Bread stuffed with spinach

Bread stuffed with spinach

Ispanaklı gözleme

Turkish Fire
Alicia Taylor

You can have all kinds of different fillings in these delicious Turkish delicacies … simple spinach and onion, or minced lamb and tomatoes.

When my mum was staying with me in Australia, I came home from work one day and she had a big smile on her face. She had made gözleme (with parsley, onion and tomatoes) in a non-stick frying pan! I was so proud of my mum — she used to make these only in a tandır oven, but she had already adapted to my humble kitchen, and the gözleme were really delightful. When my friends tasted her little delicacies, they all demanded to have bread-making lessons. They couldn’t speak Turkish and Mum couldn’t speak English, but my friends had the best lesson of their lives.

Instead of brushing your gözleme with melted butter, you can pan-fry them in sunflower oil and they will puff up beautifully.

In Turkey, these gözleme would be served with sweet black tea, and a Turkish yoghurt drink called ayran.

Pide dough


Quantity Ingredient
60ml olive oil
2 brown onions, finely diced
500g english spinach, washed, dried and finely chopped
1 tablespoon pul biber, (see note)
1 batch Turkish pizzas, dough only
melted butter, for brushing
lemon wedges, to serve (optional)


  1. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then fry the onion until soft, about 6–8 minutes. Add the spinach and pul biber and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cook for 1–2 minutes; you just want the spinach to soften.
  2. Divide the pide dough into 12 pieces. On a floured work surface, flatten each ball with a rolling pin until it is only about 2 mm thick.
  3. Spoon enough spinach mixture onto each portion to cover one half of the dough, leaving a 2 cm border around the edge. Fold the other half over, into a half-moon. Press the edges together.
  4. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Brush the top of each gözleme with melted butter. Working in batches, fry the gözleme, buttered side first, for 4–5 minutes on each side, until golden brown. Brush with more melted butter as you are cooking them.
  5. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges for squeezing over if desired.


  • Pul biber is a crushed red powder made from dried aleppo peppers. It is mild to medium in heat, and the Turkish love sprinkling it over just about anything. If you can’t find it in spice shops or Middle Eastern grocery stores, you can use chilli flakes instead.
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