Turkish bread is nothing short of paradise to your taste buds! Whenever friends come to see us, one of the first things they want to do is go to the nearest little market or bakery and get some fresh bread. It’s just so warm, crusty on the outside, hollow-sounding, soft-centred, light…the perfect bread. We’re not being biased here. It’s that good!
Before we actually published the first post on this blog, we used to discuss what we would write about – and Turkish bread has been on the list from that time. But, it’s taken till now to do ‘The Turkish Bread Post.’ Why? Because it had to be the right time; a time when bread was in the forefront of our minds.
Turkey is full of local bakeries. Find yourself a good bakery in your local area and your “I’m cutting back on bread” willpower will be tested forever! Freshly baked bread, throughout the day…Across the top row in the photo above, you can see your average Turkish loaf. Whenever we say we’ve been for a half-bread (yarım ekmek), whether it be fish in bread on Popeye’s boat, a döner kebab or a Şampiyon kokoreç, picture one of those loaves cut in half across the middle. That’s your yarım ekmek!
But we said we wanted to do this post when bread was at the forefront of our minds. Today, we’ve walked a little further to our favourite local bakery – rather than to our nearest one – because at the moment, it’s Ramazan in Fethiye. We knew there would be a queue as this bakery is really popular and it was just before sunset…
…and just before sunset, during Ramazan in Turkey, is Turkish-Ramazan-pide-bread buying time. Local bakeries are almost unbearably hot; fans whirring, ovens packed with round, criss-crossed doughy lumps which transform into divine freshly-baked-bread smells. The queues lengthen as sunset approaches and the bakery owners – probably hungry themselves – serve everyone at breakneck speed. No time for small talk now. Choose your loaf, get it wrapped in paper (you don’t want it to sweat because it’s still warm), pay your lira and leave the building. ‘Next please!’ The sunset waits for no one!
I wish the bakery was lighter so I could have taken a better photo to show you this scene properly. We have seen some big Turkish ovens in our time but tonight, we were amazed at how many Ramazan pide breads we could see, glowing and baking in this oven. So deep and a beautiful sight!
Of course, we don’t do Iftar (the meal people eat after sundown during Ramazan) so why were we at the bakery this evening, joining the clamour for fresh pide bread? Well, it’s Barry’s potato and aubergine jalfrezi for tea tonight. This bread is perfect for tearing and sharing – even if it’s just the two of us!
Just a quick tip:
Turkish bread is baked without preservatives so it tends to go soft and chewy after just a few hours. If this happens to you and you don’t fancy toast instead, stick it in the oven on around 150 degrees for about 5 minutes and you’ll get that ‘just-baked’ texture back.