This Turkish bread recipe is an easy yeasted pita bread perfect for dipping into hummus, garlic olive oil, herbed dipping oil, or splitting open for sandwiches.Jump to Recipe
Pita breads are an easy yeasted bread to start with, if you're new to baking yeasted breads. They're a flat bread, so there's not forming into baguettes or other shapes, and the need only 1 rising. I've made other pita breads, but this one is a little different. It's a fluffy Turkish bread, that's thicker than other pitas I've made.
🤷♀️ What is Turkish Bread?
Turkish bread is a flatbread similar to the more familiar pita bread. But there are some difference (see the next section). Turkish bread is an essential part of the Turkish meal and is eaten daily. When served in this form of bread rounds, it's often referred to as pide.
Like a pita bread, the dough separates horizontally during baking, allowing the top to puff up. Once cooled, this separation makes these bread rounds perfect pockets for filling, like these Moroccan Chickpea Pockets.
🤔 What makes Turkish bread different from other pitas?
Like with any bread, variations proliferate. For example, this Turkish version has a little more flour, olive oil and salt than ones I've made in the past.
Turkish bread is always finished with a tangy egg wash, and then topped with nigella and sesame seeds for a little crunch. I kept the egg wash simple, but a true Turkish bread combines flour, boiling water, and Greek yogurt with the egg.
I made a couple of changes from the original recipe. I split the white flour with organic ground spelt, and increased the honey just a notch. And I love the result.
🧅 Main Ingredients + Notes
The secret to faster and easier meals often lies in the ingredients. For example, store-bought items and ingredients you make ahead and store in the refrigerator (or freezer) can turn a 60-minute recipe into a 30-minutes meal or less.
For the all of the ingredients, measurements and directions, go to the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post.
- Dry active yeast
- Warm water
- All-purpose white flour
- Ground spelt
- Whole wheat flour
- Sea salt
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Nigella black sesame seeds
- White sesame seeds
👩🍳 Tips For Making Turkish Bread
- If you want smaller than 8" pitas, divide the dough into 16 pieces instead of 8.
- This bread dough can be sticky. To avoid adding additional flour just for handling, use a bread hook until the dough and olive oil all comes together. Then spill the dough out onto a work surface, and knead it by hand.
- My favorite place to rise bread is in the microwave oven. Heat up a glass of water in the microwave, and then tuck it into the back of the oven with the oven off. Place the dough in a bowl, loosely cover with plastic, and place it in the oven. Close the microwave oven door. It's free of drafts and the glass of hot water keeps the microwave oven just warm enough for the dough to rise.
- Lightly press the sesame seeds into the egg-washed dough.
Turkish Bread with Nigella Seeds
- 1 packet dry active yeast
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 ½ 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
- Combine the yeast, warm water and honey in a bowl. Set aside for 10 - 15 minutes until foamy.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Repeat with the rest of the pita rounds, baking two at a time, until they're all baked.