Gözleme – anatolian flatbread


I have told you the story of Gözleme before but for those who missed it here it comes again:

Back in Istanbul we were queuing for the blue Mosque but when we were only three people away from entering they closed the door for prayer …. We went to the nearest restaurant to drink some tea and eat a little something before starting queuing all over again.
 In the restaurant’s center were three women kneeling on the floor, one was, very thinly, rolling out little balls of dough, the second one would then bake the bread on a metal dome over a fire and the third was stuffing the bread with a variety of things – spinach, potato, cheese… the whole process was beautiful to watch, the bread even better to taste.
On the  way to our garden here, there is a wild playground with a fire place and sometimes in summer there’s a group of Turkish women making Gözleme. I’m determined to try making Gözleme in our garden and over the fire too!
Gözleme are just delicious, easy to make & I think brilliant to go with many menus.

You’ll need:

For the dough:

  • 250gr white flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 185 ml warm water
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 120 gr butter cut into 16 pieces

For the spinach stuffing:

  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion very finely chopped
  • 250gr spinach washed and well drained
  • a good pinch of ground allspice
  • 1 tbs sumac
  • salt and pepper

For the potato stuffing:

  • 300 firm potatoes cut in half lenthwise and slices 3mm thick
  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 6 spring onions finely chopped
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1/4 tablespoon roughly chopped dill
  • 2 tsp caraway seeds
  • 2salt and pepper

For the dough:
Place the flour and the salt in a mixing bowl. Pour the water on to the dried yeast, let it dissolve for a couple of minutes, then stir.
Mix the flour and the yeast mixture by hand, squeezing out all the lumps. After this the dough should be fairly smooth. If it’s too sticky, add a bit of flour. But careful, the dough should not be too dry. Now add the olive oil by drizzling it down the side of the bowl and kneading it in for about 3 minutes. The dough should no longer be tacky but soft, elastic and smooth. Cover with clingfilm and let it rest someplace warm between 20 minutes and 1 hour.


When the dough has risen, divide it into 8 pieces and kneed into balls. On a generously floured surface with a floured rolling pin, gently roll out each ball, turning the dough a quarter each time you roll, as this keeps the shape round. The dough should be very elastic, once you got it about 5 mm lift it of the board and start stretching it by hand, rotating it to get an even thickness. You should be able to get a 20 cm round of almost paper thinness, nearly transparent at it’s center.
If you don’t bake the bread immediately, stack them with greaseproof paper in-between.
Place  a large frying pan over medium heat, add a knob of butter and when it starts to foam, gently slip one of the sheets into the pan.

Fry one side, allowing it to blister and brown in places before you turn it. Add another knob of butter to the pan and fry on the other side. Transfer the bread to a plate and place a spoonful of the filling in the middle. Spread it out a bit  and fold fold the edges of the gözleme over like an envelope to enclose the filling.
Return to the pan on low heat to warm the stuffing through and eat straight away.

For the spinach filling :
Heat the oil in a pan over low to medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Fry for a good 10 minutes stirring occasionally until golden and sweet. Add the spinach and allspice and cook until the spinach has “collapsed”, losing it’s original volume. Remove from the heat and if there’s too much liquid still, drain it in a colander. Transfer to a board and chop coarsely. Add the sumac before tasting and seasoning.

For the potato filling :
Salt the patties 5 minutes before cooking, this helps bring out the flavour. In a large saucepan or frying pan heat the olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the patties, onions and caraway seeds, stir until mixed evenly. Reduce the heat slightly and put a lid on the pan, let the patties cook but not colour. Stir from time to time and scrape off the bits of potato that stick to the bottom of the pan. When the patties are soft, remove from the heat and place in a bowl. Now add the chilli flakes and the dill and check for seasoning, adding a tablespoon or two of water if the mixture is a bit dry.

recipe from the brilliant Cafe Moro cookbook