Turkish bread

Turkish bread

Pide ekmeği or Ramazan pidesi

By
From
Istanbul
Makes
2
Photographer
Steven Joyce

This bread is often eaten during Ramadan, but is eaten during the rest of the year as well. In the UK, we think of this particular loaf as Turkish bread, despite there being dozens of different types baked there. Try thinly slicing, then toasting it and using it to scoop up dips and meze dishes.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon active dried yeast
350ml lukewarm water
1 tablespoon caster sugar
2 tablespoons olive oil
500g strong white bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 egg yolk
50ml milk
1 teaspoon nigella seeds
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
2 tablespoons polenta, cornmeal or semolina

Method

  1. Mix the yeast, water, sugar and oil together in a jug. Leave in a warm place for 10–15 minutes to activate the yeast. It should form a thick, frothy head.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Gradually add the liquid to the dry ingredients, using your hands to mix it into a thick dough. Using your hands, knead the dough for 10 minutes. The dough will become stretchy, slightly glossy and pliable. Knead until any lumps disappear and the dough is smooth.
  3. Place the dough in a clean oiled bowl and cover with a damp cloth or with oiled clingfilm. Put the bowl in a warm place for an hour, to allow the dough to rise. (Depending on the temperature, it may take longer to double in size. You can tell when it has finished rising as the dough will dent rather than spring back when you press it.)
  4. Place it on a floured work surface. It will be quite sticky with a soft, stringy honeycomb texture inside, so flour your hands too. Knock back the dough by pressing out the air with your knuckles, and then divide it into two balls. Re-cover the balls and leave to rest for 15–20 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to its maximum setting, around 240˚C, and place 2 pizza stones or large, upturned baking trays in to heat up.
  6. Whisk together the egg yolk and milk. Flour the work surface and your hands again and firmly flatten each piece of dough into an oblong about 30 × 15 cm and about 1 cm thick (if you don’t flatten it properly it will rise unevenly).
  7. Remove the hot stones or trays from the oven and dust each with a tablespoon of polenta, cornmeal or semolina. Transfer one of the circles of dough to each stone. (If you like, prepare the dough on a sheet of baking paper, dusted with polenta or semolina as before, and directly transfer the bread on the paper to the stone.) Working quickly, dent the tops of the dough all over with your fingertips, then brush with the egg and milk glaze. Scatter with half the seeds over each, and bake the bread for 10 minutes or until risen and golden all over. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack to cool and eat while still warm.
Tags:
Istanbul
Turkey
Turkish
Rebecca
Seal
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