Easy yeasted pita bread perfect for dipping into hummus, garlic olive oil, or splitting open for sandwiches.

pita bread, turkish bread, The Wimpy Vegetarian

One of the wonderful things about being part of the Secret Recipe Club is finding great new blogs. Last November I blogged about little Spiced Quinoa Apple Crumbles that I’d found on JJ’s blog: 84th and 3rd. They were a big hit – nearly 2000 people pinned it, a HUGE number of people for me. In the post, I mentioned I also wanted to try JJ’s Turkish Bread, and I finally got around to it. They were worth the wait.

Turkish bread is essentially pita bread, which I posted about here a little over a year ago. It looks like a flatbread, but it’s a yeasted bread that goes through one rise cycle. The dough separates horizontally during baking, allowing the top to puff up. Once cooled, they make the perfect pockets for filling, like this Moroccan Chickpea Pocket.

Like any bread, variations proliferate. Compared to the ones I posted about in 2012, these have a little more flour, olive oil and salt. And they’re topped with sesame seeds. These also came out a little thicker, making them perfect for slicing up and dipping into my Roasted Tomato Hummus.

I stayed true to JJ’s recipe and only made a couple of changes: I split the white flour with organic ground spelt, and increased the honey just a notch. They came out beautifully!

Cook’s Tips:

If you want smaller than 8″ pitas, divide the dough into 16 pieces instead of 8.

I used a bread hook until the dough and olive oil all came together. Then I hand kneaded it. It sounded like it could be a sticky dough and wanted to avoid adding additional flour just for handling.

My favorite place to rise bread is in the microwave oven. I heat up a glass of water and tuck it into the back of the oven. I place the dough in a bowl, loosely cover it with plastic, place it in the oven, and close the door. It’s free of drafts and the glass of hot water keeps the oven just warm enough.

If you want to keep the pitas vegan, omit the finishing egg wash before scooting the pitas into the oven.

Lightly press the sesame seeds into the dough.


Turkish Bread
This recipe was adapted from the 84th and 3rd food blog which was adapted from Turkish Flavours by Sevtap Yuce.
  • 1 packet dry, active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1½ cups warm water (between 105˚-110˚F)
  • 2 cups organic unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup organic ground spelt
  • 1 cup organic stoneground whole wheat flour + ¼ extra if needed
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1-2 tablespoons nigella (black sesame) seeds
  • 1-2 tablespoons white sesame seeds
  1. Combine the yeast, warm water and honey in a bowl. Set aside for 10 - 15 minutes until foamy.
  2. Combine the flours and salt in a large bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a dough hook. Pour in the water/yeast mixture and run the mixer on the second speed (second from the lowest speed). As the flours absorb the liquid, increase the speed to mid-range.
  3. Once the liquid is completely absorbed, add the olive oil and continue to run with the dough hook until the incorporated. Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured work space. Add some of the additional ¼ cup whole wheat flour if the dough is too sticky to knead. Cover with plastic or an up-ended bowl and rest for 2 minutes.
  4. Knead the dough, using a dough scraper if needed, for 2 minutes. Rest the dough for another 2 minutes under a bowl or sheet of plastic. Repeat this cycle 4 or 5 times until the dough becomes smooth and pliable.
  5. Splash a little olive oil in a bowl and turn the dough to coat. Loosely cover the bowl with plastic or a tea towel and set aside in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about an hour. See Cooks Notes in the post for tips on this step.
  6. Pre-heat oven to 475˚F. Place a pizza stone on the bottom rack or dust a large baking tray with flour. I heated the oven for one hour before baking. Lightly beat an egg with a small splash of water.
  7. Punch down the dough, turn out onto a lightly floured work space, and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and flatten into a circle. One at time, while keeping the remaining disks covered with plastic, use a rolling pin to gently flatten each piece into an 8-inch circle.
  8. Brush well with the egg wash and using your fingers, lightly press a border around the edge of the dough disk about ½" from the edge. You can also cup your hand in a "C" shape and press down on the edges.
  9. Dip your fingers into the egg wash and with a claw hand, drag 3 fingers across the dough to form rows. Repeat, to create a total of 6 rows. Be careful not to break through the dough. Sprinkle with black and white sesame seeds.
  10. Place two rounds of dough onto a floured wooden paddle, and cover the remaining dough loosely with plastic. If you don't have a paddle, turn a baking sheet upside down, place a sheet of parchment paper on top, and place the pita rounds on top of the parchment paper. Slide the dough rounds onto the hot pizza stone. If using an upside-down baking sheet, the parchment paper will slide off the sheet onto the baking stone.
  11. Bake for 6 minutes until lightly browned. They may puff up in the oven from trapped hot air inside the dough. They bake very quickly, and if baked much longer will become crisp like a cracker as they cool. Don't worry if they don't puff up - it won't make any difference to the flavor.
  12. Repeat with the rest of the pita rounds, baking two at a time, until they're all baked.



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23 Responses to “Turkish Bread with Nigella Seeds” Subscribe

  1. Laura Dembowski February 5, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    These are perfect! I swear they look like they came straight from a bakery!
    Laura Dembowski recently posted..Snickerdoodle Cookie CupsMy Profile

  2. Lynda - TasteFood February 5, 2014 at 9:00 am #

    We ate these breads when we visited Turkey – they are so special and great street food. I must say, though, Nigella seeds are an acquired taste for me.
    Lynda – TasteFood recently posted..Simple Suppers: Pasta with Bacon and ArugulaMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian February 5, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks Lynda! I am so dying to visit Turkey. I just have to get there. It won’t be in the next couple of years what with paying for this remodel. But someday.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Turkish BreadMy Profile

  3. Oui, Chef February 5, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    This looks so good, and I LOVE the tip of the hot water in the microwave….very clever!
    Oui, Chef recently posted..English ToffeeMy Profile

  4. cheri February 5, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    Wow! These look so good.

  5. JJ - 84thand3rd February 5, 2014 at 2:34 pm #

    Fabulous! Glad you tried them (and liked them ;D). Good to hear the spelt worked well for some of the white, I’ll make sure to do that next time.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian February 9, 2014 at 10:18 am #

      I loved them and am making them again this week since I still have a bunch of hummus left that I made earlier in the week. They’re perfect for it!
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Garlic Olive OilMy Profile

  6. apuginthekitchen February 5, 2014 at 3:25 pm #

    The bread looks great, if I don’t have spelt can I just use more AP flour? I love homemade pita.
    apuginthekitchen recently posted..The Basics – MayonnaiseMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian February 9, 2014 at 10:21 am #

      Absolutely, Suzanne. The original recipe called for 3 cups AP flour + 1 cup whole wheat. No problem. Homemade pita is so much better than store bought. It’s one of those breads where it really makes a huge difference.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Garlic Olive OilMy Profile

  7. Choc Chip Uru February 5, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    Such a delicious bread, I can imagine stuffing it up to the pits with vegetables 😀

    Choc Chip Uru
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..A Quiet PostMy Profile

  8. Liz February 5, 2014 at 6:54 pm #

    This would be magnificent with your hummus! I’d love to gobble both of them up!!!
    Liz recently posted..Dark Chocolate Mousse Bars #BakewithGhirardelliMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian February 9, 2014 at 10:26 am #

      Oh thanks so much, Liz. It’s actually how I’ve been eating it. In fact I’m making more since I have more hummus left :-)
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Garlic Olive OilMy Profile

  9. laurasmess February 5, 2014 at 11:09 pm #

    Oh my gosh, I’ve always wanted to make Turkish bread but I’ve never trusted that it would turn out right! Yours looks wonderful… love that drizzle of oil and the gorgeous seeds on the top! Can’t wait to try this. Another lovely recipe Susan! x
    laurasmess recently posted..Pork Carnitas with Lime and Chilli GuacamoleMy Profile

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian February 9, 2014 at 10:59 am #

      They’re so easy Laura – you would be able to make them in a snap! And so much better than store bought – they’re softer.
      The Wimpy Vegetarian recently posted..Garlic Olive OilMy Profile

  10. mjskit February 6, 2014 at 6:19 pm #

    WOW! These look perfect! Now you’ve inspired me to give making pita or this Turkish bread a try. What a beautiful presentation Susan!
    mjskit recently posted..30+ Recipes Using Preserved LemonsMy Profile

  11. Sandhya Ramakrishnan February 11, 2014 at 6:06 am #

    This is such an awesome bread! I love Turkish cuisine and often experiment with new dishes. This would be something i would love to make! Thanks for sharing…

  12. Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious August 5, 2014 at 5:49 am #

    I’m on a pita kick lately, so I MUST try this!
    Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious recently posted..Hatch Chile Roastings 2014 in Southern California — Hotsy Totsy Edition!My Profile

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