One of the foods I miss most from Australia is Turkish bread or pide. In Australia it’s common to have as a sandwich bread or for dips, in Berlin it holds the amazing doner kebabs. In the US, or at least in the Bay Area it’s completely unknown and sadly unavailable. When I visited Australia for a few days for work recently I didn’t have time to visit any family but the first meal I had was a sandwich on Turkish bread.
This weekend I’ve been trying to cook Turkish bread. A minor mix-up with units ruined my first attempt, on Saturday. I tried fixing it by adding the right amount of flour and ended up with a bread, but it wasn’t what I was after. Today I got it right.
I’m pretty much using the recipe from SBS, but here’s more precisely what I did.
- 1 tablespoon (2 x 7 g sachets) dried yeast
- 1 pinch caster / extra fine / bakers sugar
- 375ml warm water
- 480g strong bread flour
- 1tsp salt
- 60ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 free-range eggs
- 50 ml milk
- nigella and / or sesame seeds
- Dissolve the sugar and yeast in 125ml of the warm water in a medium bowl. Set it aside until it froths, about 10 minutes.
- Mix in 90g of the flour, using fingers if you have to. It will be a quite liquid almost batter-like consistency. Cover with a tea towel and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes as it forms a sponge. It will at least double in size so make sure that your bowl has room.
- Put the remaining flour (390g) and the salt in the bowl for an electric mixer. Make a well in the center and add the rest of the warm water (250ml), the sponge and the olive oil. Mix it with your fingers – it will be pretty wet and sloppy.
- Use the mixer’s dough hook to kneed the sloppy dough for 10 to 15 minutes, until it’s smooth and springy.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl and leave it covered with a tea towel until it has doubled in size, about an hour.
- Preheat the oven as hot as it will go with a large pizza stone – big enough to hold two pide.
- Divide the dough into two and form rounds
on a lightly floured surface. Dust them with flour (to prevent sticking) and cover them with a tea towel for about half an hour.
- Make an egg wash by mixing the eggs and milk.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on a pizza peel, then flatten the dough rounds into 20cm long ovals onto the peel.
- Brush the dough ovals with egg wash. Dip your fingertips into the wash and drag them lengthwise down the dough to form the grooves.
- Sprinkle with nigella and / or sesame seeds
- Slip the dough ovals on the parchment paper onto the pizza stone and bake until golden brown, about 10 minutes.