In Turkey you eat bread with every meal – and I mean EVERY meal (so you simply cannot be gluten / low carb – frightened here). Actually it is considered something of a cheek, or at least as being extremely rude, if you don’t eat everything on your plate and especially not eat all of your bread. That means, you can not have leftovers, because then you are already in “bad-standing”.
Maybe it’s not quite as bad everywhere, but I remember, the first time, I visited the family along with my mother in law – alone without my future husband to support me at my side. I certainly learned to sit straight and eat it all. Peew … (and unfortunately they have a tendency to scoop up on the plate = Turkish hospitality in the highest potency). They took advantage of the situation, no doubt about it. Today I just laugh, but back then I tried with a feeble explanation, that I was brought up believing, that I only have to eat up, what I myself have poured on the plate. It was fairly accepted and I saw it as a bridge between two cultures 😀
But to sum up – don’t throw the bread out. Instead, it is used for several different kinds of dip, in köfte, in soups and desserts. Precisely this bread – Pide Ekmek – Turkish pide or flat bread is used morning, noon and night. It is so easy to make and super delicious. And you’ll have the recipe here:
For 2 medium round bread, you need:
450 g wheat flour (but pour it slowly. I often use less)
15 g yeast
½ teaspoon sugar
175 ml of warm water
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons Turkish yoghurt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons Nigellafrø
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
Beat the yeast with sugar and half of the water. Set aside into a frother (it takes about 30 min). Sift flour and salt, make a small dent and add the yeast mixture, oil, youghurt and rest of the water. Knead well (possibly add a little more water) until the dough becomes soft and smooth. If you – like me, use a mixer, do yourself a favor and spend the last 5 minutes of kneading the dough by hand. The dough will get so much better, more elastic and this will give the final bread a nice texture. Form the dough into a large bowl (maybe use a little oil on your hands), spread a little oil at the sides of the bowl, cover the dough with a damp tea towel and set aside. Let it rise to double size in a warm place for about 1-1½ hours.
Turn on the oven to 200ºC for about ½-1 hour before the dough is ready. Normally, these breads is baked in a stone oven (you may want to use a stone plate, if you have one – just remember to heat it thoroughly), the oven must be very hot before you use it. Remember to warm the baking sheets.
Turn the dough down and divide it in two halfs. Form a flat, round bread with your hands. Use the heel of the hand to press the bread surface and stretch the dough into shape, but let the edges be slightly thicker (the bread should be about 4 cm thick). Make small pockets in the dough with your fingertips. Brush the dough with the egg and sprinkle with seeds.
Brush the baking sheet with oil (or stone, if you use one) and put them back in the oven for a short moment. Place one bread on each plate and bake them in the oven for about 15-20 minutes until lightly golden and crisp around the edges.
Take them out and let them cool on a rack. Cover them with a tea towel, so the bread becomes soft. If you need to reheat them again, drip water over and place them in a 180 degrees oven for a few minutes, then they’re fine again.
I hope you will enjoy ….