She looks at me with suspicion, sometimes, that woman in the mirror; doubt. She wonders where I’m going, if I’m making the right decisions. She’s nosy and needy and holds me back. She rebuffed when I told her it was over between us last week. That I was finally walking away to create something, keep creating, keep sharing, and let go of her irresolute ways.
That’s when this gozleme happened. Sometimes it’s writing, other times stretching or getting fresh air that lifts me from a funk. That day, it was straight to the kitchen to get my hands dirty – sticky with dough, slick with oil, with something warm and consumable at the end. It was the only way, and it worked.
Squeaky halloumi is enough to lift one’s spirits – lets face it. Tucked into a piping-hot fold of fresh bread with spinach and fresh mint… doldrums, be gone. This isn’t exactly the flaky, buttery gozleme made by the wrinkly Turkish grannies at all the local markets. I use half whole-wheat flour, which makes for a slightly denser dough. Halloumi and fresh mint, too, instead of feta or cinnamon.
The dough makes four hearty pockets. One each with a salad (or one on its own… or two just for you…) makes for a regenerative lunch. The dough freezes well can be thawed for future personal victories as they arise. I guess that means you’ll need to double the recipe, because things are only going up from here.
- 8g sachet dry yeast
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- Pinch of salt
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups baby spinach
- 150g halloumi cheese, cut into small (say 1/2") cubes
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves, roughly torn
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1 lemon, quartered, for serving
- Combine 300ml of warm water, the yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Cover with a clean tea towel and place in a sunny or warm spot for 5 minutes, until it's frothy.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flours. Pour in the oil and yeast mixture, and mix with a wooden spoon or your hands until it forms a soft dough.
- Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently 5 minutes, until elastic.
- Lightly oil the same mixing bowl and place the dough inside. Cover with that clean tea towel again, and take it back to the warm spot to rise for 20 minutes. The dough should double in size.
- Divide the dough into four pieces (to use, or wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for future use).
- Roll out each piece of dough until it's nice and thin - you should be able to see your fingertips through it, but it doesn't have to be paper-thin.
- Divide the spinach, cheese and mint leaves over half of each rolled-out section. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Fold one edge over the spinach-and-cheese filled half, pinching the seams and folding them over once to bind each parcel closed.
- Heat a grill or fry-pan over medium-high heat. Brush the pan with olive oil and fry each gozleme for 2-3 minutes per side, or until golden brown and puffy.
- Serve immediately, with the fresh lemon quarters for squeezing.
This recipe is adapted from Taste.com.au's "Spinach and Feta Gozleme"
Audio pairing: Curtis Mayfield, “Move On Up”