Want to whip up a great brunch for the weekend? Try Gozleme.
No, I don’t mean to scare you with all these fancy names but just pay homage to the earthy flavors of Turkey that I have discovered through Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook.
Gozleme is a traditional Turkish flat bread stuffed with a variety of delicious combination of fillings, ranging from spinach and feta, to minced meat and mushroom and eggs to tomatoes, olives, halloumi, and fresh basil.
The name Gozleme derives from the Turkish word goz meaning eye, which refers to the brown spots on the bread.
The bread is surprisingly easy to prepare at home. At least to those, who are from the Sub continent and are given to making stuffed parathas ( Indian flatbread) at home, this should be a breeze.
For a vegetarian palate, I have used spiced potato filling and have also experimented with spinach with Indian cottage cheese filling. Even though, I personally favor feta and spinach. The bread makes for a great brunch.
It can be served with labnah, olives and lemon wedges.
For the dough
1 cup flour
½ cup water
½ tsp. salt
Olive oil or butter to drizzle ( for later use)
Knead the flour with water to make a soft dough.
Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes until springy, using extra flour if it’s too sticky.
Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
Divide the dough in 4 equal pieces. Make balls.
Take one ball and roll out into a thin circle.
Place the filling of your desired choice in the middle. Spread a little with a spoon.
Fold the sides to make a parcel, first fold opposite sides, then left and then right, so as to completely seal it. You should now have a rectangular parcel. If you wish, you can sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.
Heat a pan, drizzle some olive oil/butter and place the Gozleme with fold side up.
Flip the bread carefully with a spatula, as soon as the base turns golden and you can witness brown spots or goz.
And once done, remove to a plate lined with paper towel. It should only take about 5 minutes for it to cook.
This recipe makes 4 rectangular Gozleme.
Slice the bread before serving. It’s best when eaten fresh.
And yes, I used a grill pan that explains those nice marks.
Serve with butter and lemon wedges.
If you don’t want to go that extra yard and want an easy way out, try using ready-made Yufka sheets, available at your local Middle Eastern stores.
Here are some ideas to choose your own filling. Prepare according to the dough you are using.
Salt, pepper, dash of lemon juice, chopped parsley
Spinach and feta/cottage cheese filling
Feta cheese/Cottage cheese
Salt and pepper
Tomatoes sliced, remove seeds
To prepare these fillings, sauté chopped onions first in olive oil, add the desired fillings and then season lightly. Use dried Oregano, if you like.
Let the mixture cool before stuffing the bread. Feta is added just before stuffing. Cottage cheese can be added to the pan.
What is Labnah?
Labnah is almost like a cross between mildly salted cream cheese and yogurt, available at Middle Eastern grocery stores. It’s easy to make it at home too.
You would need Greek style yogurt, mix a bit of salt to it and drain the liquid by placing it in a bowl lined with cheesecloth or muslin for a couple of hours.
Inspired by Binnur’s Turkish Cookbook.