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Bagels, tahini, jam and soft cheese: Esra Muslu’s Turkish breakfast recipes | Turkish food and drink

for me, a traditional Turkish breakfast, better known as kahvalt, is the best meal of the day. I could eat it seven days a week. Usually there are black and green olives, cucumbers, cold cuts, dips and sauces, eggs, a variety of fresh cheeses and tomatoes, fruit preserves and jams, honey, sweet molasses, freshly baked bread and pastries and butter. All these things can be found in any Turkish supermarket, but in my restaurant, softer, we like to make our own bread and pastries and the toppings for them. Patch up this sour cherry jam, mulberry molasses tahini and sweet lor cheese with clotted cream and toasted bread – or try making it yourself acmaa soft, buttery Turkish bagel.

tahini pekmez (mulberry molasses tahini)

Preparation 5 minutes
Serves 8

100 g tahini
50 g mulberry molasses (I love Koska, that is widely available online)
Toasted sesame seeds or walnuts, to serve

Stir in the tahini and molasses until combined. Serve in a bowl sprinkled with toasted sesame seeds or walnut pieces. It’s that simple! This will keep for a week in the fridge, or up to a month in the freezer.

visne receipt (cherry jam)

On sunny summer days in Turkey, we make jam naturally in the sun to obtain an amazing color and intense taste. The jam is cooked for a shorter time, before spreading out on trays under the sun on terraces or balconies for about a week, until it shrinks and comes together nicely.

Preparation 15 minutes
macerate Overnight stay
Cook 40 minutes
makes 4-5 200 ml jam jars

1 kg sour cherries (or other seasonal fruit), halved and pitted
1 kg castor sugar

Place the cherries and sugar in a pan and let it macerate overnight.

The next morning, bring the cherries and sugar to a boil and simmer uncovered for 30-40 minutes, until they have a jam-like consistency. Be patient, but don’t let the jam get too dark. When you think it’s done, do the wrinkle test: Scoop a little jam onto a plate that’s been in the freezer for two minutes. Let it sit for a minute and then press the jam with your finger – if it creases, it’s ready.

Spoon the jam into sterilized jars and seal. Store in a dark place for a maximum of one year; once opened, refrigerate and eat within two to three months.

Sweet lor (cottage cheese)

In the restaurant we make our own candy lor by curdling and straining milk, but it’s a very simple process to try at home.

Preparation 5 minutes
Rest ‘at night
Cook 10 minutes
Serves 10

500 ml milk (pasteurized)
1½ tsp apple cider vinegar
170g Greek yoghurt
Juice of ¼ lemon

Place the milk, vinegar, yogurt and lemon juice in a saucepan and bring over medium heat. When the mixture starts to curdle, set it aside in a bowl, preferably overnight.

The next morning, strain the contents of the bowl through a muslin cloth to remove the water. This is best kept in the fridge for a day before serving to get the sweet taste. It can then be kept in the refrigerator for three to four days.

Acma (Turkish bagels)

Preparation 30 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
makes 17

200g water
250g milk
250 grams of sunflower oil

25 g caster sugar
30 g salt
1kg normal
flour
55 g yeast
130 g soft buttersoftened

For the glaze
2 egg yolks
15 g nigella seeds

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large bowl and knead into a nice, soft dough.

Divide the dough into 17 balls, each weighing 130 g, then shape them between your palms into a rectangle about 8 inches (20 cm) wide.

Spread the softened butter over the dough and roll it into a long sausage shape. Fold the ends together, twist the dough and form into a bagel shape, welding the ends together. Repeat with the remaining dough balls.

Place the açma on a baking tray lined with baking paper and make sure there is space between them. Brush the açma with the egg yolks and sprinkle over the nigella seeds.

Bake in an oven heated to 165C (145C Fan)/315F/Gas 2¾ for 15 minutes, or until açma is a rich, golden color. Serve hot. You can also freeze the açma before baking: remove them and let them rise for an hour or two before baking. Afiyet olsun!