I am sure that, you have tasted this delicious stuffed Turkish “Gözleme”, once or twice during your holiday in Turkey. And if not, it’s a real shame, I must say. Because you have missed something pretty delicious.
It is a little misleading or downright insulting to call Gözleme a Turkish pancake (because isn’t pancakes with filling a Mexican invention??) Pancakes and Gözleme are 2 completely different things, but nevertheless, this is what the gözleme reminds of. An ultra-thin greasy pan-fried bread with delicious filling, that can range from mashed potatoes, to spinach, cheese, minced meat, eggplant and more.
And that makes the gözleme something very special. And really delicious.
Turkish gözleme is traditionally a dish or snack associated with village life. And something you often find at the bazaar or roadside stalls, when driving out of town. We have never really bought anything from these stalls for the sake of hygiene. We have often bought gözleme from our local bakery, where we can get them fresh. We are so lucky, that a lady stands by the store and makes them.
Just what you want:
The great thing about Turkish gözleme is, that you can get them with precisely the kind of filling, you like best. Traditionally, they are most popular with either minced meat and onions. Crumbled feta cheese with parsley or with onions and spinach are also very populare. But you should not underestimate the one with potatoes, cheese and dill. It has always been my children’s favorite.
The filling may well vary slightly. I like to use dill in the mashed potatoes along with a good grated cheese and a little Pul biber / chili flakes. But some prefer parsley instead of dill.
When I’m making that variant at home, I prefer to use a really good Turkish Kasar cheese that I tear. But it is something near impossible to get this cheese, where I live. And then there’s really a lot of fat in it too – between 40-60%. So instead, I have gotten used to using a good grated mozzarella, which can easily do it aswell.
If it is to be completely after the book, then you also need Turkish Tereyag butter, to brush the bread with after baking. It really gives a good taste and “greasiness”. The taste is just not quite the same with Danish butter. But in the absence of better….
Maybe Ghee can be used (you know, this clarified butter, where the milk whey is melted off and costs about half a farm). I can imagine that it will be suitable, but I can’t boast that I’ve tried.
Turkish gözleme is super practical:
That food can be practical may be a bit strange to write, but that’s how it is. Maybe that proves, why it is easy to find at the bazaar, at roadside stalls, etc.
After all, the Gözleme is made of what you just have at home. Water, flour, eggs and onions, cheese, potatoes, spinach, minced meat or whatever. And although they taste best freshly cooked directly from the pan, you can take them with you on a picnic or on the go.
Turkish gözleme is a true street-food on-the-go and a delicious snack, that can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or as a delicious afternoon snack. They have also become increasingly popular as dinner and can be found on several restaurants’ menu cards.
But if you are in Turkey, you should treat yourself to see some of the village wives make the real, genuine gözleme from scratch. It is very fascinating to see them roll out the dough with something that most of all looks like a small broomstick. See how fast it goes and how thin they roll. For the dough here has to be ultra-thin, almost thinner than paper, if it is to become delicious. And so it places some demands on both patience and skills.
And so the ladies here often sit on the floor with folded legs in their traditional clothes. And struggles to roll out the dough at the small table in front of them, while another might take care of the baking. Very exciting (yes, you I know, but I am a foodie and find this very interesting). And something ever so Turkish in my world.
You can make Turkish gözleme yourself:
While this may sound like a dare, it is not that difficult to make Turkish gözleme at home. You just really need to focus on rolling the dough thin, thin, thin. In fact, so thin that you can almost look through it.
Once you have assembled the dough and while it is just resting, melt the butter and make the filling that you would like to put in. Then it is easy to both roll out, stuff in the filling and bake them at the same time.
I always fry the onions first and then pour in the fresh spinach (frozen can also be used). Then I get a lot of water out of the spinach that would otherwise quickly destroy the dough.
Likewise, I mash the boiled potatoes while warm and bring in a good handful of grated cheese along with the dill, so that the taste is absorbed better.
The folding technique:
Last time I made them, I didn’t use any fat on my pan. But maybe just a few drops of sunflower oil can make it to start with, just before you put the pancake on the pan. But be sure to smear the breads / pancakes with lots of butter, before turning it over and again when you take it of.
You can fold the pancakes in several ways. I always roll them completely round and then put the filling in the middle and fold the pages over the filling.
In the picture below I fold the sides over the middle and also the two end all the way to the middle, so that they meet. But it gives a slightly heavy gözleme to my taste with too much dough (and certainly if it’s not rolled thin enough). So instead fold in the first two ends over the filling and the other two just a centimeter or two and then press / clap them slightly. It should secure the stuffing inside nicely.
Some choose to fold them in a crescent and it is certainly just fine. You can also just roll them like in a durum (I’m not a fan of this). I have also seen others fold the pages in to the middle first. Then add the stuffing. And then fold the ends in the middle over the stuffing and press the pages lightly, so that they do not open. It might make the dought slightly more firm, so it’s not as fragile and diffocult to move to the pan.
There is a trick:
The trick, though, is not to get too much stuffing in. Just a 2-3 tablespoon depending on the size. The more filling, the less dough can hold and the faster it breaks. The recipe here is with 2 different kinds of filling.
Well, I guess you probably want to bake them now right ??
Yum, I can certainly understand that … 😋
Turkish gözleme with potatoes, spinach and cheese
- 1 egg
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 cup water
- 3 cups flour, maybe a little more
Potato-filling for 3 breads:
- 400 gram potatoes, cooked and warm
- 150 gram cheese, preferable Kasar or mozzarella
- 1 tsk pul biber, turkish chili
- 1 small bunch dill, finely chopped
- 1 tsp salt
Filling with spinach and onion for 2 breads:
- 1 big onion, finely chopped
- 3 handful fresh spinach
- ½ tsp salt
- 100 milliliter milk
- 1 tsp pul biber
Sådan gør du
- 1: Stir the ingredients for the dough together with a fork until smooth. Add the flour a little by little. Knead the dough well until it is not sticky (nor dry)2: Put the plastic over the bowl and attach the plastic with an rubber band. Set the dough to rest for about 20 minutes3: Meanwhile peel the potatoes and cook them until tender4: Cut the onion finely and fry it on the pan with a little oil. Add the spinach and fry. Add milk, salt and chili flakes and let it cook well (but should not be a hard mass)5: Mash the hot potatoes with a fork and bring in the chili flakes and cheese. Put the chopped dill in and mix it well
Fry the pancakes:
- 6. Divide the dough into 5 equal pieces. Sprinkle flour on the table and roll out the dough very, very thinly, in a circle – about 25-30 cm in diameter. But remember that the dough should be thin and even7: Add 2-4 tablespoons of the filling in the center of the circle and spread it out slightly (as shown in the picture below)8: Now fold one side in first and then the other side, so that the filling is covered. Lightly pat on the dough so it sticks together.9: Then fold in the ends about 2 cm, so that the dough closes around the filling and ensures that it cannot come out.10: Put a few drops of sunflower oil on the pan and warm up.11: Fry one gözleme at a time. Let the dough get its brown "eyes" on the hot side. Grease the side facing up with the melted butter and turn around, when the bottom side turns golden. Now also lubricate the side facing up with melted butter.12: If possible, give the finished bread another coat of butter and serve while the bread is still warm.
- Above all – roll out the dough super thin, but without breaking it.
- only get a little stuffing, as too much filling will cause the dough to break
- Use chili / Pul biber to the extent you like. The gözleme is not meant to be strong
- If you like, add some Salca (pepper pure) to the spinach with the milk. 1 teaspoon should be enough (if strong then drop the chili)
- You can also replace the dill with parsley in the potato filling if you feel like it
- Try to get both tereyag butter and kasar cheese if you can. It is worth it.
- If you need these for lunch and people are very hungry, then double up on the portion or serve a small salad. Possibly this bean salad from Antalya.