I spent the last Summer in Turkey. I met so many cooks and took notes for recipes. In my hometown I ate the long-awaited delicious “Tahınlı”. This pasty is only available during Ramadan. My grandfather used to bring us some after his Friday mosque visits. We ate it normally with sweet whipped helva and drank hot tea. It fascinated me already as a child, how they made it so deliciously fluffy and crispy at the same time. Thus, when I arrived in Ereğli my first visit led me to the bakery around the corner. I dared to ask, how they make it. The man at the counter was surprised: What does this strange foreign lady want? After a small chat, he introduced me to the chef Aydın Erdemir, who invited me into his kitchen. I was able to watch his team of 10 men who daily baked this delicious pasty Thank you! Çok teşekkür ederim Aydın Usta Here is the fantastic team:
Chief Chef Usta Aydın Erdemir (white shirt with blue collar, the only one with a moustache), with him his team members Sedat Sar, Savaş Aydın, Cumali Kale, Ufak Pişkin, Emre Aydınlı, Abdurrahman Tıraş, Mustafa Karaman, Ömer Yılan und Cemil Uslu.
And this is the pasty I am talking about:The chef Aydın Erdemir Usta is originally from Erzurum and is baking these pasties in Ereğli-Konya since 1991. As a curious person, I asked him why he left Erzurum. Well, he said: “It’s warmer and less rain Ereğli He didn’t know these “Tahınlı” before. Aydın Usta said, these pasties are mostly known and appreciated around Konya. They all started telling me legends and rumors about these pasties. One legend goes far back to middle Ages. Many people past Anatolia and spent a night in a Caravansary around Konya or at the monastery of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi. Legend has it that monks gave these pasties to guests as provisions for their trip. The pasties are very filling and you don’t need much, when you have them for breakfast then you don’t feel hungry for the rest of the day. Aydın Usta told me, that at the beginning of Ramadan they bake in three shifts about 1500 pieces. To the end of Ramadan they do two shifts with about 800 pieces. The day I was there, they baked about 800 pieces minus a few
Then Aydın Usta hauls up the dough in an acrobatic manner and it flies directly onto the working place. Amazing! There the chef portions the dough by eye, but his colleague measures exact 400 g pieces. Another colleague rolls the dough portions into nice rounds. A wooden tray is layered with cotton cloths and dusted with flour. They place the dough rounds on it. The last in row folds the cloth so gently to avoid that the dough balls are touching each other. Then it is again resting time, until the dough balls rise in size. We go upstairs to the baking room.
Aydın Usta is stirring the Tahini in a large bucket. He said, that it was important to stir the sesame oil well to get a really creamy Tahini for baking this pasty. He said that the sesame oil in the Tahini was entirely sufficient to achieve a fluffy pasty. Aydın Usta greased the working place with very little sunflower oil. While he was talking to me, he had already taken a ball of dough and pressed it with his palms and fingers on the marble top and pulled the dough apart like a strudel. Suddenly he spread Tahini evenly over the dough. I was surprised to see that so soon. But then I realised the reason Ha-ha caught, I saw his trick He used the Tahini to get the dough even larger. He folded the edges onto the surface spread with Tahini and took the edges immediately apart again and “Tar-ra” the dough had become an enormous piece larger and thinner. He did this with all edges in an incredible speed.
Once the dough was big enough, he rolled the dough starting at the bottom with his fingers, just like a strudel without kitchen towels. Then he put the resulting long roll back down to rest on a floured tray.
Later he took the dough rolls and rolled it between his hands and on the working surface thinly and laid them into snail shaped circles. Which he placed in greased baking pans and let them rest again.
Finally the chef had to handle the dough one last time. He pressed the snail shaped dough into the baking pan until it was filled. His staff was joking that his hands have adapted the baking dish size. The pasty was now spread with tahini-yolk mixture and set aside again, to rise one last time. For this step, the two youngest members are responsible. The little one climbed up onto the top of the stone oven, the big one handed him up the baking trays with the pasty. It was warm up there from the oven and the pasty risen nicely.
The oven master Ömer Abi was responsible for baking and the heat in the stone oven. When I asked him how he knew that it was warm enough, he slipped his hand into the oven and said, now there are 200 º C Then he added with a smile, that the stones turn white at 200-210 ° C. Now I know, why the red stones in the oven were suddenly so white. It was not flour then the oven master pushed the baking pans into the oven.
After that, everything took place to quickly. Normally the pasty should bake 10 to 15 minutes, but somehow it seems to me much faster. They are golden brown in no time and the two men have to hurry up, to take out the baking pans and to layer the warm pasties onto the trays to cool.
You can prepare these pasty also sweet with nuts, raisins or currents. Yes, I have also formed a few, and on one of the photos you can recognize me even at work bakers are no photographers Hard to believe, I was about three hours in the bakery and it seemed as short as a blink ago. Before the second shift started, I took my leave thanking the fantastic team. Then I rushed home with my delicious pasties to enjoy them with a cup of hot tea. Perfectly delicious! My little nieces approved a second breakfast with me Enjoy your meal! Afiyet olsun! Bu güzel gün için çok çok teşekkür ederim!