What I Learnt About Turkish Bread This Week

Turkish bread This week Mr P and I went on a date. It does happen, you know, occasionally, when we make the effort.

I must confess, we were heading to a different restaurant (best not mention that, eh? In case the other restaurateur feels put out to be the second choice). Alas, the first place was closed so our date (which was going to be Indian) came over all Turkish and we arrived at Lezzet Restaurant and decided to give it a go.

It turned out to be rather serendipitous because, not only did we thoroughly enjoy our meal (What a fabulous restaurant! If you haven't been, you must try it. Go there at once. Take my car.*) I also got to sample some authentic Turkish bread, which was absolutely delicious.
*Not literally.

For a proper restaurant review of the food, I think we need to send in a proper foodie blogger. I nominate Foodie Therapy for this task. I, meanwhile, have done a little research into Turkish bread.

Turkish bread

There are, of course, many types of bread in Turkey, but the one that is most well known seems to be the Turkish flat bread, sometimes referred to as 'pide'.

It is this that we were served alongside our mezze, making a tasty accompaniment for meats and vegetables, as well as an excellent way to mop the plates clean at the end.

Turkish bread

The bread is traditionally made with a very long rise-time for extra flavour. In some of the recipes I read online, sourdough starter was used but I cannot verify the authenticity of these methods.

It's a simple wheat-flour dough, with yeast and perhaps some sugar (depending which source you consult).

The characteristic grooves are made just prior to baking and they probably help to contain the seeds that are sprinkled on the top. Nigella seeds and sesame seeds add flavour and decoration. These may be held in place with an egg and milk glaze.

The bread is baked quickly in a hot, stone oven.

I may post up an actual recipe for Turkish bread at some point but not until I've made it for myself.

Pretty Things

Lezzet was hot on presentation. Look! Even the tea was pretty:

Turkish tea
This is Turkish tea. I loved it!

 The coffee cup was pretty:

Turkish coffee
Turkish coffee was pretty hard-core

The light-fittings were pretty:

Turkish lights

Turkish lights

But this week hasn't all been dining out and luxury light-fittings...

Back At The Ranch

I made naan bread again and reminded myself how super-nice homemade naan bread is. Really, really good. Here's the naan bread recipe if you're feeling inspired.

Homemade naan bread

Homemade naan bread

And we had some lovely weather! That is noteworthy in this part of the world, believe me. It felt like spring and we did this:

Spring time!

But that's not all

Behind the scenes, something else is happening.

I might have mentioned, once or twice, that I am creating a discussion forum, right here at Freshly Baked.

Well, it's really happening! The first few people are helping me to make sure it's all running smoothly (and I'm using words like "beta testing" and "phew"). So far so good and I think it'll go live for real within the week!

I am so excited about the prospect of getting to know you all better and having more of a community feel. I think it'll be excellent to share recipes and inspiration, ask questions and solve problems.

I hope we'll see you there!


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