A pancake is a thin, flat cake, made of batter and fried in a frying pan. A traditional English pancake is very thin and is served immediately, usually topped with golden syrup or lemon juice and caster sugar.
The pancake has a very long history and featured in cookery books as far back as 1439. The tradition of tossing or flipping them is almost as old.
“And every man and maide doe take their turne, And tosse their Pancakes up for feare they burne.” (Pasquil’s Palin, 1619).
What is Pancake Day?
Pancake day, or Shrove Tuesday, marks the last day before Lent, traditionally a period of abstinence, associated with clearing your cupboards of things like sugar, fat and eggs before the Lenten fast.
Anglo-Saxon Christians went to confession and were “shriven” (absolved from their sins). A bell would be rung to call people to confession. This came to be called the “Pancake Bell” and is still rung today.
When is Pancake Day?
Pancake Day takes place 47 days before Easter Sunday. Because the date of Easter Sunday is dictated by the cycles of the moon, Pancake Day can occur anytime between February 3 and March 9. This year Pancake Day falls on Tuesday 16h February.
What will we be having in Fethiye?
Why pancakes of course! Except that we will be enjoying the delicious Turkish version, Gözleme.
Here’s a recipe from Ozlem’s Turkish Table for you to make your own.
Gözleme: Anatolian flat breads stuffed with spinach and cheese
“We Turks love these stuffed flat breads, gozleme. Turks were originated from Central Asia, where they drifted towards Anatolia gradually and made their home. They have been making these stuffed flat breads since then. Gozleme is a much loved Turkish street food and a special part of the delicious Turkish breakfast. These popular snacks are cooked quickly on a hot griddle and can be filled with various fillings. Some of my favorite fillings are mashed potatoes, cheese and parsley; spinach and cheese, and ground meat and onions. And they go down very well with a glass of çay, (Turkish tea) or ayran, traditional Turkish yoghurt drink.” – Özlem Warren
Makes about 5 Gözleme
1lb./ 16 oz. / 3 cups plain flour
8g / 1 sachet instant dried yeast
Pinch of salt
45 ml/ 3 tbsp. olive oil
30 ml / 2 tbsp. plain natural yoghurt (preferably whole milk)
260 ml/ 9 fl. oz. / 1/5 cups warm water (150 ml/ 5 fl. oz. warm water to be mixed with the yeast)
For the filling:
200gr/7 oz. baby spinach leaves
1 onion, finely chopped
5ml/1 teaspoon Turkish red pepper flakes or 2 tsp. Turkish red pepper paste (optional)
230gr/8oz feta cheese
15ml/1 tbsp. olive oil
Non-stick pan or griddle to cook the Gözleme
Combine about 150 ml/ 5 fl. oz. warm water, yeast and salt in a small bowl, stir and cover. Stand in a warm place for 5 minutes or until bubbles form on the surface.
Sift the flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast, water & salt mixture, olive oil, yoghurt and the remaining warm water (about 110 ml/ 4 fl. oz./ ½ cup) . Using your hand, draw in the flour from the sides and work the mixture into a dough. Knead thoroughly to form a soft dough. Divide the dough into 5 pieces, knead them and roll into balls. Place the balls on a floured surface, cover with a damp cloth and leave them to rest for about 30 minutes, or until the dough doubles in size.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Chop the washed spinach leaves roughly. Knead the onions, spinach, olive oil and if you are using, red pepper paste (or red pepper flakes) with your hands for a few minute or so – that will soften the onions and blend the flavors well.
Stir in the feta cheese to the spinach mixture and mix well.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out each of the balls of the dough with a rolling pin into thin, flat rounds, about 40cm/16in diameter. Sprinkle a little flour as you roll the dough so that the dough won’t stick. Roll until you achieve a thin sheet of a flat round.
Fold the left and right sides of the dough in a way for the edges to meet in the middle and spread the filling in the middle.
Then fold the top and bottom edges over the filling, making sure all the filling is safely covered.
Fold the left and right sides of the dough in a way for the edges to meet in the middle. Spread about 2 ½ tablespoon filling into the middle part of this flat sheet. Then fold the top and bottom edges over the filling, making sure all the filling is safely covered. Press edges together well to seal. Repeat the same procedure for the rest of the dough balls.
Heat a griddle or a non-stick pan, and brush one side of the gözleme with a little olive oil and place on the pan to cook for about 2 -3 minutes, or until golden brown.
Brush the uncooked side with a little olive oil and then flip it over. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, until golden brown.
Brush both cooked sides of gözleme with a little olive oil -this will keep the gözleme moist. Cook the rest of the gözleme the same way.
You can either roll the Gözleme to serve, or you can cut in halves or quarters. Serve with Ayran (Turkish yoghurt drink) or çay (Turkish tea).
Sources: Historic UK/Recipe published with kind permission of Özlem Warren