Light and flaky homemade dough, packed full of melted cheese. Gözleme is the ultimate version of a grilled cheese sandwich but better!
What is Gözleme?
Gözleme is a Turkish flat bread that’s traditionally just flour, water, salt and sometimes a little oil. The dough is kneaded for 5 to 10 minutes and then rested for at least 30 minutes before rolling it out into a large thin circle. Traditionally, gözleme is filled with cheese (kasyerli cheese – a Turkish white cheese), spinach and cheese, or potatoes. The filling is placed in the middle and they’re folded to create a little square or rectangle pocket.
Where to Find Gözleme?
Gözleme is found in villages and some small restaurants in Turkey. It’s sometimes seen as a street food, especially at touristy destinations in small towns in Turkey but I’ve also enjoyed delicious gözleme at small restaurants in Gaziantep and other parts of southern Turkey.
If you’ve seen Gözleme prepared once, chances are that you won’t forget it. It is such a beautiful traditional preparation with a large circular board that sit upright like a small table, a long rolling pin and a large dome cooking surface.
I love watching Gözleme being prepared because it is prepared with such excellence and speed, not to mention, it tastes great! Many consider it even to be the “fast food” of Turkey because it is so common to find Gözleme throughout the country.
How to Make Gözleme
But the great thing is that it can certainly be prepared at home, even without all of the extra equipment. If you have a counter space, a rolling pin and a frying pan, then you an also make Gözleme at home.
To make gözleme, you just need a few basic ingredients (flour, salt, water and oil) for the dough and a filling such as cheese, spinach or cooked potatoes, seasoned and cut into small pieces.
The key is to knead the dough for at least 5 minutes and allow it to rest, covered for at least 30 minutes. This will ensure that the dough can be easily rolled out into a large thin piece.
You’ll also need a large countertop and rolling pin. Traditionally, gözleme are rolled out on a large circular wooden board and a long thin rolling pin, about the thickness of a broom handle.
You’ll also need a skillet, preferrably non-stick or a large flat pan like a crepe pan. Traditionally, gözleme are cooked on a dome shaped griddle but a frying pan or skillet will work just fine.
How to Eat Gözleme
While still hot, cut the gözleme in triangles and serve immediately with some vegetables like tomatoes and cucumbers. They’re a refreshing bite to complement the gözleme. It’s a finger food or eaten like a sandwich for one but it’s also great for sharing with friends and family.
Here’s the recipe:
Gözleme (Turkish Flatbread with Melted Cheese)
For the dough:
- 1 c flour (+ more for kneading)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/3-1/2 c warm water
- 1 T olive oil
For the filling/cooking:
- 1.5 c shredded mozzarella cheese (or any cheese that melts well)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1/4 tomato (sliced)
- 5-6 cucumber slices
- 2-3 sprigs of fresh parsley
To make the dough: Combine all of the ingredients (except reserve 1/2 of the olive oil) together in a bowl and stir well until it forms a dough, adding more flour if it is too sticky or more water if it is too dry. Then turn the dough onto a floured surface and knead it for 5-6 minutes. Then shape the dough into a ball and use the remaining olive oil to grease a bowl. Place the dough in the bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow it to rest for 30-60 minutes.
To make the Gözleme: Take a piece of dough about the size of a golf ball and place it on a floured surface. Dust the dough and your rolling pin with a little more flour and proceed to roll the dough into a very thin circular piece. Note: It should be thinner than a thin crust pizza dough where you can see your hand through the dough but not to thin for the dough to tear.
Then place some of the shredded mozzarella cheese in the middle of the piece of the dough and fold the sides of the dough on top to create a square shaped package.
Then brush a little olive oil on a crepe pan or frying pan and place the Gözleme on the pan. Brush the top with a little more olive oil and allow the Gözleme to cook over medium heat until it starts to puff up and lightly brown. Flip and repeat.
Remove the Gözleme from the pan, cut into triangles and serve with the granishes.
It is Best Enjoyed When it is Warm!
I love your recipe it is only one that showed cheese. I used to live in Izmir and I used to go next door from my school and would buy this at the restaurant but the cheese is where I’m running into a problem you said it’s like mozzarella but can you tell me do you know the name of this cheese in Turkey
Hi Jennifer! Thanks! Yeah, I know in Izmir, it’s not always made with cheese. I always loved eating it in different Turkish cities to experience the variety. I lived in Gaziantep and in Turkey the cheese is called “Ka?ar peyniri.” It’s pretty easy to find. I hope that helps 🙂 Enjoy Turkey! It’s a beautiful country!