Ispanaklı Gözleme - Spinach Stuffed Flatbread
Gözleme is a very popular Turkish street food and it's perfect for breakfast, a light lunch or dinner. These delicious flatbreads are easy to prepare and take only a few minutes to cook.
They taste just a delicious cold, so they’re also great for packed lunches and picnics. I've filled these flatbreads with spicy spinach and onion mixture, but you can use other fillings inside them such as potato or vegan cheese. Even if the thought of working with dough intimidates you, you’ve got to try making these! They’re surprisingly easy to make and you can get as creative as you want with the fillings.
What is Gözleme?
Gözleme is a Turkish stuffed flatbread traditionally made from flour, water, yeast, olive oil, and yogurt. It's stuffed with various other ingredients such as potato, spinach, and cheese. Typically, Gözleme is cooked over a sac griddle but it can also be cooked in a large, non-stick pan. The dough is rolled out as thinly as possible, then filled with various ingredients, folded over and sealed. As the though is very thin, it takes about a minute or 2 for each side of the flatbread to cook. Some recipes call for unleavened dough, but I find that adding yeast to the dough gives the bread a softer texture.
Brief History Of Gözleme
The word Gözleme is derived from the Turkish word közleme, meaning "to cook on hot coal or wood in a dying fire". The traditional method of cooking the Gözleme would have been on a sac griddle and the 3 most traditional fillings are potato, Turkish white cheese, and minced meat. Originally a breakfast item or light homemade snack, Gözleme has now become a fast-food item in Turkey and it can be found all over the country from road side cafes to high end restaurants.
Gözleme fillings vary depending on region and personal taste, and include both sweet and savoury options. The two most popular fillings are potato and spinach. Potato Gözleme is usually seasoned with various herbs and spices and the spinach filling is usually combined with sautéed onion or Turkish white cheese. Other vegetables such as zucchini, leek, aubergine, peppers and mushrooms can also be used. Minced meat is also a popular filling choice, so for a vegan alternative you can use seasoned soy mince. For a sweet version you can fill the flatbreads with chocolate or sweetened vegan cream cheese.
How to Serve Patatesli Gözleme
Gözleme can be eaten at any time and any occasion. If you’re serving time for breakfast I’d suggest serving them with a simple side salad made with cucumber, tomato and olives, and of course, a warm glass of Turkish tea. If you’re serving them for lunch or dinner, you can Serve them as a side dish with other dishes such as soups or stews. They’re also perfect as a packed lunch as they taste just as delicious cold.
Spinach Gözleme Ingredients
Here’s everything you’ll need for this recipe – consider it your shopping list!
For the dough:
Flour - You'll need some all-purpose or strong white bread flour to make the dough.
Instant dry yeast - You'll need about 10g of instant dry yeast. I find that the yeast helps to give the bread a softer texture, but this recipe can also be made with unleavened dough.
Vegan Yoghurt - I’d recommend you use a vegan Greek style yogurt as it has a thicker consistency and a delicious, sour taste. I used the Alpro Greek style yogurt, but any vegan Greek-style yoghurt will do.
Olive oil - Olive oil adds extra flavour and makes the dough more supple and easier to roll out.
For the filling:
Spinach - I'd suggest you use fresh, baby leaf spinach, but frozen spinach can be used as well. If you're using frozen spinach, you may need to cook it for a little longer.
Onion - You need 1 large brown onion. If you want, you can skip the onion but you'll need to replace it by adding extra spinach.
Aleppo chilli flakes - The Aleppo chilli flakes add a slow-building heat and a delicious earthy, fruity taste to the filling. You could use different types of chilli flakes, but bear in mind that different types of chilli will have different levels of heat, so make sure to add it accordingly.
Tomato puree - The tomato puree is optional, but I find it add extra depth of flavour to the filling. Alternatively, red pepper paste can be used.
Salt and pepper - You'll need some salt and pepper to season the spinach filling.
Garlic granules - You’ll find that most savoury Turkish recipes call for onion or garlic. These two ingredients add a delicious depth of flavour to almost any dish! I've used garlic granules rather than fresh garlic as the Gozleme will take only a few minutes to cook, so if you use them fresh they won't cook completely.
Olive oil - A splash of olive oil added to the filling will make it easier to combine and will give it extra flavour.
How to Make Patatesli Gozleme
Combine about 190 ml of lukewarm water and the dry yeast in a bowl. Cover and set aside for 2 minutes until the yeast starts to bubble. Sift the flour and salt into a separate large bowl. Add the water and yeast mixture, olive oil and vegan yoghurt. Using your hands, combine to form a dough. Transfer the dough to a clean, lightly floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes until you get a smooth dough. Divide the dough into 8 equal-sized pieces and roll into balls. Place the balls on a lightly floured surface, cover with a damp cloth and leave them to prove for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Add the olive oil and onions to a large pan and sauté on a medium heat until soft. Add the chopped spinach, tomato puree, herbs, and spices. Cook the spinach for around 3-5 minutes until it has wilted and the liquid that has come out of the spinach has reduced. Add the seasoning and taste the filling to make any adjustments.
On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out one of the dough balls into a 1-2mm thick circle with a diameter of about 30cm, or big into to fit to length of your biggest frying pan. Spread 2-3 tbsp of the filling on one side of the dough and fold the other half over. Press the edges down with your fingers to seal the dough.
Heat a non-stick pan, and brush one side of the gozleme with some oil and place on the pan to cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until it starts to brown. Brush the uncooked side with oil and then flip it over and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Repeat the same process with the rest of the dough and filling. Serve hot or cold.
How to Store & Reheat
Store the Gözleme in an airtight container at room temperature. To reheat, simply microwave for 30 seconds or cook each side on a non-stick pan for 1-2 minutes.
Notes and Tips
If you want to make this recipe in advance, you can prepare the filling and store in the freezer for up to a month
Most pastries tastes best fresh, but Spinach Gözleme tastes just as delicious the next day, and you can serve it hot or cold.
To reheat the Gözleme, place in the microwave for 30 seconds, or heat each side on a non stick pan for about 20 seconds.