Anatolian flat breads with spinach and cheese – Ispanakli Peynirli Gozleme

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Anatolian flat breads with spinach and cheese – Ispanakli Peynirli Gozleme

These delicious stuffed flat breads are made with a variety of fillings. My favourites are spinach with cheese, and minced/ground meat with onions. Gozleme is cooked on a hot griddle and being a popular street food, there are always gozleme stalls in markets and cafes. Enjoy gozleme with a glass of Turkish tea, cay, or our traditional yoghurt drink, ayran.

This recipe is for dear David and Claire, for their love of Turkish cuisine.

Makes 5 gozleme

450g/1lb all-purpose/plain flour
7g/1 sachet instant dried yeast
Pinch of salt
45ml/3 tablespoons olive oil
30ml/2 tablespoons plain whole milk yoghurt
270ml/9fl oz warm water (150ml/5fl oz warm water to be mixed with the yeast)

For the filling:

200g/7oz baby spinach leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes or chili flakes
230g/8oz feta cheese
15ml/1 tablespoon olive oil

A wide non-stick pan or griddle to cook the gozleme
Combine about 150ml/ 5fl oz warm water, yeast and a pinch of salt in a small bowl and stir to dissolve. Stand it in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles form on the surface.

Sift the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast, water and salt mixture, olive oil, yoghurt and the remaining warm water. Using your hand, draw in the flour from the sides and work the mixture into a dough. Knead thoroughly to form a soft dough. If it gets sticky, have a little olive oil in your hands to shape the dough. Divide the dough into 5 pieces, knead and roll into balls. Place the balls on a floured surface, cover with a damp cloth and leave to rest for 1 hour, or until the dough is doubled in size.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Chop the washed spinach leaves roughly. Knead the onions, spinach, olive oil and red pepper flakes for a few minutes. Stir in the feta cheese and combine well.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out each of the balls of the dough with a rolling pin into thin, flat rounds, about 40cm/16in diameter. Sprinkle a little flour as you roll the dough so that the dough won’t stick. Roll until you achieve a thin sheet of a flat round.

Fold the top and bottom sides of the dough in a way for the edges to meet in the middle.  Spread about 2 ½ tablespoons filling into the middle part of this flat sheet. Then fold the right and left edges over the filling, making sure all the filling is safely covered. Press the edges together well to seal. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the dough balls.

Heat a griddle or a non-stick pan, and brush one side of the gozleme with a little olive oil and place on the pan to cook for about 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown. Brush the uncooked side with a little olive oil and then flip it over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown. Cook the rest of the gozleme the same way.

Brush both cooked sides of gozleme with a little olive oil – this will keep the gozleme moist. You can either roll the gozleme to serve, or you can cut in halves or quarters.

Afiyet Olsun.

Source: Ozlem’s Turkish Table