Easy Turkish bread is fluffy, airy, and so easy to make. The dough is pan fried in a skillet until bubbly then topped with olive oil, parsley, and red pepper flake to finish. Make this delicious Turkish bread in no time.Jump to Recipe
I'm confident this is an extremely easy Turkish flat bread recipe. If you've never made homemade Turkish bread or any type of bread for that matter, don't worry because this recipe is almost fool proof.
Don’t worry about owning a bread machine or having fancy baking equipment, all you need is a skillet and your hands. If you have an electric mixer then that will make it a bit easier because there's some kneading involved. However, this isn't totally necessary.
This easy Turkish bread recipe is total comfort food and will have your home smelling so good. Serve this for dinner as a side or as an appetizer at a family get together. Top with various herbs and flavored oils of your choice!
- Why You'll Love Turkish Bread
- What Is Turkish Bread?
- What's The Difference Between Turkish Bread and American Bread?
- Turkish Bread History
- What You Need to Make Turkish Bread
- Does The Type of Flour Matter in Turkish Bread?
- How To Cook Turkish Bread
- Tips for Making Turkish Bread
- Ways to Garnish Turkish Bread
- How to Serve Turkish Bread
- Storing Turkish Bread
- The Easiest Turkish Bread
Why You'll Love Turkish Bread
- This recipe is extremely easy to make, especially with an electric mixer. It's just a matter of mixing everything together and allowing the dough to rise before pan frying. Prep time only takes about 15 minutes and cook time takes about 15 as well. Most of the time is spent letting the dough rise.
- The most simple ingredients are used to make the Turkish bread. Since everything is homemade you don't have to worry about preservatives that are found in store-bought breads.
- This recipe uses measurements that are easy and straight forward. If you don't own a baker's scale don't worry because everything has been converted to cups and tablespoons. I’m aware that in the baking world this might be kind of taboo since measuring the ingredients with a scale is one of the best and most accurate ways to bake. However, I wanted this recipe to be extremely simple and one that anyone could make. I've made this recipe a few times and it turned out great each time so I'm confident in it.
- No need to buy a bread maker or a special stove to make this delicious Turkish bread, all you need is a skillet and your stove top. With one flip it'll be done in no time.
What Is Turkish Bread?
Bread (ekmek) is a very big part of Turkish and middle eastern cuisine. It’s typically eaten almost daily and is served as a side, an appetizer, or can even be the main dish. Turkish bread is known for its versatility.
There is a wide variety of Turkish bread you'll see found in this cuisine. There are many names and many types of Turkish bread. Some common Turkish bread types you’ll find are the following:
Types of Turkish Bread
- Pide Emek - also known as Turkish pide bread a baked round or oval bread occasionally topped with poppy seeds, nigella seeds, and sesame seeds. It's a dense flatbread that’s commonly enjoyed by soaking up sauces and soups and it's widely available in Turkey. Pide is a delicious variety of Turkish bread with cheese.
- Ramazan Pidesi - a soft leavened bread that’s round and flat. It's typically made with a weave pattern then topped with sesame and or nigella seeds. This bread is also baked.
- Mısır Ekmeği - cornbread made with cornmeal similar to the cornbread made in the South
- Pita Bread - a leavened flatbread widely known for its pocket. Can be pan fried or baked.
- Simit - a ring shaped brained bread roll topped with sesame seeds.
- Yufka - a round or oval flat bread. Typically baked on a hot plate and is made from unleavened dough.
- Lavas - bread made from risen dough. They are oval in shape and are thin and crispy. They tend to puff up and are also known as balloon bread.
- Bazlama - a flat circular or oval leavened bread, traditionally cooked in a stone oven. It's great toasted and commonly served for breakfast or lunch.
The Turkish bread in this recipe resembles both the pide and pita. This bread is a leavened Turkish flat bread pan fried in a skillet. Small pockets and bubbles form leaving a soft, airy bread that's eaten alone or topped with olive oil and herbs.
This variety of Turkish flatbread recipesbread recipe is not quite as airy with large pockets like a pita but is more on the dense side with smaller air bubbles. I like to serve it as an appetizer with olive oil and herbs or alongside soup using it to scoop up hearty broth.
What's The Difference Between Turkish Bread and American Bread?
There are quite a few key differences between Turkish breads and American bread. We must first establish that there are so many different types of bread within each region of America and Turkey. If we take a closer look at cultures we’ll see that there are key differences.
Freshness and quality are a huge priority in Turkey. Bakeries often times have lines out the door as bread is freshly baked for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Some bakeries sell out within minutes of opening. Recipes are passed down for centuries.
For some context on this one piece of Turkish bread is equivalent to 3-4 pieces of regular sliced bread. It’s made to feed a family. With that Turkish bread loafs are larger and Turkish bread calories can stack up quickly since many times the bread is served with oil or butter.
Homemade bread is very special in Turkey because of the Islamic culture. It is believed that bread sustains life and protecting life is sacred. Bread in Turkey is more than just food. Authentic Turkish bread is not commonly made with preservatives found in pre-packaged bread.
In America, these types of bakeries aren’t found in most regions. While some households see bread as a staple, sometimes eating it 2-3 times a day, society as a whole has placed a stigma around bread being unhealthy and having too many carbs. Bread is found packaged and can be a couple days old before eating. Store-bought bread often contain preservatives to prevent mold and increase shelf life.
As time progresses it has become easier and more convenient to incorporate bread into your diet. For example, bread is often reheated in the oven in the form of dinner rolls, garlic bread, or other varieties. It also comes pre-sliced in a package ready for toast or sandwiches.
Turkish Bread History
Bread has been a part of Turkish culture for a very long time. During the Turkish Empire, Turkish bakers believed that Adam, after leaving the Garden of Eden, was the Patron Saint of bakers who was taught to bake from the Archangel Gabriel. It’s still believed that Turkish bakers’ ancestors mastered their art of baking from Adam. They also believe that this is why Turkish bread is known to be some of the best in the world.
What You Need to Make Turkish Bread
Flour - I used an all purpose flour for this recipe
Milk - using warm milk is recommended because it activates the yeast
Water - warm water is also best because again it activates the yeast
Salt - just a little for flavor
Active Dry Yeast - for the airiness we all love in bread
Olive Oil - for flavor and to prevent sticking
Does The Type of Flour Matter in Turkish Bread?
If you're wondering if the type of flour used matters, well it sort of does but it depends on the flour you're referring to. Certain flours are going to make more of a difference in the Turkish bread than others. Below is a list of the different types of flour you can use and how they will impact the Turkish bread.
All purpose flour - also known as plain flour. Turkish baking uses all purpose flour. All purpose flour is a medium gluten white flour made for baking all types of baked goods including bread. This is what's used in this recipe and it turned out great.
Bread flour - has a higher protein content than all purpose which allows bread to rise high. This would give your Turkish bread the airiness and softness it needs. Bread flour is great to use in this Turkish bread recipe. However, I have not done it so I can't say how it would turn out. What I do know is that the increased protein could result in a drier dough so you may need to add more water.
Gluten free flour - If you're looking to make this gluten free you may be able to use a gluten free flour. Be sure to choose a 1 to 1 gluten free flour for an easy substitution with minimal ingredient additions and substitutions to make this work. Again, I have not tried to make Turkish bread recipe with gluten free flour but if you decide to do this let me know how it works for you!
How To Cook Turkish Bread
Step 1. In a large bowl whisk flour, salt, and yeast. Add warm milk and water. Mix until liquid is absorbed.
Step 2. Add olive oil and knead on a work surface or in an electric mixture for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth.
Step 3. Form the dough into a ball and cover with an additional tbsp olive oil. Set aside in a warm place and let prove covered for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Step 4. Once the dough has risen cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and roll into a ball.
Step 5. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin until thin. Place in a heated skillet and let cook for around 3 minutes. Flip then cook for a remaining 3 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed if the bread is getting too dark.
Step 6. Once done, place on a cooling rack to cool. Garnish with olive oil, hot pepper flake, parsley, sweet paprika or smashed roasted garlic.
Tips for Making Turkish Bread
- Be sure to knead for the whole 10 minutes. Kneading is an extremely important part of making Turkish bread. Kneading stretches and develops the gluten in the dough. Without kneading or trying to short cut this process will lead to a deflated, flat dough.
- Consider using your oven to prove the dough. I love using this method and find that it works quicker and more efficiently than leaving the dough on a cold counter. To do this preheat your oven to 200 degrees for about 1-2 minutes then turn it off. Place the dough in the warm oven covered for about 45-60 minutes. I suggest checking it at 45 minutes and giving it that extra 15 minutes if needed.
- As the Turkish bread is cooking on the stove, continue monitoring the heat if needed. Check the bottom of the flatbread before flipping and adjust if you notice it cooking too fast or getting too dark.
- Use the right yeast. This recipe calls for active dry yeast. Make sure it’s stored in a cool location or refrigerated if the container has been opened prior. Be sure to pay attention to the expiration date. A yeast that’s inactive or expired will leave you with a flatbread that's dense and flat without the airiness.
Ways to Garnish Turkish Bread
- Olive oil - use a high quality brand, drizzle a little over the top with some fresh herbs or dip the Turkish bread into the olive oil. It not only adds flavor but it makes the bread rich and delicious.
- Hot pepper flake - for those of you who love some spice and added heat
- Parsley - for fresh green flavor, this is my favorite herb to use with this Turkish bread
- Green onion or chives - adds bright onion flavor, pairs well with olive oil
- Paprika - for added color and flavor, choose a sweet paprika, this is my personal favorite
- Roasted Garlic - consider roasting a head of garlic with olive oil in the oven then rubbing it onto the Turkish bread for added flavor for all you garlic lovers out there
How to Serve Turkish Bread
- On its own as a side with olive oil and garnish
- With soup to use and dip in the hearty broth
- With curry — try this delicious chicken curry recipe!
- As an appetizer with dips
Storing Turkish Bread
Turkish bread can be stored once cooled in an airtight container or plastic bag at room temperature for up to 3 days. When you're ready to eat serve at room temperature or consider reheating in the microwave for up to 30 seconds if you prefer to serve the bread warm.
For longer term storage Turkish bread can be stored in an airtight plastic bag for up to 2 months. When you're ready to serve the bread thaw at room temperature, once thawed consider reheating in a microwave or in a 350 degree oven for 10 minutes while wrapped in aluminum to preserve freshness.
The Easiest Turkish Bread
- 3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 packages active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil plus more
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- hot pepper flake
- chopped parsley
- sweet paprika
- smashed roasted garlic
- In a large bowl whisk flour, salt, and yeast. Add warm milk and water. Mix until the liquid is absorbed by the flour mixture.
- Add olive oil and knead for about 10 minutes until the dough is smooth.
- Form the dough into a ball and cover with an additional tbsp olive oil. Set aside in a warm place and let prove covered for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
- Once the dough has risen cut the dough into 6 equal pieces and roll into a ball.
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Roll out the dough using a rolling pin until thin. Place in a heated skillet and let cook for around 3 minutes. Flip then cook for a remaining 3 minutes. Adjust the heat as needed if the bread is getting too dark.
- Once done, place on a cooling rack to cool. Garnish with olive oil, hot pepper flake, parsley, sweet paprika or smashed roasted garlic.