country. Ok – maybe just a bit poetically described, but it’s always exciting to try something new, you haven’t tried before. It can never go wrong, because you don’t know what to compare with. And the result was pretty good, I think. 6 Sprouted, flattered bread, that most of all reminded of a flat croissant (although it lack the last finesse and air to be like a real croissant).
These Katmer breads is quite simple and yet a little complicated to make. The basic dough is super simple as it consists of only 3 things – flour, salt and milk! The complicated comes, when you have to put butter in the dough, roll it, twist it and then flatten it out again. I really think, that’s just because I haven’t tried to bake them before. Once you have an idea of how to do it and make them the first time, the second time is easier.
Katmer for breakfast or as dessert:
Katmer is actually used both as a breakfast bread, but also as a kind of dessert. For breakfast, it’s great with jam on top and along with cheese, sausage, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. We ate them together with a little sour mirabel marmalade, olives, feta cheese, Menemen (Turkish breakfast / lunch dish with Eggs, tomatoes and green peppers), bacon and melon. We ere full for the rest of the day. Because granted – they are very heavy these breads.
If you make katmer for dessert, you can either choose to sprinkle them with abundant amounts of flour, so they will be sweet and a little sticky. But you can also choose to get a little thin tahin (sesame paste) and maybe powdered pistachio nuts on the dough before rolling it. Then they get a nice nutty, sweet taste. I imagine they could be exciting with nutella inside – I just do not know, what to do with all the butter.
Room for improvement:
Next time I bake them, I would like to try and not roll them flat. Just try to let them stand like fine twisted rosettes and then put them in the oven and bake with high heat. That way, they keep more air inside and I could imagine, that they get even more crisp and crunchy. But that’s only a thought – it may be, that it isn’t true. I just can’t see the benefit of rolling them together to make them airy and delicious, and then knock all the air out, when rolling them with the cake roll (or a thin stick). But okay, in this way they get the chewy, flared inside, that I think is the right one. They also raise a little bit under the baking or frying and all the butter will make it crispy.
How thin can you roll?
It’s essential, that you roll the dough thin, thin, thin, thin. That’s as thin as possible – preferably like yufka or filo dough, where you can almost look through. I actually thought the dough would break, when I kept rolling, but it was astonishingly good. It was cracking in some places, when I was to spread the butter over the dough. But it’s really just a matter of having as soft butter as possible and having enough patience to gently brush it out.
In the recipe here there is enough for 6 bread with a diameter of approx. 20 cm. For us it was enough with 3 breads and then ½ each. But there was also a little bit to the neighbors.
I chose to fry some in the pan and bake the rest in the oven – just to see the difference. I clearly think, that those I fried in the pan were best. If you are a completely feinchmecker, they must be cooked in a stone oven or on a baking tray on the grill – it must also be one of the next projects.
- 525 gram Fine wheat flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1½ cup milk
- 150 gram butter
- 200 gram Tahini, Sesame paste
- crushed pistachio
- icing sugar, to sprinkle on the top
1: Mix flour, salt and sugar together in a bowl - knead for about 10-15 minutes to activate gluten
2: Cover it and let it rest for 10 minutes
3: Form 6 buns and cover again
4: Sprinkle some flour on the table (eg Tipo 00 if you have it). Roll a bun out at a time to a circle as thin as possible - about 1 mm thickness (yes you read correctly !!). It must be so thin that you can almost look through.
5: Butter approx. 25 grams of soft butter gently on the dough. If you are using tahini and crushed pistachios, add it aswell.
6: Roll the dough very loosely together, like rolling a pancake. The dough now has the shape of a cigar.
7: Then wrap the dough around itself so that it is shaped like a snail.
8: Do it by all 6 dough balls.
9: Now take the stick or cake roll and flat each "snail" to a diameter of about 20 cm and with a thickness of 5 mm
10: Now heat a pan over medium heat.
11: Roast each bread for about 3-4 minutes on each side, until it becomes golden and crispy. Alternatively, fry them in a hot oven at 200 degrees for about 15-20 minutes.
1: Serve them warm and sprinkle with a little icing sugar or serve with honey or jam.
It is important to preheat the pan or oven. Otherwise if it isn't hot, the oil and butter soak the dough and make it soft. So the bread will lose some of the charm if it happens.
Also, serve them hot and straight from the pan / oven - so they are best and most crunchy.