Binnur's Turkish Cookbook - Delicious, healthy and easy-to-make Ottoman & Turkish recipes

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Turkish Rustic Bread

(Köy Ekmeği)

Turkish Rustic Bread
Sourdough Starter:
1/4 + 1/4 + 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3 tbsp + 3 tbsp + 2 tbsp warm water

7 gr or 8 gr (1 packet) instant yeast
1 tsp sugar
1/4 cup warm water

3 cup flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
1 cup warm water

Getting the starter going takes a few days. On the first day, mix 1/4 cup flour with 3 tbsp warm water in a bowl very well and cover. Let it sit at room temperature.

On the second day, add 1/4 flour and 3 tbsp warm water, mix very well, cover. Let it sit at room temperature.

On the third day, add 1/4 cup flour and 2 tbsp warm water, mix well. Let it sit at room temperature.

The starter will be ready on the fourth day. In a small bowl, mix the yeast, sugar and 1/4 cup warm water. Stir well so the yeast dissolves. Let it rest for 10 minutes - it will become bubbly (picture).

Sift the flour and salt in a large bowl. Add the bubbly yeast mixture, 1 cup warm water and the sourdough starter. Mix and put the dough on the lightly floured counter and knead well for about 10 minutes until it becomes smooth.

Place the dough on a floured tray, sprinkle some flour over it (picture) and cover with a clean kitchen cloth. Let it stand in a warm spot*. After 2 hours the dough will double in size (picture).

Place the dough on the lightly floured counter. Press all over it with your hands to get rid of air bubbles (picture). Knead for about 3 minutes and give it an oval shape (picture). Sprinkle some flour all over, cover it with a clean kitchen cloth, and put aside for about 40-45 minutes until the dough doubles again in size.

If you have a pizza peel, sprinkle some cornmeal on it. If not, place parchment paper on an oven tray and sprinkle some cornmeal or some flour on it. Then gently arrange the loaf on it. With a razor or very sharp knife make a few 1 cm deep slashes on the dough (picture) for the steam to come out.

Preheat the oven to 425 F and put some hot water in an oven-safe bowl. Place it at the bottom of the oven. Place the tray on the middle rack. Bake for about 40 minutes. Place the Turkish Bread on the wire rack to cool it. Then slice and serve.

* I turn the oven 175 C for 5 minutes and then off. After 5 minutes it was warm enough to make the dough double in size so I placed the tray in the oven for 2 hours:)



At 10:54 PM, Blogger Rachel said...

The bread looks lovely!

At 3:38 AM, Blogger Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

I love that bread! I generally make it flat and round...

Yours looks fine.

At 8:59 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Rachel and Rosa:)
Thank you very much, yeah it can be also a round shape. Both ways I
love to have it with Feta cheese, black olives and tomato slices with
the bread dipped in extra virgin olive oil! Also I usually kep Turkish
Tea nearby:)

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this recipe. I intend to master it and enjoy Turkish bread (ekmek) for years to come. Your email friend, Chris

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Chris,
Thanks for reminding me to post this because I hadn't made it in a
long time and missed it :) In the future I will post more varieties of

At 7:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been waiting for the recipe for a traditional turkish bread (i'm guessing it is traditional turkish). Thank you very much for it and thanks for making it sound so easy:)

At 7:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

one more thing...does the tray have to be covered while baking?

At 8:38 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Joanna,
Thank you, it is really easy to make:) This is the traditional Turkish sourdough bread. And it has a pleasant sour flavour that I like so much:)
Yes, I placed parchment paper on the oven tray, thanks for asking,
because I forgot to write it down:)

At 6:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Binnur,

Do you know how to make non-sourdough ekmek, like they do in Istanbul? I make my own white bread at home, but it never comes out as fluffy inside, as the Turkish bread. Unfortunately, I have not found a recipe that explains how to make it... unless, it just isn't possible with our home ovens?

Thank you,

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Lynette,
I do have a non-sourdough ekmek recipe. I will post it soon:)

At 1:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur,

I love your recipes. I just discovered your website a few weeks ago. I made this bread and really enjoyed it. Could you please post the non sour dough recipe for traditional Turkish ekmek? I really love it and haven't been able to find a good recipe.

Thank you,

At 11:15 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Karen,
Thank you, I am glad you like the recipes:) I am going to post the
traditional ekmek recipe soon. It is really hard to get exactly the
same taste. I think the difference comes from the flour. But I make my
own ekmek and we love it:)

At 11:32 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Binnur,
I'm thrilled to find your web site. I lived in Turkey in the 60s and 70s. We always loved the chore of walking to the "firin" specially during ramazan when there would be "pide". We would buy extra to eat on the way home. Thanks, Evan

At 5:44 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Evan,
My childhood memories are filled with times from the 60s, then 70s I
was a teenager and these years were the best teenager years I could imagine in Turkey. Pide or Turkish bread, I always finished one corner on the way back home from firin:) Always enjoyed spreading delicious butter on the corner of a freshly baked brought so many
lovely memories, thank you:)

At 12:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Binnur its Sam again,

My friends mum made like a lat bread but it had a meat filling in it. She said it was pide but extremely flat and a very yummy meat mixture in it. Could you please post the recipe for it if you know what it is.

Thanks, Sam

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Sam,
I think you are asking Lahmacun recipe, here is the address;


At 8:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

please can you tell me if after making the starter can I make the dough in a breadmaker as I find it too painful to knead the dough with my hands

At 6:44 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

I've never used bread machine, sorry:)If you like give it a try...

At 9:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba Binnur!
Cok cok merci sizin website icin.
Mutlaka anlyorsunuz ki ben Amerikalim fakat Turkce yazmaga calisyorum ne zaman mumkunise.

Turk ekmege cok ozledim. Insallah bu recete o eski koy ekmege gibi olacak.

Cok tesekkur ederim.

At 11:30 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Rosemary,
Tarifleri denediginiz icin ben tesekkur ederim:) Koy ekmegini yaparken, bulabilirsen siyah un (beyazlatilmamis) kullanabilirsin , daha da lezzetli oluyor...

At 11:31 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Rosemary,
Tarifleri denediginiz icin ben tesekkur ederim:) Koy ekmegini yaparken, bulabilirsen beyazlatilmamis un kullanmani tavsiye ederim, daha da lezzetli oluyor.

At 4:51 PM, Blogger hooknlure said...

Thank you for the memories I grew up in Izmir 78-80 and miss turkish food so much. sucuk is what I miss most can we get real sucuk in USA? Also while im dreaming how about some salep and gazoz too lol.

At 6:01 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

You can purchase Sucuk, Pastirma, Simit, Salep, Gazoz, even Yesil Erik (in April)..... from online at and Taste of Turkey:)

At 11:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just find ur blog and really love it. i am looking for the non sourdough pida as well. i looked everywhere of ur site but can't find, Did i miss somewhere? Could u plz show me if u can. thanks.

PS: i am a overseas student(from china) now studying in OZ, i used to work in a turkish restaurant and really loved the pide bread they normally served as entree.
^ ^

At 8:11 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

I've posted some Pide recipes which are under the Turkish Bread & Pide recipes section, here is the address;
Take care:)

At 4:17 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Binnur,
Thank you for the lovely website!
I just started making the bread and realized that I am not sure what consistency the starter should be... Mine turned into a dryısh blob of dough - is that right? Or is it supposed to be liquid?
Teşekür çok ederim,

At 10:26 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Violeta,
Tesekkur ederim:) The dough should be soft with the correct amounts of warm water and flour. Did you cover the bowl with plastic wrap?

At 5:45 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Binnur,
I only covered the bowl with a paper towel, not with a plastic wrap, which may explain why the starter kept getting this hard 'skin' :( which I then had to pick out piece by piece out of the dough...Also, when I left the dough to rise it had the 'hard skin' problem. Do you have an idea maybe what the problem may be?
In any case, the bread is about to go into the oven, I'll let you know how this pioneering ekmek turned out :)

At 7:45 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Dear Violeta,
Maybe you should sprinkle more flour over the dough. As you've seen the picture the dough should not have that hard skin. I hope you will like the freshly baked bread:)

At 2:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba Binnur ,
Bende evde ekmek yapma denemelerinde bulundum.Hatta ekmek makinasi bile aldim.Firinda yaptiklarim tas gibi oldu.Makinada yaptiklarim ise ekmek otesi birseyler oldu.Soyle ici yumusacik,dis kabugu sert olmayan bir ekmek tarifin var mi?
Oya Canada-Hamilton.

At 6:59 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Oya,
Onumuzdeki aylarda yayinlamayi dusundugum ve de evde her zaman yaptigim ekmek tarifimi umarim begenirsin:)
Toronto'dan sevgilerimi yolluyorum:)

At 10:22 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba Binnur,
Tost ekmegi tarifinde var mi?Eger varsa dort gozle bekliyorum.
Oya - Hamilton.

At 8:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Merhaba! I lived in Izmir as a child, and LOVED what was called gevrek(?)It was like a bagel/soft pretzel, with sesame seeds. The vendors carried them on broomsticks and sold them on the street. I have looked for a recipe for about 40yrs.....never forgot teh yummy taste, and to this day crave them. Can you help me to recreate these wonderful breads? Thanks, Rosanne Urban

At 9:06 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Simit is called Gevrek in Izmir. They cook the dough into the water+pekmez (grape molasses) mixture for few minutes then cover them with the sesame seeds and bake them. That makes the simit so crispy which means gevrek in Turkish:) Here is the address of Simit recipe which is in the Pastries section;

At 4:42 PM, Anonymous Wendy said...

Hi Binnur,
This bread was wonderful, tasted kind of like ciabatta, even though I forgot to put sourdough mix in a warm place and kept it in fridge :)

At 4:40 AM, Blogger Laura said...

Hi Binnur,

If you make a sourdough starter do you have to make a new one each time you do another bread? Or can you keep the 'starter' going so you always have some for bread?

I love sourdough bread and so I'd like to make this. I made your pan borek last night with cheese filling (its my favourite), brilliant! It turned out really good and I think its the 'sauce' that makes the difference, before I only used butter between the layers but its too dry.

thanks for the inspiration - also, do you make Ajvar (macedonian name) in Turkey. I've bought some before from a shop and we have a Turkish deli here but they didn't know what I meant.


At 4:06 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Laura,
I think the best way to make a new one is to make the new starter each time:) But if you like keep some in the fridge for just for a couple of days then use again.
Borek that you made looks so delicious:)
Please would you give me more information about Ajvar? The word of Ajvar doesn't look strange to me. I heard it before!

At 10:20 AM, Anonymous Mina Ritchie said...

Hi Binnur,

I am in the process of making the bread and this is my 2nd day working on it. when I mix the 2nd part of flour and water, do I add that to the first predough mixture, or do I put it in another plate. Thank you for all your help.

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

Hi Mina,
Yes, you will add:)

At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi, Binnur. I visited Turkey and I liked this country and cuisine. I tried this recipe and it was great. I must say I bake bread very often and I have many bread recipes. This will be one of favorites. The bread is soft inside and crunchy outside. The one correction I made was adding about 4 cups flour (3 cups wasn`t enough). Thanks for the recipe. *

At 9:56 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been in Turkiye for a month now and having traveled all over the world I must say that Turkiye has the BEST bread I have eaten ANYWHERE! I am not usually a big bread eater but I have eaten more bread in this month than I have eaten in a year normally. I can't wait to get home and bake some traditional Turkish bread for my kids and treat them to a Turkish breakfast with tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and bread and çay! YUMMY! Thanks Binnur!
Çok Güzel!

At 4:35 AM, Blogger ElleMyBelle said...

Do you have a modification to make this and the Ramazan pide in a bread machine?

At 4:39 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

I don't think it is possible:)

At 11:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have lived in Turkey for a year and greatly admire the country and it's people and cuisine.

Hope to return one day to try some great food again...meantime your site is wonderful and keep up the great work.

An American ( from Indian Heritage)

At 9:55 AM, Blogger morning and torey said...

Hello Binnur,
I lived with my husband and daughter in Ankara for a year, and I was telling my husband this morning that what I miss most is the traditional white loaves that we bought at the market each morning. Is this that type of bread? The kind that every store in Turkey sells daily? If so, I can't WAIT to make this.


At 12:06 PM, Blogger Binnur said...

I miss the freshly baked Turkish bread, too Morning:)But this is village bread made by sourdough:(

At 6:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can this be made with whole wheat flour too?

At 9:31 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

You can use whole wheat flour instead of all purpose flour:)

At 8:14 AM, Anonymous Mick said...

merhaba Binnur,
have you posted the recipe for the non sourdough bread yet?

At 10:01 AM, Blogger Binnur said...

Merhaba Mick,
I posted it on January 13th, 2011 under the name of "Homemade Bread and more..."
Here is the link;


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