Traditional gözleme pie

Seasonal recipe with private chef Christos

Gözleme is a traditional savoury Turkish flatbread or pastry filled with meat, spinach, feta and lots of herbs.

Pan fried until golden and crispy, then cut into grabbable-size pieces with lemon wedges on the side.

There are many variations of gözleme but this is my version with spinach and Greek feta cheese.

A lot of rolling and folding goes into making gözleme, but one bite of this Turkish flatbread and all the hard work will be forgotten.

The best part is that this recipe comes complete with an easy homemade pastry, prepared from scratch and it only requires few ingredients.

You can cook the gözleme in a cast iron pan for breakfast, snack or these are a summertime BBQ favourite. Try if you can to cook these on the flat side of the BBQ –there’s more space than a skillet so you can cook multiple gözlemes at the same time, or in a pizza oven if you have one.

The filling is entirely up to you, it can be any leftover food (as long as it’s not very wet). Sunday lunch chopped the veg and the meat and mix them with Abergavenny goat’s cheese or feta cheese for extra tangyness or either leftover curry which you have drained the juices.

For a sweet version you can add some sugar to the dough if you wish and stuffed them with banana and Nutella or sugar and lemon. I know that is not a traditional gözleme but is not hurting to learn to make it and keep adapting with the filling. 

The Gözleme dough

Gözleme pastry is possibly the easiest flatbread in the world because:

  • It’s traditionally made without yeast
  • Only requires 4 ingredients: flour, olive oil, salt and water
  • You can use a stand mixer or food processor

The dough is very easy to work with – easy to roll out, (unlike rock hard fridge-cold supermarket pastry) to pull and stretch into the shape that you want and patch up accidental tears

Spinach and Feta Filling for Gözleme

 I couldn’t resist to give my gözleme a Greek twist and use my filling for my spanakopita

Usually with spanakopita I will cook the spinach and leave it to cool down before adding the rest of the ingredients.

In this case for the flat bread I will just scrunch the spinach (with my hands) to wilt it down slightly. It makes it much easier to stuff the flatbread when the spinach is compacted down. Trying to enclose a huge pile of green fluffage with thin pastry is not fun.

Be careful: 

Don’t make them too big. The bigger you make them the more you risk to be uncooked or drop them

Press out air pockets, no trapped heat ballooning = flatter = crispier

Transfer to a cast iron pan – slide onto a pizza paddle or similar, then slide into the skillet. Once cooked, it’s crisp enough to scoop up with a spatula

Make sure they fit comfortably in the cast iron pan, you don’t want them hanging out of the pan

Don’t skimp on oil – if you want the crispiest, most golden pastry, now is not the time to be counting calories! (Besides, remember that extra virgin olive oil is better for you)

Ingredients

GöZLEME PASTRY:

  • 375g plain flour
  • 85ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 185ml water
  • 1/2 tsp salt

COOKING / SERVING:

  • 1 – 1.5 tbsp olive oil, per gözleme
  • Lemon wedges

SPINACH & FETA:

  • 300g baby spinach
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 300g Greek feta
  • 200g grated kefalotyri or Parmesan cheese

Instructions

PASTRY: (pics above)

Fit stand mixer with dough hook. Combine flour, oil, salt and water in the stand mixer bowl. Mix for 2.5 minutes on medium high speed 7 until smooth. Dough should be a pliable, smooth ball, not sticky.

Cover and rest for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle work surface with flour. Cut dough into 4 pieces.

Roll out into 35cm/14″ x 20cm/8″ rectangle.

SPINACH FETA FILLING: (pics right)

Place spinach, garlic, egg and pepper in a bowl. Scrunch with hands to reduce volume and make spinach “floppy”.

Add feta and stir through.

MAKING GOZLEME: (pics below)

Spread filling on half the pastry, pushing to the edge. Sprinkle spinach and feta with cheese.

Fold other side of pastry over to cover filling. Press down edges, pressing out excess air pockets trapped inside as you go. Use water if needed to seal well.

Sprinkle flour on a round pizza paddle (Slide gözleme onto paddle).

COOKING: (pics below)

Heat 1.5 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.

Slide gözleme into cast iron pan. Cook, lightly pressing down (including edges), until deep golden and crispy – about 3 minutes. Flip and cook, pressing down lightly, until crispy.

SERVING:

Transfer to cutting board. Cut into 6 or 8 pieces.

Serve immediately with lemon wedges, if desired.

 

 

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