Yufka is a very thin and round bread that originated in Turkish cuisine. Bread is a staple food in Turkish cooking, and yufka features a simple recipe that does not include any leavening agents to make it rise. Layers of the flat dough are often included in various sweet and savory dishes to add a soft, flaky touch.
Like other unleavened breads, yufka features only a few basic ingredients. Generally, the unleavened bread is made using whole-wheat flour and salt that is added to warm water to form a soft dough. After kneading, the dough can be covered with a damp cloth and allowed to rest for several minutes before rolling out.
Using a thick rolling pin with handles on both sides, the cook rolls the bread out to around 8 inches (20 centimeters) in breadth. Then the dough is finished rolling using an oklava, a rod-style of rolling pin without handles. In general, the dowel measures about 1 inch (less than 2 centimeters) in thickness and around 32 inches (80 centimeters) in length. The thinness of the cooking utensil helps with working the dough so it reaches maximum thinness. Rolling is typically continued until the dough is at least 24 inches (60 centimeters) in length.
After being prepared, the unleavened bread can be cooked on a heated plate for about two minutes per side. The dried dough can then be stacked and stored in large bundles and pulled out as needed for various dishes. To rehydrate for use, the dough can be sprinkled with water.
The Mediterranean pastry shows up in various dishes that are associated with traditional Turkish cuisine. One of its most popular uses in its pastry dishes like baklava. The sweet pastry traditionally consists of layers of yufka with each layer filled with chopped nuts, honey, and a cinnamon and spice filling. Another use of yufka is in boreks, which are various Turkish filled pastries that are prepared by baking, frying, or steaming. The pastries usually include various herbs and spices along with savory ingredients such as minced meat, vegetables, and cheeses.
Although yufka features only a few ingredients, it can be somewhat labor intensive to make. Rolling out the dough can be a tricky process for those unskilled at the process. Instead, of making the bread, some users prefer to purchase ready-made yufka at supermarkets.
In some recipes, yufka can be substituted with phyllo dough, a bread that is generally easier to find prepackaged in grocery stores. Also known as filo dough, the bread is also Mediterranean in origin. Like yufka, filo dough contains salt, warm water, and flour. The flour used, however, is generally all-purpose flour, bread flour, or plain flour. Additionally, the dough usually contains oil and white vinegar and tends to be slightly thinner.