Special Flavor of Turkish Cuisine: Gözleme — Anatolian Flat Breads Stuffed With Spinach or Cheese

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Turkish people love stuffed flatbreads, gozleme. Turks originally come from Central Asia, where they drifted towards Anatolia gradually and made their home. They have been making these stuffed flatbreads since then. Gozleme is a much loved Turkish street food and moreover, a special part of the delicious Turkish breakfast.

Gözleme is a delicious Turkish flavour.
Gözleme is a delicious Turkish flavour.

These popular snacks are cooked quickly on a hot griddle and can be filled with various fillings. Some of the favourite and common fillings are mashed potatoes, cheese and parsley; spinach and cheese, and ground meat and onions. And they go down very well with a glass of cay, Turkish tea or ayran, a traditional Turkish yoghurt drink.

You can fill these popular snacks with various fillings.
You can fill these popular snacks with various fillings.

In the filling in this recipe, you can add a little Turkish red pepper paste, Biber Salcasi to the filling for a spicier version; so that, it will flavour the spinach and onion really well. On the other hand, if you would like a milder taste, simply omit the red pepper paste (or the pepper flakes).

How to Make Gozleme (5 Units)

Ingredients:

  • 1lb./ 16 oz. / 3 cups plain flour
  • 8g / 1 sachet instant dried yeast
  • Pinch of salt
  • 45 ml/ 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp. plain natural yoghurt (preferably whole milk)
  • 260 ml/ 9 fl. oz. / 1/5 cups warm water (150 ml/ 5 fl. oz. warm water to be mixed with the yeast)

Ingredients for the Willing:

  • 200gr/7 oz. baby spinach leaves
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes or 2 tsp. Turkish red pepper paste (optional)
    230gr/8oz feta cheese
  • 15ml/1 tbsp. olive oil

Non-stick pan or griddle to cook the Gozleme

Steps to Make the Perfect Gozleme

First of all, combine about 150 ml/ 5 fl. oz. warm water, yeast and salt in a small bowl. And then, stir and cover. Later on, stand in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles form on the surface. Secondly, sift the flour into a large bowl. Then you should make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast, water & salt mixture, olive oil, yoghurt and the remaining warm water (about 110 ml/ 4 fl. oz./ ½ cup).

Making Gozleme is easier than it looks.
Making Gozleme is easier than it looks.

Afterwards, by using your hand, draw in the flour from the sides and work the mixture into a dough. Knead thoroughly to form a soft dough. Divide the dough into 5 pieces, knead them and roll into balls. Place the balls on a floured surface, cover with a damp cloth and leave them to rest for about 30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size. Stir in the feta cheese to the spinach mixture and combine well.

Gozleme goes very well with Turkish tea or ayran.
Gozleme goes very well with Turkish tea or ayran.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Chop the washed spinach leaves roughly. Knead the onions, spinach, olive oil and if you are using, red pepper paste with your hands. By the way, it should take you for a few minutes or so. Thus, this will soften the onions and blend the flavours well. Stir in the feta cheese and combine well.

You Will Love Gozleme When is Done!

Roll out each of the balls of the dough with a rolling pin into thin, flat rounds, about 40cm/16in diameter, on a lightly floured surface. Sprinkle a little flour as you roll the dough so that the dough won’t stick. Roll until you achieve a thin sheet of a flat round. Then fold the top and bottom edges over the filling. Make sure that all the filling is safely covered.

You can simply see these women in Turkey making gozleme in a restaurant.
You can simply see these women in Turkey making gozleme in a restaurant.

Fold the left and right sides of the dough in a way for the edges to meet in the middle.  Spread about 2 ½ tablespoons filling into the middle part of this flat sheet. Then fold the top and bottom edges over the filling, making sure all the filling is safely covered. Press edges together well to seal. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the dough balls.

Heat a griddle or a non-stick pan, and brush one side of the gozleme with a little olive oil. And then, place on the pan to cook for about 2 -3 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush the uncooked side with a little olive oil and then flip it over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.

Steps are quite easy to make gozleme.
Steps are quite easy to make gozleme.

Brush both cooked sides of gozleme with a little olive oil. So that this will keep the gozleme moist. Cook the rest of the gozleme the same way.

You can either roll the Gozleme to serve, or you can cut in halves or quarters. Ayran, a Turkish yoghurt drink, or Turkish tea, would go really well next to Gozleme.

Enjoy your Anatolian Flat Breads Stuffed or Gozleme. And please do not hesitate to share your comments below if you like this recipe.

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