Today’s post is bread again, and I’m sharing a Turkish Ramzan Pide I made a couple of days back. We’re not Muslim and we don’t celebrate Ramzan/ Ramadan, but we do enjoy good bread. The Turkish Ramzan Pide is also known as Ramzan Pidesi or Pide Ekmeği. This flatbread is decorated with a criss-cross/ diamond shaped quilt-like pattern and topped with sesame seeds and Nigella seeds.
Regular Turkish Pide is a boat shaped flatbread that is topped with different kinds of fillings, including meat, vegetables or cheese. The Turkish Ramzan Pide has a patterned top and no fillings. This Pide is most popular in Turkey during the Iftars when they’re sold at all the local bakeries.
Pide is flatbread found across Turkey. No one is very sure about its origins. Some suggest that it is a version of the Tokalak, a flatbread eaten by the Ottomans. Others believe the flatbread was invented to stretch food during the 1920s in war ridden Turkey.
My Turkish Ramzan Pide baking has a story behind it. I first came across it way back when I first started blogging on some Middle Eastern/ Eastern European food blogs. I wasn’t much of a bread baker in those days. Last week, Finla who is a good friend and really good bread baker posted on Instagram a bread her sister baked. She mentioned it was very good and was planning to try her hand at it.
I decided to join her. She shared her recipe and being me, I naturally made some changes to it. Not too many changes though. We decided to bake it on a Friday but ended up doing it on Thursday by mistake. We both lost track of the days and got confused thanks to lockdowns in the present pandemic situation. All’s well that ends well as both of us ended up with beautiful and delicious loaves of flatbreads.
This flatbread has a crispy crust and it’s soft inside. I understand that one of the best ways to eat this Pide is, warm from the oven, with butter and cheese in it. Personally, I need nothing more than a steaming hot cup of filter coffee or strong ginger or masala tea to dip my Pide in.
Turkish Ramzan Pide
For the Dough :
- 1 cup of water (little less or more as required)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 1/4 tsp active dried yeast
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 3/4 flour a little more if required
- 1/2 tsp salt
- A little semolina or coarse corn meal for baking sheet
For the Wash:
- 1 1/2 tsp milk
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- sesame seeds and nigella seeds to sprinkle
- Lightly warm half of the water. Stir in the sugar and yeast and set aside for 10 minutes till frothy. In a large bowl or mixing bowl of your machine, add the flour, olive oil, salt and the frothy yeast mixture. Mix well. Add the remaining water, a little at a time, and knead well until you have a soft and slightly sticky dough.
- Shape the dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, turning to coat well with oil. Cover loosely and let it rise till double in size. This should take an hour to an hour and a half.
- Use your palm to flatten the dough into a flat rounded shape, Then using your fingers flatten the dough further into a thinner and larger round like a pizza. Sprinkle your baking sheet with semolina or coarse corn meal. Otherwise line with parchment paper.
- Transfer the flat round of dough onto the baking sheet. Brush with wash mixture of milk and oil. You can add an egg yolk to this mixture for an egg wash, if you prefer. Cover loosely with a cotton kitchen towel and let it rise for about 30 minutes.
- Using your fingers, or the end of a wooden spoon, press out indentations to create a round border about an inch and half away from the outer edge of the dough. Then create a criss-cross/ diamond quilt like pattern within the border.
- Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds and nigella seeds. Bake at 190C (375F) for about 20 minutes, till it is done and golden brown in colour. Do not overcook or the bread will dry out. Cool on a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.