Bread (ekmek) is an essential part of the Turkish meal and is therefore eaten daily, including in the form of pide, simit (Turkish bagel), yufka, and lavaş. Bread is highly respected in Turkey and is rarely wasted.
Breads are mostly made with wheat, and in rural areas with other grains. Tandır (clay oven) bread or the flatbread (unleavened) baked on sac (griddle) are just some examples. Olives, walnuts, tahini, cheese, or meat are often added to bread for flavor and texture.
Pide ekmeği: Pide bread is a Turkish bread made with a combination of flour, yeast, sugar, lukewarm water, salt, and olive oil. Before the dough is baked, it's often brushed with egg wash and sprinkled with nigella, poppy, and sesame seeds. This bread is a huge staple in Turkish cuisine and it's often served for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Ramazan pidesi: Ramazan pidesi is a traditional Turkish leavened bread shaped into round, flat forms. It is commonly made and sold during Ramadan. It is made with flour, water, milk, yeast, sugar, salt, and either butter or olive oil. The bread is characterized by its top which is decorated with crisscross patterns or dimples made by pressing into the dough with one’s fingers.
Before baking, Ramazan pidesi is typically sprinkled with nigella seeds and sesame seeds.
Mısır ekmeği: Mısır ekmeği is a savory Turkish cornbread that is especially popular in the Black Sea region of the country. Its texture is usually hard and dry because it is prepared without a raising agent. The bread can be shaped into round loafs, loafs, batards, or plaits.
Cheese, dill, sesame, poppy, and nigella seeds can all be added to the dough in order to enhance the flavors. A specialty of the region is cornbread with sardines, which are traditionally baked in the dough. If made this way, the bread is typically consumed with yogurt as a full meal.
Etli ekmek: Etli ekmek is a delicious Turkish pide-like dish originating from the city of Konya. The name of the dish means “bread with meat.” It consists of a thin, crispy flatbread made with flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and oil, which is then topped with ground beef and finely chopped onions, tomatoes, and peppers.
Etli ekmek is sometimes additionally topped with cheese before baking. Once the baked dish develops a golden-brown color, it is served cut into smaller pieces while still warm. Pair it with a glass of refreshing ayran for the best experience.
Simit: Turkish simit is a circular bread that's commonly accompanied by either tea or ayran (salted yogurt drink) and consumed for breakfast with fruit preserves or in savory combinations with cheese, pastırma (dry-cured beef), and fresh vegetables.
The dough itself is very similar to that of a bagel, except instead of boiling, the proofed dough is shaped and dipped into fruit molasses with water before being baked with a coating of toasted sesame seeds on top.
In Turkey, simits are sold by street vendors who walk around either pushing trolleys or carrying trays piled with these delicious, crunchy bagels on their heads.
Yufka: Yufka is a traditional Turkish flatbread consisting of flour, water, salt, and olive oil. The unleavened dough is typically rolled with a rolling pin until it develops a paper-thin consistency. It is believed that yufka is an earlier form of phyllo dough.
Yufka can be used in the preparation of numerous Turkish pastries, and it is sturdy enough to hold all of the fillings.
Bazlama: Bazlama is a Turkish flatbread that is traditionally cooked in an outdoor oven and served warm. It consists of flour, water, sugar, salt, yeast, and yogurt. During baking, bazlama is regularly flipped over in order to be evenly baked. The bread is often served with butter or olive oil, which is used as a dip.
Gözleme: Gözleme is a Turkish flatbread consisting of flour, water, yeast, olive oil, and yogurt, which prevents the flatbread from going too brittle. The dough is filled with ingredients such as meat, vegetables, eggs, various cheeses, or mushrooms, and is then baked on a sac griddle.
Originally, gözleme was served for breakfast or as a light afternoon snack, but today it has a status of popular fast food that can be found throughout the country's restaurants, food carts, and cafés.