Before you can make the bread, you have to make a starter. Mix ½ c. flour with ¼ c. water. Cover it, and let it sit overnight. The next day, stir in another ½ c. flour and ¼ c. water. Cover and let it sit for another night. On day 3, mix in yet another ½ c. flour and ¼ c. water. At this stage, it should be smelling a little funky, sort of like parmesan cheese. That’s normal (I think). Let it sit overnight. On the fourth day, you can either make bread, or store the starter in the fridge for up to four days. If you do that, bring it back to room temperature before making bread.
So, starter done. Mix 5 tsp. yeast with ½ c. hot water and 1 tsp. sugar. Let it sit for 10 minutes or so, till it’s super frothy. Mix in the starter, 1 c. warm water, and 1 T. salt. Then gradually add flour, 1 c. or so at a time, until you get a stiff dough. Mix it with your hands, adding more flour if you need to (you should use about 6 c. total). Knead it on a floured surface for 10 minutes. Then put it in an oiled bowl and flip it over, cover, and let rise for 1 ½ to 2 hours. Cut the dough into two. Knead each half for 2 or 3 minutes, then form into a loaf or buns, and let rise another hour. Bake at 210/425 for 40 minutes. I would recommend not letting it get too brown, because the outside will get crunchy.
What can 2 people do with Turkish bread when there isn’t enough room in the freezer for all of it? Well, first we ate it warm out of the oven with margarine and vegemite. Next, we halved the buns and Andy made bruschetta.
We learned from our mistakes and finished off the loaf and the sandwich ingredients the next day, except that time we scooped the inside of the bread. After assembly, I put a chopping board on top of the sandwich and weighed it down with some pans, to really let the ingredients meld. I highly recommend this; the second sandwich was so much better to eat!
With the insides from the sandwich bread, we made bread crumbs. They can be stored in a jar in the freezer until you’re ready to use them. They made a great coating for eggplant steaks. First, we dredged eggplant slices in a mix of soy milk, mustard, and arrowroot, then dipped them in the crumbs and fried them. The eggplant was served with garlic aioli alongside green beans, and herb-charged sweet potato mash with chick-e-cheez topping (from Ultimate Uncheese).
It may take a long time to make, but with Turkish bread, the possibilities are endless!