Ekmek Turkish Bread

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups bread flour, divided
  • ¾ cup water, divided
  • 5 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Directions

  • Step 1

    To make the starter:Place 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup water in a coverable bowl; stir well. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight. The next day, add 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup water to the bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight. On the third day,add 1/2 cup flour and 1/4 cup water to the bowl. Cover and let sit at room temperature overnight.

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  • Step 2

    To make the dough: In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

  • Step 3

    Break the starter into small pieces and add it to the yeast mixture. Stir in 4 cups of flour and the salt. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle a little flour over the dough and then cover it with a dry cloth. Let it raise until double in size.

  • Step 4

    Put the dough back onto a lightly floured work surface and punch out the air. Divide the dough in half and knead each piece for 2 to 3 minutes. Shape each piece into a tight oval loaf. Sprinkle two sheet pans with corn meal. Roll and stretch two loaf until they are 15×12 inch ovals. Dust the tops of the loaves with flour. Cover with a dry cloth and let raise in a warm place until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).

  • Step 5

    Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes. Mist with water 3 times in the first 15 minutes. Loaves are done when their bottoms sound hollow when tapped. Let cool on wire racks before serving.

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