Açma is said to be the second popular pastry in Turkey. You know simit comes first. Açma is very similar to bagel. Maybe the only difference is that bagel is boiled before baking. We don’t have this step for Açma. Besides, just like simit, açma is also consumed very often in Turkey. Bakeries or pastry shops always have simit and açma together on their stands. The dough of it is softer than simit, and the best part, we can make it at home easily. I can’t say the same for simit, there is always something missing in home made simit, that’s why we prefer to buy it from bakeries.
This açma recipe is from mom again. The first time I fell in love with her açma was when I was in primary school. Once in every week, mom (or guardian) of a student was responsible for bringing food to the classroom. The reason for this was to teach the meaning and the importance of sharing to students/children. As children, we would look forward to seeing what the food of the week was. It was a real joy for all of us to eat together. All foods were homemade, mothers would never prefer to buy prepared or packaged food, they would make everything themselves.
I think moms were so clever then as they would bring a few kinds of food including some vegetables that children generally had difficulty to eat. I remember that I started to eat spinach on such a food hour at school. It is a fact that children are easily effected by their friends. For example, when you force your children to eat something he hates at home, he’ll probably refuse the food. However, when you give the same food when he is with friends, he’s more likely to eat it because he’ll see that other children eat that food or he’ll see “eating” as a game he’s playing with his friends. Doing (eating in this case) something together with friends is more important than the food itself here. Moreover, he also wants to show what a “well-behaved” child he is by eating what his mom/dad gives to him.
Açma was one of the foods my mom brought to my classroom and as far as I remember, all children loved it. I’m sure she would have been so successful if she had opened a pastry school, but she just prefered to be my teacher. Açma was the permanent food of her, other foods ( the ones children would hate) may change. She would sometimes bring something with spinach, leek, pea, celery, any vegetable. And as a reward at the end, she would serve a dessert like pudding or chocolate cake. We always owe a lot to our moms!
- 4 ½ cups flour
- 1 package dry instant yeast (7g or 10g)
- 1 egg
- 50g butter for its dough
- 50g butter to spread on the dough pieces
- 1 ½ cup warm milk
- 1tsp salt
- ½ tsp sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- Nigella sativa
Note: All the ingredients should be at room temperature.
Sieve the flour in a large tray and mix the yeast in it. Then add 50g butter, egg, warm milk, salt, and sugar. Knead them all for about 10 minutes. It should be soft but not sticky. Cover the dough and wait it for about 40 minutes. You will see that it rises to two times of the original size.
Preheat the oven to 180C (350F).
Cut the dough in 8 portions. Sprinkle some flour on a clean counter and roll out one portion about 8inches wide. Spread 1tsp butter on it and wrap it. Try to make it a bit longer by spinning, then make it a circle by combining its ends. Do the same for all portions.
Place these on a greased baking sheet in an oven tray. Be careful, there should be enough room between each as they will continue rising. Cover the tray and let it rest for half an hour.
Beat the egg yolk in a small bowl and brush it on each ring shape açma. Sprinkle sesame and nigella sativa on each. Cook them for 20-25 minutes.
You can serve these with a cup of Turkish tea at a tea time or breakfast. I also put one or two in a package and take to work if I don’t have time for breakfast at home.
Mom Duck is so good at making pastries. She prepares different kinds including açma, bagel, borek, pie and cookies everyday. She thinks that the best welcome for her children is with a kitchen full of pastries. When her children are about to come, she brews some Turkish tea to serve with pastries. She prepares the table putting some cheese, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, olive, strawberry jam (her children’s favorite) and pastries of the day. Coming from school so tired, the children immediately sit for a feast and summon up their energy to do their homework. This is the most valuable time of the day for the mom duck watching her children in such a joy. (drawing by mom)