Sunday, September 14, 2008

Turkish Ridged Flat Bread (Pide)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

First, let me say how happy I am to be baking bread again, instead of pie in a cereal bowl, especially when Pinknest made the same pie and it turned out perfectly. Not that I begrudge her this pie success. Not at all.
Second, I didn't blog last week, but not because I was in a jealous snit. Although perhaps I was. I was visiting my daughter, who's in her first year of residency at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. (Yes, that's a Frida Kahlo picture). Detroit is not only famous for Henry Ford and his eponymous hospital, but also for the Diego Rivera room at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
But back in Minneapolis, there was bread to be made.
Jim and I were invited by a friend for a "turkey dinner." At first I thought she was going to have Thanksgiving early, but she and another friend had spent three weeks in Turkey last spring, and they wanted us to experience some authentic Turkish food, at least as authentic as it could be several thousand miles away. I said I'd bring bread. I'd already made simit, alternately called a "Turkish croissant" or a "Turkish bagel," but I'd already made that and I wanted something different.
So I Googled Turkish bread, and got this great recipe from Paula Wolfert from the May 2007 edition of Food and Wine.
How could you not like it? It starts with a sponge that rests and rises overnight,
so you know it will have great flavor;

it's a recipe from Paula Wolfert, who is the queen of Mediterranean cooking, and it's a flat bread that puffs up during baking.
Also, it's got a white flour to whole wheat flour ratio of about 7 to 1. (I'm sorry, I know that I should be a bigger fan of 100% whole-wheat bread, but I really like this better. It makes a stiff dough, but not too stiff to handle.

After the bread slowly rises, it's divided into four pieces, each weighing 267 grams. (Well, that part's not in the directions, but when I weigh things, I feel like I'm in charge. Maybe if I'd weighed the pie dough? No--forget the pie dough, already!)
Each piece of dough is flattened into a shape more or less oval and more or less eight inches by ten inches. Then you make ridges with your fingers and sprinkle the top with sesame seeds (or nigella seeds, if you have them, which I didn't). The ridges are very definite in the unbaked dough,

but it puffed up enough during baking to make them less so.

I'm sure this bread has a name other than Turkish Ridged Flat Bread, and I wish I knew what it was, but it was quite good--crispy and chewy at the same time. (Thanks to knowledgeable reader Aparna, I now know it's called pide). The recipe made four loaves of flat bread, and each of them had a different shape and slightly different texture because of the differences in length and height.
Okay, so it's bread and not pie. So it'll never make it on a dessert tray, unlike Pinknest's beautiful rum cream pie. But it's an honest loaf of bread, with good, honest American small-town values. (Never mind. I forgot for a minute that the Republican National Convention has left town. I don't have to say that any more).


jini said...

dear marie......queen of bread, let that bowl of pie go already! :) you were creative enough to recognize that it would probably taste good even if its shape and texture was a bit quirky, so it was really a success, sort of. the bread looks very interesting, so maybe i should try bread baking again?
what was included in the rest of the turkey dinner???

Aparna said...

This has come out very well indeed. I do believe Turkish Flatbread is called Pide.

Melinda said...

I agree with Gini. You are the amateur queen of bread making and that is really saying something!
Your Turkish flat bread looks great!

breadbasketcase said...

Aw, I'm just having fun. I don't even feel bad about my liquified pie. And I love my Turkish flatbread. The rest of the dinner was excellent--heavy on the eggplant, which Jim has always claimed to hate, but he admitted that he liked everything. Two appetizers, one a caponata and the other one goat cheese, walnuts, figs, and olives. Eggplant stuffed with rice and sausage, the aforementioned bread, white beans and tomatoes, and a cucumber, tomato and yogurt salad. Dessert was baklava and two other pastries that were not identified by name--one a sort of cream of wheat and honey thing and the other a phyllo dough filled with cheese and topped with pistachios.

Thanks for the information--for some reason, I feel much better knowing the name.

Well, it's always nice to be called queen of something, even if it is an amateur queen. And when is your next blog entry coming? No entry yet for pecan doorstop (oops, I mean bread) or for rum cream pie. You're falling behind, my friend.

Melinda said...

(I know.)

evil cake lady said...

Yes BBC, you are definitely the Queen of Bread! Your flat bread looks really yummy. All that ever gets served at middle eastern restaurants here is pita bread. I wonder how this Turkish flat bread differs in taste and texture?
Now we just have to wait for Melinda's pie...hello? Melinda?
What shall we bake next BBC?

breadbasketcase said...

No pressure.

The Turkish flat bread is a lot different than pita--it's thicker and has more of a "bread"-like texture. It's thin enough to tear apart, like pita, but not so thin that it balloons into a pocket.
It's your turn, so choose a project. I'm game for anything (that sounds like I'm leaving myself wide open for something I don't want to do).

jini said...

edesia on soup this monday.....see you there?

Jude said...

Very nice.. I love the rows of seeds in the baked product. Paula Wolfert is always a great source for recipes.

breadbasketcase said...

I liked the rows of seeds too. I agree about Paula Wolfert, although some of her recipes are a bit intimidating. This one wasn't scary at all.

Anonymous said...

This bread is usually eaten with honey or a melted butter brushed/dipped. I used to eat this in Turkey with a spicy Turkish chicken dish. Can't recall the name of it now. But the loaves where as long as the table (8') and served 6 folks with dinner.