Don't go on a diet and then decide you can't live without Turkish bread – it's not Moorish for nothing. When you're all back to your slicey self bake a batch and never mind the calories. It's a bit messy forming into ovals so you might curse me at this stage but otherwise it's a simple bread with no kneading involved. You will need an electric mixer - don't attempt it otherwise.
375ml warm water
2 teaspoons dried active yeast
½ teaspoon sugar
125ml extra virgin olive oil
5 tablespoons plain yoghurt (at room temperature)
562g plain white flour
2 teaspoons salt
½ teaspoon cumin seeds
1tsp sea salt
1 teaspoon nigella seeds or black sesame seeds
Use the bowl of a mixer like a Kitchen Aid or Kenwood or similar. Place the water in the bowl of the machine and stir in the sugar then sprinkle the yeast over the top. Leave to activate for five minutes. When it starts to foam and you see a little movement on the surface it will be ready.
Add the flour, yoghurt, oil and salt (in this order). Mix on a low speed for six minutes.
Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and leave it in a warm place for two hours to double in size.
Preheat the oven to 190C.
Line two baking sheets with baking paper.
Turn the dough out onto a floored board and punch down. Divide in two portions. Smooth a portion onto each tray to form ovals approximately of 33cm x 13 cm. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle over the seeds and salt.
Bake the bread in the oven for 23 minutes. Remove (from the oven) the bread tray from the top shelf. Swap the bottom shelf bread tray up to the top shelf. Bake for a further two minutes. Return the first tray to the oven, to the lower shelf and bake both for a further five minutes.
Remove both trays from the oven and slip them off the paper onto a wire rack to cool.
I find two loaves is too much for us so I cut and freeze one as soon as it is cold enough. I love it split and toasted for lunch and it's excellent sliced very thin and used to serve with dips – especially ones like broad bead, carrot and chick pea.
Three things kill yeast: cold, heat and salt.
Make sure the water is warm and not hot or cold.
The salt is added last during the mixing stage so it does not come into direct contact with the yeast.