In restaurants in southwest Turkey, fantastic bread is served steaming hot and cooked to order. It’s a bit like pitta, but lighter, softer, and as long as your table. You can make similar bread at home, though you may struggle to make it the size of your table. The dough is soft, so use a food mixer to knead it, if you can.
- Yield: 12
- 500 g plain white flour, plus extra for dusting
- 500 g strong white bread flour
- 10 g powdered dried yeast
- 20 g fine salt
- 325 ml warm water
- 325 ml natural yoghurt, warmed
- 2 tbsp good olive oil, plus extra for coating
- To knead by hand: mix the flours, yeast, salt, water and yoghurt in a bowl to form a sticky dough. Add the oil, mix it in, then turn the dough out on to a clean work surface. Knead until smooth and silky.
- Or, to use a food mixer: fit the dough hook and add the flours, yeast, salt, water and yoghurt to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until combined, then add the oil and leave to knead for about 10 minutes, until smooth and silky.
- Shape the dough into a round, then place in a clean bowl. Leave to rise, covered with a plastic bag, until doubled in size. Deflate the dough, then if you have time, leave to rise a second, third, even a fourth time (this improves the dough but is by no means essential).
- Tear off pieces the size of small lemons (or smaller, or larger, if you like). One at a time, shape into a round, then using plenty of flour, roll out to a 3–4 mm thickness and leave to rest for 5 minutes or so; this improves the finished bread dramatically.
- Meanwhile, heat a large, heavy-based frying pan over the highest heat and set the grill to maximum. When the pan is super-hot, lay the first bread in it. After a minute, or possibly less, the bread should be puffy and starting to char on the bottom. Slide the pan under the hot grill, a good 15 cm from the heat, and watch your creation balloon magnificently.
- Remove the bread when it starts to char on the top, slip a lick of olive oil over, and feed your awestruck friends. They will need something to dip the bread into, such as taramasalata, and/or beetroot houmous. Repeat and repeat, to use all the dough.