Feta and spinach pockets (Gözleme)

This time, I made my dough with yeast and turned it into a one-plate lunch for my toddler and myself. He loved it, so I would categorize this as a kid-friendly recipe.

This is a traditional Turkish recipe called gozleme, which is a savoury flatbread or pastry filled with minced meat, spinach, feta, herbs, and spices. The dough can be prepared unleavened (usually combined with yogurt) or with yeast. I have tried both versions in the past and they’re equally good. This time, I made my dough with yeast and turned it into a one-plate lunch for my toddler and myself. He loved it, so I would categorize this as a kid-friendly recipe.
 
It took me about 90 minutes from preparing the yeast to setting the bread on the table. This version is much healthier than the traditional hearty way, which is filled with meat, plus it takes a little less time to prove the dough than you would need for pizza, for example. You can use any fillings you wish, but make sure that if you’re using vegetables with a higher water content, you properly sweat them beforehand or your dough will get soggy.

Makes 2-3 pockets (depending on how thin you roll the dough)

Ingredients

  • 60 ml lukewarm water
  • 1 tsp dried yeast
  • 1 big pinch of caster sugar
  • 125 ml warm milk
  • 225 g all-purpose flour
  • 100 g frozen spinach 
  • 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 100 g feta cheese
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil or butter for frying 

Recipe Preparation

Dissolve sugar in water, then sprinkle yeast on top. Let sit for about 7-8 minutes, or until foamy.
 
Sift flour and salt into a standing mixer, making a well in the middle by using a paddle attachment at low speed. Pour yeast mixture and warm milk into flour and mix until it forms a rough dough. Remove dough onto a lightly floured surface and work until it becomes smooth and elastic, rolling dough into a ball. Oil a medium bowl and add dough, rolling to coat with oil. Cover in plastic wrap and set aside in a warm dry place until it has almost doubled in size, about 30 minutes.
 
Heat oil in a medium frying pan on medium-high heat. Fry sliced onion until almost translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add paprika and cayenne pepper, stirring to coat evenly, then add spinach and garlic and fry until spinach is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper and let cool at room temperature.
 
Remove dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into 2-3 portions. Using a rolling pin, roll each portion into a thin rectangle.
 
Distribute spinach and onion mixture equally on one side of each rectangle, leaving about a centimetre at the edge for closing the pocket. Crumble feta cheese evenly on top of spinach mixture and fold over opposite side of rectangle onto filled part. Press edges together to seal.
 
Spray or brush medium shallow frying pan on medium-high heat and fry one gozleme at a time, cooking each side for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Repeat for remaining pockets. Serve warm with lemon wedges.
 

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