by Zeynep Bromberg, Class 603
Last Thursday, February 27th, the first graders in Ms. Long’s class hosted Bora Bromberg’s grandma, mom and sister and they learned how to bake Turkish bread. In order to explore even further into their “bread” unit, the students in 1-207 made their own gevrek: traditional circular Turkish bread covered in sesame seeds.
First the class learned about the history of gevrek and where it comes from. “In Izmir, we eat gevrek at breakfast with cheese, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers and tea,” explained Bora’s mom. They talked about the ingredients and the equipment needed for baking bread and started making thedough. When Bora’s grandma added warm water and sugar to the yeast everyone got to observe the special process called fermentation, when yeast “eats” and produces carbon dioxide that causes the dough to rise. Mixing the flour and the yeast, Bora’s grandma kneaded the dough and let it sit for a while. After thirty minutes the dough almost doubled in size. Then all the first graders got to shape their own gevrek! They molded the dough into rings that many thought looked like bagels (or bracelets). And lastly, they dipped the dough rings into a mixture of molasses and water and sprinkled them with sesame seeds – though most of the seeds ended up on the floor and on their clothes!
Next morning, the first graders enjoyed a Turkish breakfast with their homemade gevrek, cheese and olives.
Ingredients (makes 6)
1 package active dry yeast
2 cups warm water
1 teaspoon sugar
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup molasses
1 cup sesame seeds
Preheat oven to 425˚F.
Cover the yeast with 1 cup of the warm water, add the sugar and leave for 10 minutes.
Place the salt and flour in a bowl. Add the yeast and mix well.
Rest the dough for 30-45 minutes.
Divide the dough into 6 equal parts.
Roll each part into a foot long circle and then twist into a gevrek shape.
Mix the molasses and the rest of the water well in a bowl and then dip each gevrek in it.
Sprinkle liberally with sesame seeds.
Place each one on a greased baking tray and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Photo credit to Melis Bromberg and Sandy Long