We used to live by Broadway Market in Hackney and pretty much every day, I would call by the local Turkish store to pick up a loaf of this Turkish flatbread known as pide ekmeği or ramazan pidesi. I love its light, chewy texture, the natural sweetness of the dough and the nutty, super-umami finish of the seeds; it makes a brilliant accompaniment to the mezze table because the crust is robust and the doughy centre sucks up all the flavours on your plate. Its only drawback is that it goes stale very quickly but that’s OK because you can use leftovers to make fattoush, a Levantine bread salad made from toasted or fried pieces of flatbread combined with mixed greens and other vegetables. This recipe is enough to make two loaves so bake one today and leave the dough in a covered bowl in the fridge to bake in a couple of days. The addition of the olive oil and egg yolk glaze scattered wtith sesame and super savoury nigella seeds makes this bread deeply satisfying and absolutely irresistible. Let’s just say that we don’t get to eat too much fattoush in our home.
For the dough:
500g pizza flour, I recommend Divella 00
1 tsp fine sea salt
x1 7g sachet of dried yeast
1 tsp natural unrefined golden caster sugar
For the glaze and garnish:
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp nigella seeds
Half tsp of sea salt flakes
How I make it
To make the dough, mix together the flour and sea salt in a large bowl and make a well in the middle.
Add the yeast and sugar to 325ml lukewarm water, mix together and leave to bubble for a few minutes, before pouring into the well. Mix everything together until you get a rough dough.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface (preferably marble or granite because their natural coolness makes a real difference to the kneading process). Knead for 10 minutes until you have a smooth, springy, soft dough and place in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm and leave to rise to double in size (I usually leave it out all day).
When you’re ready to bake, heat an oven to 230C.
Tip the dough onto a lightly floured surface and cut it in half. Place one half back in the oiled bowl, cover and store in the fridge for up to two days.
Meanwhile, on a non-stick baking tray, stretch the remaining half of the dough to fit. Cover with a damp cloth and leave for around 15 minutes.
Remove the cloth and use your fingers to make a few irregular indents in the dough – as you would if you were making focaccia – to capture the glaze and seeds.
Whisk the egg yolk with the oil in a bowl and brush over the top of the dough making sure that you’ve covered as much of the surface area as you can. Sprinkle liberally with a mixture of the seeds and sea salt.
Bake in the oven for around 10 minutes, removing it when the crust is golden brown. Cool for a few minutes on a wire rack and serve warm.