"Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time." Marthe Troly-Curtin

Sunday, August 15, 2010

ETLLI EKMEK (Meat Stuffed Bread)

Bread Dough:
1/2      teaspoon active dry yeast
1/4      Cup warm water plus 1/4 cup water or more as
1 3/4   Cups flour, plus more for kneading
1/4      teaspoon salt
1         Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Lamb/Kid Filling:
1          Small onion, very finely chopped
1          Large Tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
7          Ounces Lean ground Lamb/Kid (about 1 cup)
1          teaspoon lemon juice
1/2       teaspoon ground allspice
1/4       teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper
--         Salt and fresh ground blackpepper, to taste

To make the dough:
Stir the yeast into 1/4 cup warm water until creamy. Stir 1 3/4 cups flour and salt together in a bowl. Then make a well in the center.  Add the olive oil and work it in with your fingers. Then add the yeast mixture and another 1/4 cup water, or a little more if needed to make a dough that cleans the bowl. Transfer to a lightly floured work surface and knead briefly. Dusting with flour as needed. Cover with an inverted bowl. Let rest for 15 minutes.

To Make the Filling:
Combine all ingredients for filling.
Mixing well with your hand.

Preheat oven to the highest setting and fit with 2 racks. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each into a ball. Sprinkle with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and  rest for 15 minutes.

Working with 1 ball at a time. Flatten with your hand into a 5-inch round. Then pull and stretch it into a 10-inch-long oval. If the dough is elastic and wants to spring back, let it rest for a few moments. Then try again.
The stretched dough should be quite thin. Transfer to a prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining balls of dough.

Divide the meat mixture among the ovals. Spreading it evenly and pressing it into the dough so it adheres.
Bake 15-20 minutes until the bread it golden.
Serve immediately.

* to peel and seed the tomato:
Place in boiling water about 15 seconds. Drain adn place in ice water. When cool enough to handle, slip off the skins. Cut in half cross-wise and squeeze out the seeds.

Makes 4 breads:

As this bread travels quite nicehly across borders.. some are 'spicier' some may even add some exotic concoctions like pomegranate molasses and omit the tomato. Heck, if you like to Experiment you may even come up with something that you could put your 'signature' on.

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