Turkish bread or Ramazan Pidesi is a classic Turkish flatbread with a delicate, flavorful, light and fluffy crumb. With a few pantry ingredients and one bowl you can put this leavened flat bread together in 2-hours. This home-made bread is a must-have item if bread is a staple food in your cuisine or life. You can’t stop from baking it again and again. Love bread? Try my very authentic Pakistani Chicken Bread and Mediterranean Pita Bread recipes as well.
I hail from Pakistan where we take our bread (known as roti) very seriously and we want fresh bread with every single meal. And I grew up in Middle East which is known for its wide variety of breads worldwide. In Turkey bread comes in all shapes and sizes ranging from Misir Ekmegi, Pita Bread, Yufka, Bazalama and Ramazan Pidesi. Technically - bread plays a huge role in our culture, cuisine and lives.
A few years back in Istanbul I tried this Turkish Bread with feta cheese and Adana Kebab. And oh man, did I love it like crazy? It was the simplest and the bests of the meals I have ever had. I knew it right away that I wanted the Ramazan Pidesi on my table.
This Turkish Bread has a distinctive aromatic flavor, brushed with an egg-wash, dusted with nigella and sesame seeds and has a loose and fluffier crumb. With only a few ingredients and a simple method you can bake a perfect loaf of Turkish bread easily.
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe Works?
- Easy to Bake: The bread is easy to put together and requires little to no work in kneading.
- Quick Recipe: You require only 20 minutes to prepare and get done with the dough.
- Few Ingredients: The bread requires only a few and simple ingredients that are most likely readily available in your pantry.
- Versatile / Plenty of Options: There are unlimited usages of the bread. You can have the bread as a side or with any meal as the main source of carb. You can enjoy it with anything, literally.
- Delicious Fluffy Crumb: The bread has a focaccia style crumb, which is airy, fluffy, porous and light.
The Name Ramazan Pidesi (Pee-Deh-Si)
The name Ramazan Pidesi has its roots in the Turkish tradition of Muslims breaking the fast with this bread. In Islam the lunar month of Ramazan (or Ramadan/Ramadhan) is a sacred and Holy month when Muslims observe fasting from dawn to dusk. In all Muslim countries, cultures and households, Muslims prepare special and a wide range of feasts for Iftar (the time to break the fast at sunset).
The Turks has an old tradition to break their fasts with this Ramazan Pidesi bread. It has a soft and chewy texture that compliments well with a wide range of dishes.
This bread is a staple in Turkish, Mediterranean or Middle Eastern cuisine. It has a beautiful golden crust and your whole house will fill in with the fresh aroma of the bread.
Difference between Turkish Pita and Pidesi
Both breads use the exact same ingredients but the ratio of the ingredients and the method to bake them is different.
Turkish Pidesi is shaped with hand, with a circular ring around the edges and diagonal indentions in the middle to form diamond shapes, and sprinkled with nigella and sesame seeds. Pita bread on the other side is just circular breads with no designs.
The Pidesi has a lose and a porous crumb and the Pita bread has large air pockets.
The Pidesi bread is baked in an oven but the Pita bread can be both cooked over a stove top or an oven.
Several Options to Serve With
- Curries: We Pakistanis have a thing for curries. It is a staple food and we eat curries with rotis or bread. This bread will be amazing with any Indian or Pakistani curry.
- Cream Cheese: Use the bread with cream cheese or feta cheese.
- Chutneys/Dips: Dip the bread in any chutney or dip of your choice.
- Soups: Serve the bread as a side with any soup and enjoy a warm soup with this amazing warm and aromatic bread.
Pro Tip # 1 - Room Temperature Ingredients
Always use room temperature ingredients (unless otherwise specified) for baking. Ingredients such as butter, eggs and other dairy ingredients like milk, sour cream, yogurt form an emulsion by trapping air inside the batter. The trapped air expands in the oven resulting in perfect baked treats.
- All-purpose Flour: The flour is the main ingredient of the bread and holds the structure of the bread.
- Whole Milk: The milk makes the bread very soft.
- Yogurt (full fat): Yogurt adds fluffiness to the bread and keeps it soft.
- Active Dry Yeast: Use fresh active dry yeast.
- Sugar: It helps to activate the instant dry yeast.
- Olive Oil: It keeps the bread fresh for longer. Use extra-virgin olive oil for best results.
- Sea Salt: Use good quality sea salt.
- Nigella Seeds: Use black seeds to sprinkle over the loaves before putting them in oven. The seeds are also known as kalonji, black cumin, charnushka or black caraway seeds. These seeds have an onion-ish flavor.
- Sesame Seeds: Sprinkle over the bread after the egg-wash and before baking. (Note: I did not use sesame seeds as I was out of them the day I baked these loaves.)
Pro Tip # 2 - Digital Scale
Use a digital scale to measure all-purpose flour and other dry ingredients. To measure with cup, fluff up the all-purpose flour container using a spoon, then scoop out the flour with spoon into the measuring cup. Never scoop out of the container. It may result in more flour than required resulting in dense bakes.
These are basic process shots for this recipe. For detailed instructions refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
The first step is to proof the yeast. In a small bowl, mix sugar and yeast in 2 – 3 tablespoon of warm milk. The temperature of the milk should be between 105 and 115 F.
Add all the ingredients in another bowl and form a dough using the warm milk. The dough will be sticky in the beginning, but it will come together in a few minutes.
Place the dough in a warm place or in the oven with bread proof setting and let it rise for about an hour until. Once the dough has risen and doubled in size, divide the dough in four balls.
Scatter flour on the work station and roll each ball into a 7 – 8 inch diameter, about ½ an inch in thickness.
Leave the bread to proof again for another 20 minutes.
Shape the dough using the fingertips creating a circle about an inch away from the edges. Then make a crisscross diagonal dents to create diamonds inside the circle.
Brush the bread with egg and milk wash.
Sprinkle black seeds or nigella seeds (and sesame seeds) and bake at 400 F for 8 – 10 minutes. Repeat the baking process with remaining bread balls as well.
- Butter (melted): You may substitute butter in 1:1 ratio for olive oil in the recipe.
- Sticky Dough: The dough is sticky while kneading but it will start coming together after a few minutes and form the shape of a dough.
- Use Stand Mixer with a Dough Hook: Feel free to use a stand mixer with a dough hook for this bread if you are not keen on kneading the bread by hands. The stand mixer will take about 4 minutes to prepare the dough. When the dough is elastic and sticky in texture, stop the mixer.
- Bread Proof Setting: These days many of the cooking ranges/ovens come with bread proof setting. I use my Samsung cooking range’s bread proof setting all the time for raising doughs. Place the dough bowl in the oven, cover it with a plastic wrap and let it sit there with the setting on for about an hour. You will get a fine raise every single time.
- 1 medium sized bowl.
- 1 Electric Mixer with a Dough Hook (or knead with hands).
- 2 baking trays.
- 2 silicone mats.
How to Store
- Keep the bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.
- Freeze the bread for up to 3 months. Wrap each bread loaf in Ziploc bag and stash in the freezer. For reheating, let the bread thaw and then sprinkle water and bake in the oven at 240 F for about 5 – 7 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, substitute ½ cup of whole wheat with 2 cups of all-purpose flour in this recipe. Do not use more whole wheat flour as it will affect the texture and crumb of the bread. Whole wheat flour will result in a dense and heavy crumb.
Yes. Just prepare the dough, let it proof and then divide it in four equal-sized balls. Cover the dough balls and refrigerator for up to a day. Once you are ready to bake, take out the dough and let it sit for a while until it reaches to room temperature, and then bake.
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Turkish Bread (Ramazan Pidesi)
- 1 Mixing bowl.
- 1 Electric Mixer with Dough Hook
- 2 Baking Trays
- 2 Silicone Mats
- 2 ½ cup all-purpose flour (300 g)
- ½ cup whole milk (112 ml)
- ½ cup yogurt (125 g)
- 2 ¼ teaspoon active dry yeast (7 g) (one small packet)
- 2 teaspoon sugar (8 g)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil (45 ml)
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon nigella or black seeds (11 g)
- 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds (9 g)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk (15 grams)
- Take a small cup and add 3 tablespoon milk in it. Add sugar and yeast and mix it. Leave it for 10 minutes. If the mixture is bubbly and frothy, it means the yeast is active.
- Take a medium sized bowl. Sift in the all-purpose flour to it. Add in the yogurt, olive oil and salt in it and mix.
- Add in the milk to knead the dough. The dough will be little lose and will stick on your hands. Do not worry about it. Keep kneading and it will come together in a few minutes.
- Place the dough in the bowl. Spray with oil and leave it aside in a warm place for about 1 hour until it doubles in volume.
- Preheat the oven at 400 F.
- Divide the dough in four equal balls.
- Dust your work surface and using a rolling ball start rolling out the ball. It will be about ½ inch in height and around 7-9 inches in diameter.
- Place the bread on the oven baking tray and let the bread rest for 20 minutes.
- Using your fingers, create an inner circle about an inch away the edges of the bread. Now create crisscross diagonal lines and form diamond shape inside the circle.
- Beat the egg and milk in a bowl. Using a pastry brush apply this egg-wash on the bread. Sprinkle the white sesame seeds and black nigella seeds over the bread.
- Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes until the bread is golden in color.