Vegan Turkish Pide Bread (Ramazan Pidesi)
There are many delicious Turkish dishes that are associated with the month of Ramadan, but no other food item signifies this month better than a loaf of pide bread. Golden outside and perfectly soft and fluffy inside, this bread can be served with a variety of dishes and makes the perfect accompaniment to any meal!
What is Ramazan Pidesi?
It's is holy month of Ramadan, where people fast during the day and in the evening after the sunset, they break their fast. In Turkey Ramazan Pidesi is very popular during this month, and you’ll find it in almost all bakeries. It’s usually served for Iftar (breaking the fast) or sahur (the meal before the fast) as it’s light and makes the perfect accompaniment to any meal. Pide bread or Ramazan Pidesi isn't usually vegan as it contains milk, yogurt and egg, so I created a vegan alternative using a few basic ingredients which you'll probably already have at hand.
Why make Turkish Pide Bread?
This bread is easy to make
Perfectly fluffy texture
It’s completely vegan
It's made with readily available ingredients
You won’t need any fancy baking equipment
It's a tear and share bread, so it's perfect for gatherings
It's a very versatile recipe, so you can experiment with different toppings
Ingredients for Turkish Pide Bread
Here’s everything you’ll need to make this bread:
Flour: You'll need strong white bread flour to make these breads. You could you wholemeal bread flour, but the texture will come out a little more dense.
Plant-based milk: I've used unsweetened almond milk for this recipe, but any plant-based milk will do.
Olive oil: The olive oil will give the dough a smoother texture and make it easier to work with. Alternatively, you could use sunflower oil or vegetable oil.
Instant Dry yeast: You'll need about 10g of instant dry yeast. When combined with liquid and sugar, the yeast will make the dough rise and will create those lovely air pockets when baked.
Sugar: A bit of sugar will help to activate the yeast. I'd recommend using regular granulated sugar.
Salt: You'll need to add salt to the dough to help flavour it.
Vegan butter: I've used the plant-based Flora butter block, but any vegan butter or margarine will do.
Vegan yoghurt: The vegan yogurt will help to bind the mixture as well as helping the nigella and sesame seeds to stick onto the bread better, I'd recommend using a Greek style vegan yogurt as it tends to have a more savoury taste.
Molasses: The molasses will add colour to the glaze and it'll give help the bread to crisp up and turn golden once it's baked. I've used grape molasses, but any fruit molasses will do.
Flour: A bit of flour will help to thicken and bind the glaze.
Turmeric: I've used a pinch of turmeric to give the yellowish colour that you would get from brushing the breads with egg yolks. The turmeric gives the bread a deep, golden colour when baked, but as the amount added is so small, you won't be able to taste it.
Nigella seeds and sesame seeds: The nigella and sesame seeds add a lovely crunch to the outside of the bread as well as giving it a delicious flavour. You can use any seed of your choice for this bread. I sometimes use flaxseeds or poppy seeds and it turns out just as delicious.
Combine the warm water and warm almond milk with the yeast and let it sit for 2 minutes. Add 750g of flour, the sugar and salt to a large bowl and whisk. Gradually pour in the yeast, water and milk mixture and the olive oil. Stir with a spoon until the mixture starts to come together to form a sticky dough.
Transfer the dough onto a surface that has been lightly dusted with flour. Gradually add the remaining 3-4 tbsp of flour to the dough while gently kneading for about 3 minutes. It's normal for the dough to be very sticky and messy at this point, but after you've added the additional flour, it'll be easier to handle. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with cling film and let it prove for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes, transfer the dough onto a clean surface and divide it into two even pieces. Line a large 13 inch baking or pizza tray with baking paper, sprinkle some flour or breadcrumbs onto the baking paper and place each piece of dough on a separate tray and flatten with your hand to create a 10 inch circle, about 1/2 inch thick. Cover each pide loosely with a clean tea towel and let them rise for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the glaze. Melt 1 tbsp vegan butter and combine it with 1 tbsp vegan yogurt, 1 tbsp molasses, 1 tsp flour and a pinch of turmeric. After 20 minutes, brush the glaze on top of each pide bread and using your fingers, make indentations on the dough about 1 inch from the edge to create a circle boarder. Then with your fingers make diagonal indentations in two opposite directions to make squares inside that circle. Sprinkle some sesame and nigella seeds on top of each pide.
Cover and leave them to rise for 10 more minutes. Preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F). Once the oven is hot, uncover the prepared dough and place on the middle rack and bake for 15-18 minutes, or until golden. Once out of the oven, cover the pide breads with a damp tea towel. This will trap the steam making the bread extra soft and fluffy.
How to Store this Bread
Once out of the oven, cover the pide breads with a damp tea towel. This will trap the steam making the bread extra soft and fluffy. Store the pide breads in a fabric bread bag or an airtight container at room temperature. They are best served fresh, but should keep well for around 2 days. To reheat the pide bread; just sprinkle them with a bit of water and place in an oven at (180 C/ 350 F) for around 5 minutes or until they are warm. Alternatively, you can heat the bread in a microwave oven for a minute or so.
I’d recommend using the gram measurements, rather than the cup conversions. When it comes to baking, accuracy is key, and cups conversions are never as accurate as grams.
Make sure to cover the bread in a damp tea towel after it's baked as this will make the texture extra soft and fluffy.
I've used nigella seeds and sesame seeds for the topping, but you can use any seed of your choice.
Do not increase the temperature of the oven to try and make the bread bake faster. It'll cause the bread to remain flat and the outside to burn.
Do not skip brushing the bread with the glaze as this is what gives the pide bread it's deep golden colour.
Make sure to shape the pide breads using the tips of your fingers. Do not use a knife to create the indentations as you'll probably end up cutting through the dough.