Make my own gozlemes
Who doesn’t love gozlemes? Well, that’s the problem really, isn’t it? Everyone loves the damn things, so whenever you come across them at a market or street fair the queue is always ten miles longer than anywhere else. What is with that? Being an impatient Sagittarian, more often than not I end up foregoing my first choice of a gozleme for something else with a shorter wait-time, then suffer severe food envy as I look around and see the gozleme gorgy (that’s an orgy of gorging, in case you were wondering) going on around me.
Well NO MORE! I’m gonna make my own and yes, it’s probably going to take twice as long as waiting in the queue but that’s not the point. I’m not sure what the point is, but if it’s a success, well, it’s one more meal we can add to the always-in-dire-need-of-new-ideas meal list.
So to start with, the dough. As those of you who have been following my 40 Weeks journey (hello, the three of you!) may recall, my attempts with dough and/or pastry have been a bit more miss than hit, but practice makes perfect, right? Either that or I’m a sucker for punishment.
This one seems easy enough though. No yeast, for a start. You just sift four cups of flour in a bowl with a teaspoon of salt, make the all-important well, then slowly pour in 1 ½ cups warm water.
Mix it all together until it forms a dough, then knead on a floured surface until the dough becomes smooth and elastic (about five minutes). Kneading always looks more fun when you’re watching someone else do it, haven’t you found? But anyway…
Once done, stick it back in the bowl (every time I see the words ‘back in the bowl’ I think of that film Peter Sellers film The Party. Have you seen it? You must… classic! Sorry, I digress…) under a damp tea towel while you make your filling.
For the filling, finely dice an onion and a couple of cloves of garlic, then fry them in some oil for a couple of minutes until the onion softens. Then add some spice – a tablespoon each of cumin and sumac, which is the secret to that distinctive gozlemey flavour. Feel free to add some chilli flakes for a heat hit, I passed on this as I was still under the vain hope that my kids might eat them. (Pity da fool!)
After frying the spices for about a minute, add 500g lamb mince. I used beef mince, which I thought the kidlets would be more likely to eat, and it just wasn’t the same. (Note to self: Stop pandering to your children. You should know by now that they’re not going to eat it anyway. Oh yeah, true. Thanks, me.) Then bung the mixture in a bowl with some chopped baby spinach and about 200g crumbled feta. And season well. The recipe never told me to season and as a result, ours were a bit bland. Learn from my mistakes, people!
Here’s where it all gets a bit fiddly and time-consuming – you need to divide the dough into six bits, then roll each piece into a rectangle about 30cm by 40cm (or a strange shape that in no way resembles a rectangle, like I did). Spread your filling over half of the dough, then flap over the top bit and press the edges together so you have a lovely little parcel. Cute! Fiddly and time-consuming, but cute!
Then repeat five times. (Which sounds like a simple step but you may as well kiss the next hour goodbye. Alternatively, divide it all by a third so you only have to make two gozlemes. You do the maths, I ain’t gonna…)
From there, it’s pretty simple. Just brush each gozleme with oil and place in a pan on medium heat and cook each one for 3-4 minutes on each side, before cutting into squares and serving with a generous squeeze of lemon.
So how was it? I hear you cry. Well, it was a big thumbs down from the kids (surprise, surprise, eh?), but ours was… not bad. A bit doughy around the edges, and as I said, it needed a bit more seasoning (mind you, I’ve had a cold for about A YEAR and may have just lost all sense of taste). So perhaps not as good as you might get at the markets, and yes, it did end up taking more time than it would to queue up for one, but not bad for a first attempt. BONUS: because the kids rejected it, we had extras that I bunged in the freezer pre-cooking so we can just pull one out whenever we have a gozleme craving.
Verdict: What the hell, I’m taking it as a win!
Lessons learnt: My kids are still as fussy as ever. Always season your food. Check photos for blurriness before moving on to the next step.