Monday, February 04, 2008

Turkish bread

A few weeks ago, Andy and I picked up some turkish bread from the shop to have with burgers. It was so light and fluffy, tasty and slightly chewy. Trouble is, it’s really dear. So I decided to make my own (based on this recipe).

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.

We made one giant loaf…

and a handful of variously-sized buns.

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.

Some buns were sliced and toasted under the griller to be eaten with pumpkin soup (with a dollop of tofu sour cream and fresh rosemary).

For lunch, a big sandwich. This one has Chickpea and Wakame Salad, beetroot, cucumber, tomato, and vegan mayo. Unfortunately, the sandwich was far too big and fell apart while we ate it.

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!

10 comments:

the pleasantly plump vegan said...

the bread looks great, as does those eggplants. one of my favorite dishes.

Romina said...

I've never heard of turkish bread but it looks great. You did a good job! Love the idea of making buns out of it. =)

Matt! said...

Yum. I had amazing Turkish bread when I was in New Zealand. I love photos of vegan food!

Liz² said...

okay, I've been contemplating which bread recipe to try next, cause I haven't made any in a *while*, and yours even has a starter! yep, I'm trying this.

also, your using the bread down to the breadcrumbs? SO familiar with that! X)

Monika K said...

I really want to try this - do I let the starter sit overnight on the counter or in my fridge? And do I cover it with a towel, plastic wrap or an actual lid (does it need to "breathe")? I love all food Turkish and will get the starter going this week - thanks for the inspiration!

Theresa said...

Monika--leave it at room temperature, and I had mine in a take-away bowl with a lid. It was fairly tight fitting, but when I put soup in the bowl it leaks, so maybe it could breathe a little...

Ashasarala said...

The bread looks so yummy! I didn't realize there were different techniques in making starters. Yours sounds a little more complicated but then that just sounds like it tastes/works better than what I did!

I used all whole wheat, even as the main bread ingredient, so it tasted harvesty. Next time I plan on making something white and not quite so healthy. Who cares! Bread isn't exactly eaten for the health benefits, right?

Oh, bruschetta. How I miss thee! I need to make some. I do have 'Vegan Italiano' but I've only made pizza from it. I have to stop being so foolish.

Oh, and to answer your question in your comment: totally! ;)

the little one said...

I love that you used every bit of what you made. Nice.

cristy said...

Yum. Must try your recipe. We have just gotten into bread baking.

Head Felt said...

I found this turkish bread recipe on allrecipes.com , I am on day three of the starter phase. I have been cruising around trying to find out why you have to use yeast as well as the starter. My guess is that the starter gives a nice sour flavor...hmmm. Nice page, by the way.