WHAT IS A BAZLAMA?
This is a traditional flat bread native to Turkey. In appearance it’s similar to an Indian naan. In their native Turkey, villages will cook them over a wood fire. Interestingly the size of the wood fire is not consistent, and varies in proportion to the size of the family. Much like with a pita an air pocket forms which makes them perfect for stuffing! Normally this bread is served with a side of hummus or other spread. It’s considered a quick and easy recipe to make for breakfast or a quick snack. However in those cases since the dough needs to sit for a bit it’s best to make it the night before. Or you can make the dough and freeze it (after it’s had a chance to sit for an hour) in individual portions ready for baking.
WHERE ARE THE BEST BAZLAMA MADE?
The interesting secret to this particular flatbread is that in addition to the standard ingredients of flour, water, sugar, salt, and yeast, sometimes yogurt is added! This gives both a richer flavor and softer texture to the bread. In terms of where, this bread is best eaten fresh out of the rock oven, so wherever is closest is best. However if you’re lucky enough to be traveling in Turkey Zenger Paşa Konağı in Ankara and Havva in Yalikavak are famous. In the States Barcha in San Francisco is also well known for their traditional bazlama.
WHAT KIND OF FLOUR AND STARTER SHOULD I USE?
Instant yeast and all purpose flour are fine for this durable disk. To check out a recipe on how to make one click here!
HOW SHOULD A BAZLAMA BE STORED?
It can keep for up to a week at room temperature. Bazlama can also be frozen for up to 3 months (stored in a zip lock bag to prevent freezer-burn). To re-heat them when frozen, don’t thaw them out. Instead pop them directly into an already hot oven (375 F / 191 C ) for about 5 minutes. Of if they’ve been sitting out at room temperature or in a refrigerator, put some oil in a skillet and quickly heat them up on a stove.
WHY IS BAZLAMA OFTEN CALLED VILLAGE BREAD?
For those of us living in a major city with a modern kitchen, rock ovens are at best a rare addition! While much like with other recipes a stove-top or oven is a decent substitute. But much like with indoor barbecue, it doesn’t yield quite the same flavor.