Gözleme are paper-thin Turkish flatbreads stuffed with a variety of fillings and pan fried. They are traditionally served hot by street vendors. The fillings vary around Turkey and often include minced meat. We've created this vegetarian version using leeks, spring onions, spinach and feta cheese but you can use cooked vegetables such as potatoes and squash, anything mashable works well. You can also add different herbs and spices to your taste. We love to include a bit of aleppo pepper and sumac but feel free to mix it up with whatever you have to hand.
In Turkey, this pastry is deftly rolled out with a really long thin rolling pin. The dough is wrapped around the pins as it rolls out. If you want to give this a try, you can improvise with a long piece of clean wooden dowel. To see this in action visit Bristanbul Deli on the Gloucester Road, Bristol where a lady rolls Gözleme all day long in front of you!
Flatbreads with Spinach and Cheese Filling
Makes 6 stuffed breads
- 250g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp fine salt
- 120ml warm water
- 30ml olive oil
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large leek, cut in half lengthways and sliced finely
- 1 bunch spring onions, sliced finely
- 250g spinach, washed
- 100g feta cheese (or similar Turkish cheese such as Baynez Penir) crumbled
- 100g haloumi, grated
- A small handful of parsley, dill and mint, finely chopped
- black pepper
- Aleppo pepper and sumac
- Place the flour in a bowl and add the salt. Make a well in the centre and add the olive oil.
- Stirring with one finger gradually add the water until you have dough that feels soft and pliable.
- Knead the dough for about 10 minutes or until it is really soft and then divide into 6 balls.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. On a low heat gently soften the leek and the spring onions for 10 minutes.
- Wilt the spinach in a large pan, then drain, refresh under cold water, and squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Chop the spinach roughly, and add to the leek and spring onions and mix well to combine.
- Add a generous pinch black pepper. You won't need to add salt as the cheese will be salty enough.
- Divide into 6 portions, and set aside to cool.
- Sprinkle some flour onto your work surface, and using a rolling pin, roll out a ball of dough until it is as thin as possible. The dough should form a circle with a diameter of about 20 cm. Make sure the dough has enough flour beneath it to prevent it sticking to the worktop.
- On one half of the circle of dough spread a portion of the vegetable mix, some of the fresh herbs, grated cheeses, and sprinkle with a little Aleppo pepper and sumac.
- Fold the edges of the other half of circle over the dough so that it meets the other side of the circle to form a semi circle and press the edges firmly to seal.
- Heat a large frying pan over a low heat.
- Increase the heat to medium to high. Carefully lift one Gözleme onto the palm of your hand, brush off any excess flour and lightly brush with olive oil. Turn it into your pan oil side down, and cook until the distinctive brown “eyes” appear. Brush the top with oil then turn over and cook the other side. Remove and serve immediately, or keep the cooked bread warm under a tea towel or in a warm oven until all the Gozleme are ready.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
- Serve the Gozleme while still hot with Ezme salad, garlic yoghurt sauce, and pickled chillies and olives.
- Aleppo pepper is a Turkish dried and flaked chilli pepper, not very hot, similar to an ancho in heat levels with a sweet slightly smoky tomato-like flavour. Use instead of paprika and black pepper as it will add colour and a little kick of spicy heat.
- Sumac is the dried red berries of a Middle Eastern Bush Rhus coriaria, has a sour flavour and is a flavour enhancer. Can be used as a substitute for lemon.
- Try sheep feta if you have a problem with cow dairy products.
Delicious food photography by Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures.
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