I once created a cooking class, called 'Zen in the Kitchen'. Then wrote a book called the same. Then started the group with that name and the blog came after. All this happened in Turkish. Now is the time for the English version of it. Let's see what will cook here!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sweet bread

This is a sweet bread. Not because they add sugar or any kind of sweetner but it's because they use a traditional yeast, made of chickpeas. Yes, chickpeas. Surprised? Chickpeas are crushed and left in water for the evening, at a warm place. It becomes bubbly, then the water is used as a leavening agent. You're surprised? Yes, there are so many things that surprise us, when we go deeper in the traditional ways, old ways, our mother's, granny's ways... (Sorry that I confuse you. In Turkey, it's called yeast but yes, that's true that chickpea is not a yeast. It is the leavening agent.)

There is a traditional mezze in the Aegean coast, called the 'shipman's mezze'. It's made with dried slices (rebaked) of this sweet bread. What you do is mix grated tomatoes, grated cheese, oliveoil and if you wish some oregano (fresh or dried) and spread the mixture on the hard bread. With the juice of the tomatoes, it becomes soft and you eat it with much pleasure. I took the picture above in Karaburun, few years ago, when they served us this mezze on a different kind of dried bread, which is called 'peksimet'. If you're Greek or have been to Greece, you might have seen it there too, which is called almost the same. Greek seamen were also taking the dried breads when they had to be away from home (also the soldiers) for a while. It's still made and eaten in the villages in Turkey. At homes, they break the bread by hand but at the bakeries, the 2 day old bread (that is not sold on the day it's baked) are slices and rebaked to be sold as peksimet.


Luke said...

Interesting! This seems so much easier than the whole sourdough process.

Eric said...

Yeast is an organism, not a type of ingredient, so chickpeas can't be used "as yeast." Maybe they can be used as a leavening agent, or maybe they can be used as a growth medium for yeast or something.

Pinkeagle said...

Yes, I assume the chickpeas were used as a 'womb' for the yeast.
Very cool bread though, looks yummy and sweet :) What did you eat it with?

Sazji said...

Though there are regional differences, te word "maya" in Turkish is used for any sort of "starter," hence the confusion. The yeast you buy in the store is called "Maya" but so is the yogurt you use to start a new batch, or the sourdough starter you use to leaven bread.

Ranae said...

Is there a recipe for this sweet bread? Thank you.