Village Bread

Köy ekmeği

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Makes


    large loaf

Appears in

Classic Turkish Cooking

By Ghillie Basan

Published 1995

  • About

Village bread is basically a solid, round or oblong, wholemeal loaf baked in an outdoor clay oven. In southeastern Anatolia it is sometimes spiked with coriander, fennel or caraway seeds.


  • ½ oz/15 g fresh yeast, or ½ oz/7 g dried yeast
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 3—4 fl oz/100-125 ml lukewarm water
  • 1 lb/450 g wholemeal flour
  • 8 oz/225 g strong unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 12-14 fl oz/350-400 ml cold water
  • scant teaspoon olive or sunflower oil


  • Preheat oven to 425F/Mark 7/220C
  • Cream the yeast with the sugar in the lukewarm water. Leave to froth.
  • Sift the flours and salt into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and pour in the yeast and most of the water. Draw in some of the flour from the sides to make a loose paste, sprinkle a little of the flour over the surface, cover the bowl with a damp cloth, and leave to sponge for 20-25 minutes. Now knead the mixture together, adding extra water or flour if necessary, into a smooth ball. Continue to knead it on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic. Pour the oil into a clean bowl. Roll the dough in it, cover the bowl with a damp towel and leave it to prove until doubled in size.
  • Punch the dough down and knead again on a lightly floured board. Mould it into a flat circle and place on a floured baking sheet. Cover with a damp towel and leave to double in size. Then place it in the oven for 35-40 minutes. If it doesn’t sound hollow when you tap the bottom, return it to the oven, upside down, for 5 more minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.