Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Sluttishly Vegetarian: Turkish Pancakes

So I could tell you that I discovered these Turkish pancakes while sat in a delightful Anatolian café this summer, but the truth is that (a) I've never been to Turkey and (b) I found out about them while browsing the Sali Hughes Beauty Forum. You've got to love a make-up forum full of women who can talk about eyeliner in one breath and delicious carbs in the next.

I did a bit of exploring to discover why Turkish pancakes are raved about, and discovered they're a stuffed savoury pastry made by rolling dough out thinly, filling it, folding it repeatedly and then browning in a pan. They're addictive, filling, and best served hot with a cooling yoghurt dip. I filled mine with spinach and feta, but the possibilities are endless - try mushrooms, mashed potato, or beef and onion if you're not veggie. You can even have them for pudding with banana and Nutella.

Top tip: the proper name for these is gözleme, which comes from the Turkish word for eye. You'll know they're done when brown 'eyes' form on the dough, little golden circles letting you know your dinner's ready.

Turkish pancakes (makes 8)
You will need:

  • 300g plain flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 250ml water
  • 300g feta
  • 400g spinach, chopped
Make it!
  1. Put the flour and salt into a large bowl, make a well in the middle, and slowly mix in the water to form a slightly sticky dough. You may need to adjust the quantity of water - don't get the dough too wet. Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 5-10 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Pop back in the bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave for 15 minutes.
  2. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces. Roll out the first into a circle about 20cm (8 inches) in diameter. Place the spinach and feta in the middle of the dough, then fold over the top and bottom to cover it. Then fold in the sides. Your dough should look like a delicious rectangle.
  3. Heat a little oil over a medium heat in a frying pan. Cook your pancake until it starts to turn golden brown, then flip it over. Brush the top with a little oil or melted butter.
  4. Remove from the pan and serve hot. If you're making a full batch before serving, keep them warm by layering them between pieces of greaseproof paper and placing in a very low oven.


  1. Omg, I am so making these.

    There's a similar (sweet) recipe for Korean pancakes... really nice for winter! http://peegaw.tumblr.com/post/17875487859/making-hoddeok-korean-sugar-pancakes

    1. Oh wow - definitely trying them! They're absolutely a cold winter morning sort of pancake.

  2. Sara, you must go and eat gozleme in a charming Anatolian café - I had such a lovely time doing exactly that last year. But, for whatever reason, it had never occurred to me to try making my own, you've encouraged me to give it a go. Are they easy to master for people less confident in the arts of the kitchen?

    1. They are SO easy. The tricky bit is getting the dough thin enough so you're not eating loads of pancake and hardly any filling when you bite into them. And yes, I think I've got next year's holiday planned!

  3. When we went on honeymoon to Turkey there was a woman making these in the beach at our hotel. They are so yummy - we went there nearly everyday for lunch :D

    1. Only NEARLY everyday? I suspect I'd have taken all my meals there!

  4. hello! i noticed these make eight pancakes - how many would you say that served for dinner if i served them with some salad? was just wondering if i should halve the recipe for the two of us. thank you :)

    1. Hi Emma! Hmm, mine were fairly small but very filling. I think 2 each would be plenty.

  5. Very, very tasty. I managed 2 and a half on my own, so halving the quantities for 2 could definitely be an idea.

    Just need to get the dough a bit thinner next time.

    Still - delicious!

    1. That's excellent, Luke! And yes, getting the dough thin is the trick to it. Mine were a bit thick but I bravely ate it all anyway.

  6. These are awesome - we ate them at a street stall in Istanbul this year - we asked for everything and got smooshed potato, Turkish cheese, coriander and chillies. We decided to share one to try out but had to return for another. The next day we went back for 1 each. Thanks for the recipe.


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