Bazlama is a simple and delicious folk bread that is mostly cooked in specially designed outdoor rock ovens for centuries in Turkish culture. This heritage is still continuing in Turkish villages today. Whenever you go to a village in Turkey, you can see smoke coming from the backyards of some houses. That smoke shows that ‘Bazlama’ bread is cooking in the backyard of that home.
The Story of Bazlama
When I speak with the villagers about why they still keep cooking this bread outside rock ovens instead of making it on stove or oven inside their homes, most of them told me that they like the way how Bazlama cook and they like the taste of Bazlama which cooks at rock stove more than the ones that cook at a modern oven.
When I ask the villagers about what makes the ‘Bazlama’ bread so special for them. I got the same answers from different villagers. They said that modern bread loses its taste and freshness at next day due to the ingredients that are used in them; however, Bazlama bread protects its taste and freshness for a minimum of one week before it loses its quality and taste. The villagers said that the cooking method and the natural and organic ingredients make this difference. Below I share a photo of the backyard rock oven that I took on one of my trips.
Why rock ovens’ sizes are different than each other?
This rock oven was the smallest rock oven that I saw in that village. When I ask the villager why some rock ovens are big and why some are small in their village. He told me that the household population of the house is very important in deciding the size of the rock ovens because if you build a bigger size than you need, protecting the heat level gets more difficult he said. The below recipe belongs to that villager.
- 4 cups all-purpose-flour
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 pack dry yeast
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
Put the flour, granulated sugar, salt and dry yeast to the mixing bowl and knead them by adding warm water slowly. The dough will be soft but not sticky.
Cover the mixing bowl top with hand towel and let it wait 90 minutes at room temperature.
Cut the dough into the 12 equal sizes. Shape the dough into rounds and flatten each round. Cover the rounds with hand towel and let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
Heat a cast iron flat surfaced skillet pan at medium-high heat. Place one dough round into the skillet and bake until brown spots appear at the bottom of dough round. Flip it and bake for an additional minute.
Repeat the process with the remaining dough rounds.
You can either serve it cold or hot.