Back in February 2013, we wrote a blog post about the treats of our local bakery. Our local bakery has changed hands many times – it’s difficult for them to make enough money – but the recent owners are hanging on in there. We always try to support our local businesses anyway, but our bakery attracts us for its extra treats such as the börek we wrote about in that last post.
Recently, they’ve added a few new treats to their repertoire; kurabiye, pide and simit often make an appearance if you get there at the right time. That’s the attraction for us; you never know what’s going to be sitting behind that glass counter when you walk through the door.
But usually, there is Turkish lavash bread…
Yes, our local bakery’s lavaş ekmeği (lavash bread) is attracting us to their shop on a regular basis and this situation isn’t helping our waistlines one bit! Well, just look at it.
This photo doesn’t really show you the size of the lavash bread, but it’s about 1 metre long and 20 cm wide and, when you buy it, the shop assistant folds it into four and places it in a carrier bag for you. Sometimes, it’s still warm. And then, when you’re walking home with it, you can’t resist but tear little chunks off to munch on as you stroll. Fortunately, the walk between the bakery (fırın) and our house isn’t too long, otherwise we’d probably munch through the whole length of lavash bread before we get home!
What To Do With Lavash Bread
So what do two people do with a stretch of lavash bread that’s 1 metre long? Well, rest assured that none of it goes to waste in our little abode! The joy of lavash is its versatility. Be a bit creative and there is all manner of uses for it. Here’s a few ideas for how to serve lavash bread an how lavash bread is eaten in Turkey:
Use Lavash Flat Bread As A Substitute For Naan
We first bought lavash bread when Barry made one of his fabulously spicy jalfrezi dishes (must put that recipe on the blog one day) and we wanted a naan bread substitute. Stud your lavash bread with little bits of garlic butter, warm it in the oven for a minute or so and you’re away.
Use Lavash Bread For Allsorts Of Turkish Dishes
Turkish lavash bread is central to so many Turkish dishes. If you’ve been wondering about other ideas for how to serve lavash bread, it makes a perfect base for şiş kebab, döner, köfte and, as in the photo above, fried liver. You know we love our ciğer şiş. The photo above is slightly different because it’s chicken livers coated in flour and flash fried with onions. Place them on top of your bread and serve with a side of bulgur pilaf and süzme yoghurt. Bliss. We usually make some creations with our yoghurt, too…a few chilli flakes, a bit of garlic, a light pinch of dried mint; whatever we feel like.
Of course, lavash bread is also used for your traditional Turkish dürüm kebabs, too. You know, that wrap you get filled with allsorts of meaty treats and salads, or even çiğ köfte. Sometimes it’s the very flat lavash bread and other times, it’s slightly thicker like the one from our local bakery and this great value dürüm at Çalış Kebabs & Dürüm.
And many of the restaurants in Turkish holiday resorts and tourist areas love to wow their customers by serving lavash bread as balloon bread. Many of you will be familiar with the sight of that big puffball of bread arriving at your table with a ramekin dish filled with garlic butter and, sometimes, a serving of Antep Ezmesi, too. Mmm, that satisfying feeling as you take your knife to the red hot lavash bread balloon and pierce the top to release a rush of steam…
Make Lavash Bread Pizza
“We need to eat this before it goes off,” said Barry, one day. “What shall we do with the lavash bread?”
We looked in the fridge. We had a bit of Izmir tulum cheese left over and a jar of salted sardines. It just screamed pizza.
- Spread salça (tomato puree) over your lavash bread
- Liberally sprinkle crushed dried chillies over the top (optional, of course)
- Now add torn, cured and salted sardines (jarred anchovies do the same trick). Not too many as they are very strong
- Add thinly sliced onion and chopped green peppers
- Sprinkle kekik (dried thyme and oregano) over the top
- Now grate your cheese and sprinkle over the top
- Heat your oven to 180 degrees. Put your lavaş bread pizza on an oven rack in the centre of the oven and heat until your cheese has melted
We just can’t recommend this suggestion highly enough. Every time I look at this photo, I want to eat lavash bread pizza! A perfect lunch. Obviously, you can use whatever toppings you want – we’re going for sucuk next time! Whatever topping we choose, there’ll be chillies involved, no doubt…
We also use lavash bread for dipping in soup, as a side to meals, as an accompaniment to meze dishes – it’s a staple of our menu, now. And just a tip: as with other Turkish breads from your local bakery, there are no preservatives in lavash flat bread. This means it goes like leather the day after. However, never fear. Heat your oven to 100 degrees and place it in for no more than a minute. Voila, you have beautifully warm, soft and fresh lavash bread again, as if it has just been baked.
Barry is currently working on perfecting his own homemade lavash bread so, once he’s happy, keep a look out for the recipe on the blog…
If you’ve got any other creations and ideas for what to do with lavash bread, we’re all ears. We’d love you to share your ideas with us in the comments below.