One of the advantages of running a marathon is being able to justify a regular massage. And they don’t get much better than from Mehmet at Kilbirnie Rec. The other thing I love about Mehmet is that he’s Turkish and enjoys talking food. So, I was excited to tell him that I was teaching my class how to make that Turkish classic – Gozleme. Otherwise known as a thin flat bread filled with that never fail combo of baby spinach and gooey feta.
It became quickly obvious that either Gozleme wasn’t Turkish (odd, as I’d learned to make it at a Turkish food stand in a Sydney market) or, more accurately, that I was butchering his mother tongue. Ahhh, he said, you mean Gozleme. From there, we went on to the finer points of pronunciation – I’m pretty sure I’m still not perfect, but I do try really hard.
This is a stand out favourite of the many recipes I teach. It’ so simple, yet everyone loves it and former students I run into on the street always talk about making it. Great for lunch, a pre-dinner or BBQ snack, or as a light meal (unless you eat one too many, which I’ve been known to do), it’s versatile and oh so easy. An extra bonus is that the kids can make it. Check out my nephew Stefan having a go.
What you’ll need
2 tsp dried yeast
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
500g high-grade flour
Olive or rice bran oil
150-200g baby spinach (the washed stuff that comes pre-bagged is perfect)
200g creamy feta cheese, crumbled (I use Ontrays* packaged feta from Pak n Save)
Salt and pepper
To make it
Put 270ml warm water into a bowl/jug. Sprinkle over the sugar and yeast and stir briefly with a fork. Stand in a warm place for 5-10 minutes until bubbles form on the surface.
Combine the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the yeast mixture and 2 tablespoons of oil.
Mix to form a soft dough then turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 minutes or until elastic and smooth.
Pop the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with cling film. Stand in a warm place for 30 minutes or until the dough doubles in size.
‘Punch’ the dough down with your hand and divide into eight pieces.
Roll a piece of dough, on a floured surface, into a thin circular shape (doesn’t matter if it’s not perfect). Sprinkle spinach and feta over half of the dough and season with salt and pepper.
Fold the dough over to enclose the filling and press edges together to seal. Repeat with remaining dough and filling. Heat a splash of oil on a barbecue plate or large fry pan over a medium/high heat. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes until the base is golden. If required, brush the uncooked side with oil then turn over and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes or until golden and crisp.
Cut the gozleme in half or thirds and serve with lemon wedges and chutney (I use Barkers Peach and Mango or Red Pepper and Chilli Jelly).
Makes 8 good-sized gozleme (I’m not sure if plural is with or without an ‘s’ – if anyone knows, do tell me!)
And, as per Stefan’s video, if you don’t like spinach and feta – try something else. Maybe not so traditional, but it’s about making what you want to eat.
Now, off you go and make some dough. You can even make it the night before and keep it in the fridge for couple of days. Just bring it back to room temperature before using. Good luck, you won’t regret this one.
*Note, Ontrays is otherwise known as my far away pantry – or, one of the best food emporiums you’ll find (with certainly the best service you’ll find in Wellington). Next time you’re in Petone, don’t go past visiting.
That looks and sounds delicious!
So it’s Gozleme for dinner tomorrow then Janine?!?!