The last time my father was featured in my blog, he was baking beetroot and apple bread in his kitchen in Sturminster Newton, Dorset. This time he's getting his hands floury with master baker Mehmet Ali and his assistant Halil in the kitchen of Taş Fırın bakery on Turgutreis Street in Bodrum. In the winter, I buy my daily loaf from this oven and when I asked if my inquisitive dad could come in and see how they bake their bread they said "Any time". So we turned up at 3 pm for the afternoon baking. This bakery is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and turns out 2000 loaves per day. Each lump of dough is individually weighed by Halil at 310 grams and then hand-shaped by Mehmet Ali. All the bread in this bakery is made by the sour dough method. Mehmet Ali showed me us his drum of fermenting flour and water that harvests natural yeasts from the air creating a natural rising agent. As I'm used to paying a fortune for sour dough loaves in London, it had never occurred to me that the 1 Lira I pay in Bodrum was buying me a very trendy loaf.
|A bakery from the past from Eski Bodrum|
When I first came to Bodrum, only crusty white bread baked in wood-fired ovens was available. Bought hot from the bakers, it was a challenge to get it home without devouring half on the way. Most families would consume several loaves in one day. In the last 15 years, wholemeal loaves have appeared and now corn, rye and oats are all used in bread making, sometime all at the same time.
|Izzet in charge of the slicing machine|
Dad's beetroot and apple bread recipe