Mısır Ekmeği Recipe - How To Make Turkish Cornbread

Corn is a major staple in the Black Sea region and corn bread is vital and much loved in the area. There are a few versions of corn bread and this one comes from the Rize province.

We tested many corn breads to achieve this Mısır Ekmeği (with sincere thanks to my dear friend Gülsüm Gen. Ko., originally from Rize, a very talented baker herself and the owner of Mill Hill Artisan Bakery in London. Special thanks too to sevgili Emine Teyze, Gülsüm’s mum, for her valuable tips).

Locals simply enjoy it hot straight from the oven, spread with butter, with the region’s creamy yoghurt or with soups, such as the Black Sea’s much loved Karalahana Çorbası (collard green soup with borlotti beans and corn).

This recipe is taken from Sebze by Ozlem Warren (Hardie Grant, £28), Photography by Sam A Harris.

Ingredients for Mısır Ekmeği

How to make Mısır Ekmeği

  1. Preheat the oven to 200ºC fan/220ºC/ 425ºF/gas 7. Line a round or square baking dish, 20 cm (8 in) in diameter, with baking paper.
  2. Combine the fine cornmeal or maize flour, bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice and salt in a large mixing bowl and mix well. Make a well in the middle and pour in the tablespoon of vegetable oil and the melted butter. Combine thoroughly with a large spoon.
  3. Pour in a third of the hot water and combine well with a spoon until all the water is absorbed. Add another third of the hot water and combine as before. Add the remaining hot water and combine until you achieve a very soft, almost sliding off the spoon dough (depending on the flour used, you may need to add a little bit more hot water to achieve this consistency). Pour the mixture into the prepared dish.
  4. Pour the 1/2 teaspoon oil into a bowl of warm water. Dampen your hands with the mixture and gently press the top of the dough to spread it evenly in the dish. This will help achieve a nice crust on top and keep the inside moist.
  5. Bake on the middle shelf of the oven for 55 minutes–1 hour, or until you achieve a nice darkish golden crust.
  6. Take the corn bread out of the oven and turn it onto a large plate. Remove the baking paper and place the baking dish back over the top of the corn bread for 5 minutes to rest, so that the bread keeps moist. Slice and serve warm immediately, with butter spread over the top.
  7. Tip: You need to use hot water to make Turkish-style corn bread and make sure the maize flour/fine cornmeal absorbs the hot water before baking.
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