The delights of Turkish bread

The bread marathon continues apace – with a few disasters along the way. My in-laws, who mostly only eat white death from the supermarket, came to stay for the weekend and I dragged out an old favourite recipe for Turkish bread, which they seemed to love (or at least eat a lot of).

I tore this recipe out of a newspaper years ago and used to make it by hand, which is satisfying but quite messy. Now I use a mixer to do the trick and gain immense satisfaction from not having to scrape dough remnants off the work surface. The best thing about this bread, apart from its spongey texture, is that you can decide to make it at morning tea time and it’ll be ready for lunch.

Turkish Bread
These instructions are for making the bread by hand. If you’re making it in a mixer with a dough hook, use low speed and mix for a couple of minutes, then rest for 30 seconds. Repeat two or three times until you have a stretchy but still slightly sticky dough.

500g strong flour
2tsp sugar
2tsp salt
1 sachet dried yeast (or 1 1/2 tsp)
1 1/4 Tbsp olive oil
360ml warm water

egg wash (1 egg beaten with 3 1/2 Tbsp water)
3Tbsp sesame, cumin and/or nigella seeds (also known as kalonji or onion seeds)

Place the flour, salt, sugar, olive oil and yeast in a large bowl. Slowly add the water and mix well by hand. Drop onto a clean bench and begin kneading. The dough will be very wet but do not be tempted to add more flour.
Knead for five minutes, rest for 30 seconds, then repeat this process twice (so you’re kneading for a total of 15 minutes. By the end of this process the dough should be stretchy like a large rubber band (and your arms will be like jelly).
Rinse out your original bowl and dry, then oil it lightly. Place the dough in the bowl, turn to coat it with oil and cover the bowl with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for an hour, until the dough has doubled in size.
Tip the dough gently onto a floured work surface and cut into three pieces. Gently pick up each piece of dough and tuck the edges underneath to form a tight oblong shape. Put each piece back on the floured bench and cover with a tea towel. Leave for 20 minutes.
Turn your oven to 250C. Uncover the dough and gently stretch each piece into an oblong shape, nearly the full length of a baking tray. Place on a lined baking tray. Brush each piece with the egg wash, then dimple them with your fingertips. Sprinkle with the seeds. Leave to rest for 15 minutes, then bake in the very hot oven for about eight minutes, until they are risen and lightly golden. Cool on a wire rack.



  1. January 12, 2011 / 6:33 am

    Those look seriously professional! I must try them – they'd have the novelty factor that would keep small ones happy, and would be great with a nice soppy stew or something, which would make the adults very happy.

    Michele (

  2. January 12, 2011 / 8:09 am

    Ooh this looks lovely…and reminds me of holidays in Turkey where we'd snack on warm flat bread freshly made with salty feta cheese and fresh herbs rolled up in it…mmm…..

    We usually go to London to buy the type you made from a Turkish Bakery, but now we'll be able to have a go at making it ourselves… thanks….

  3. January 12, 2011 / 11:57 am

    ooohh thanks for sharing!!! I am definitely going to make some tomorrow as I was thinking of doing a bread, but turkish bread is way cooler (and shorter!) – thanks so much for sharing and tried and tested recipe

  4. January 12, 2011 / 1:45 pm

    Whenever we visit relatives in Australia they always get Turkish bread from their local baker but it's not something I have seen here. I'm going to try making this… thanks! And I'll even tell my sister where to look so she can bake it herself!

  5. January 12, 2011 / 4:48 pm

    Oh yum, I'll be saving this recipe. Looks great and sounds so simple and straight forward. I lvoe the smell of bread baking in teh oven.

  6. January 12, 2011 / 9:12 pm

    Those look really nice. I always struggle with bread but this sounds fairly straight forward, I look forward to giving it a go!

  7. January 13, 2011 / 2:32 am

    Hey everyone, thanks for your comments. Honestly, it is really easy – just brace yourself for a bit of a sticky mess at the start. Good luck!

  8. January 13, 2011 / 12:16 pm

    Ooooh…I love this…homemade bread. I have to bookmark this to try. It will make sound like I am in Turkey if I make this 😀 I'm sure it goes very well with soup. Thanks very much for sharing. MaryMoh at

  9. February 11, 2011 / 7:16 pm

    Finally! I got round to making this tonight – dinner brought forward an hour, so this was my quick option. It's awesome!!!! Love, love, love it. Thanks!

  10. April 1, 2013 / 8:22 am

    My friend gave me some Turkish bread when I was in Australia and they were really nice – looks a bit translucent when you cut them up. I bought some from the bakery there but they all taste like normal bread. I saw a recipe that call for a mix of corn flour and wheat flour – will this helps to make the bread more spongy and springy??

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