I tasted this bread at Alaysa, a Turkish restaurant in Melbourne, Australia, in 2002. At the back of the dining room there sits an immense wood-burning oven, and while we were having lunch we could see the bakers were all hard at work, dividing the risen dough and shaping the small disk-shaped loaves. As soon as a dozen or so were formed, they were arranged on a large wooden peel and went straight into the oven. One of the bakers told me that they normally make several thousand of these a day to supply their own restaurant and others in the neighborhood. Achieving the right texture of a light open crumb in the baked bread requires working with very soft dough. Don’t hesitate to flour the work surface or your hands to make handling the dough easier, but please resist the temptation to work more flour into the dough—it will toughen it.
These flatbreads, served in wedges, are a perfect accompaniment to Middle Eastern meze or hors d’oeuvres. Split and filled they make perfect sandwiches.
Keep the breads loosely covered at room temperature on the day they are baked. Wrap in plastic and freeze for longer storage. Defrost the breads and reheat them at 375°F (190°C) for 7 to 8 minutes, then cool before serving.
Mixed-Grain Turkish Flatbread: For more deeply flavored bread, substitute
Sesame Turkish Flatbread: Omit the flour before dimpling the top of the bread. Quickly paint the top of each bread with water and sprinkle each with
© 2008 Nick Malgieri. All rights reserved.