Thursday, May 20, 2010

Gluten free Bazlama

As many of you know, my husband was recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, I'm sure this is hard to learn anywhere, and I'm really not sure what is available in Canada or the US, but here in Turkey, it is slim pickings, even when you live in the capital city.

When the doctors first told Seyfi that he would have to start a gluten free lifestyle, he was heartbroken. Being a typical Turk, the idea of living without bread was very difficult for him. So, we went straight from the hospital to the grocery store to see what we could find... it wasn't much.

In the biggest grocery stores here in Ankara we could find a few imported goods, packages of cookies and pretzels, some cake mixes and some pastas. The biggest problem with all of these things was the price. Now, I am not saying that money is more important than my husbands health, but 25 Turkish lira (approx. 19$) for a bag of pasta is a bit much.

As we looked further down the shelf, at the very bottom were the two types of gluten free flours, one, from Italy was again 25 tl, and the other from Turkey was 4 tl. So, we brought two boxes of the Turkish flour home and thought now what?

I know, you must be thinking why not just get rice flour, almond flour, corn flour etc and make your own mix, but the only problem with that is that we can't get the xanthum gum to stick them all together anyways, and this Turkish brand already has it it, so I figured, let's just go with this for the next two months that we are in Turkey.

When I got home, I looked at the flour, my mother in law looked at the flour. It didn't feel like any flour that we had ever known. I said to her, what can we do? She suggest bazlama, a Turkish 'village' bread. She says that it is impossible to get wrong, it is very forgiving and easy to make. That's what we did.

When Bazlama is made with regular flour it is soft. It looks like a big English Muffin, and it is so good warm with butter and honey... When I make them with gluten free flour they are not as soft, but they are still yummy, so I figure that is all that matters.

I'm going to give you the recipe for gluten free bazlama the same way my mother in law gave it to me, there are no measurements, everything is done by touch. Like I said it is very forgiving...

Gluten Free Bazlama
from my mother in law's village recipe

1 box of gluten free flour (four cups)
1 Tbsp of live yeast
1 Tbsp of honey
1/2 tsp of salt
2 eggs

Mix all of these ingredients in a big bowl

Keep mixing and slowly add some warm water until it starts to form a ball

Add about 3 Tbsp of oil- until is slicks up a bit (MIL says: it should feel like an earlobe (whatever that means))

Cover with plastic and let it sit at least on hour.

After an hour, roll into little balls (MIL says: bigger than a walnut smaller than an apple) in your hand. And let them rest for about twenty minutes.

Flatten or roll each ball out and then cook in a frying pan with no oil.

Let cool of a bit and ENJOY!

Now that I know what I am doing, we are making these every few days and shipping them to Seyfi (he's in Izmir for some training). They seem to be able to last a few days and withstand a trip across the country.

The cutest thing about these bazlama is how much Alara loves to help out. Through every step of the process she wants to help make 'baba's bread.' I'm so lucky to have some great helpers!


  1. Gluten free lifestyle is super expensive! Looks like Alara is a little pastry chef in the making!

  2. Whow Lori,

    You will all be better off with a gluten free diet!!! I'm so impressed and i'm guessings that you will be making the most delush recipies without wheat.... You are such a brilliant chef... lots of love... I really thought we got xathen gum from Turkey over here... I'll check... xoxox Martyn