If the table is ready, mezzes are made and rakı is poured in glasses, the eyes look for a basket of bread. Toasted bread slices come to the table and with the contest of picking the first slice starts. In the end, everyone at the table shares what is in the basket. Mezzes are taken to plates, and with the glasses raised, the feast begins. It doesn't matter which dishes are on the table, especially for Turkish tables bread is very important because it is also a symbol of sharing.
So, what do you say to make bread by yourself this time, instead of buying? Dream about the joy of making something for the people you love to share, and the journey of fresh bread coming out of the oven. Smells delicious! Don't say 'but it's too hard', because we've got three bread recipes in different difficulties, all very tasty.
With a quick online research, it is possible to reach hundreds of bread recipes to make at home. However, it is tricky to trust all of them. To make things easier for you, we've listed our favorite trio. If you are up for a challenge, try the delicious sourdough bread. If you're looking for easier options, you can make pita bread or no-knead bread.
Let's start with an easy choice. Yes, you've read it right, it is possible to make bread without kneading. Here is the no-knead bread recipe:
Add all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix them well and make dough. Cover the dough with a plastic wrap and leave aside for 8-12 hours. Preheat the oven to 240 degrees and put a cast iron pot inside. Flour your hands and the counter, then angle the glass bowl to the surface to get your dough out. Don't knead or flatten but simply shape it roundly and place it on a baking sheet. Take the pot from the oven and gently place your dough with the baking sheet in the pot. Cover with the lid and put it back in the oven for 30 minutes. Then take the lid off, turn down the heat to 220 degrees for 15 more minutes. Voila! Take your bread from the pot with the help of a spoon and place it on the grill to cool off. Your bread is ready to serve!
If you can resist the crispy crust and the fluffy inside and do not finish your no-knead bread, it will stale just like other breads after 2-3 days. When this happens, you can toast those slices and serve along mezzes, or you can use it as an ingredient for muhammara. Take a look at here for a delicious muhammara recipe.
After watching the video below, you will see how to make a fluffy pita bread to serve in any table. Just click the play button and learn pita making step by step.
Bonus: You can have a Levantine Feast, if you also make falafel, next to your pita bread.
The reason why sourdough bread is challenging is the preparation time. You can make your sourdough in a few days or purchase it. Then you will need some time for the fermentation process too. Trust us, it is worth all the effort for the unique taste and smell of sourdough.
Here is the sourdough bread recipe:
Mix the flour, whole wheat flour and salt. In a separate bowl, mix 350 ml water and 200gr sourdough. Add this mix to the flour mix and once again mix the whole thing with a wooden spoon. Take the dough on the counter. Lift the dough gently from the corners, pat it on the counter and fold from the sides. After every 5-6 times you pat the dough, check the bottom and scrape the dough that might've stuck on the counter. Do this for 7-8 mins and the dough will be ready and smooth.
Take your dough to a large bowl and cower it with a damp cloth. It will wait aside for 2.5 hours but every 30 mins, lift half of the dough and fold it under. Do it for 3-4 times and leave it for the next 30 mins.
After 2.5 hours of resting, place the dough on the counter you floured. Stretch it to a square. Fold the two opposite sides inwards. Now your dough should look like a rectangle. Roll your dough from one short side to the other. Use a scraper to smooth the corners. Place the dough on a floured cloth, then in a bowl. Leave the dough for 5-6 hours in room temperature. You can also leave it in the fridge overnight. If you decide to put it in the fridge, make sure you take the dough out an hour before baking it.
Take the cloth off and flip the dough on a cutting board. Use a brush to scrape the extra flour. Make shallow cuts with a knife. Heat the oven to 260 degrees. Place the oven stone on the bottom (if you have one, or you can use the back of an oven tray). Then place the bread in the oven. In order to create a humid environment, spray some water on the bread or, fill a metal bowl with water and place it in the oven too. Your bread will bake in 40 mins but make sure you check it in the last 10 mins. When it's ready, remove it from the oven. You may want to cut it right after, but wait for it to cool down so the inside won't get doughy again. Take your time, enjoy your bread.
No matter which one you choose, the bread that you made is now sits along mezzes and being shared by the people you love. Think about this joyous moment and roll up your sleeves. You can order anything you need for bread, and your Yeni Rakı from online shops, without leaving your home.
Share, savor and enjoy!
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