Bazlama with cheese: fluffy pan-fried Turkish bread filled with cheese

pan-fried bread filled with cheese bazlama

The highlight of a typical Turkish breakfast? Hot pan-fried bread with melted butter on top, cheese, olives, tomatoes, cucumber and tea. Today, however, we have combined pan bread and cheese – we have peynirli bazlama (Turkish bread with cheese)! 


Bazlama is the usual pan bread that is eaten for breakfast in Turkey. Thick flatbreads are baked on both sides in a pan. They are usually unfilled and eaten as normal Turkish bread. But after trying this bazlama recipe with filling, you will also want to try Turkish bread with cheese. The filled pan breads should not be confused with gözleme. With these, the dough is rolled out very thin, half filled and then folded over. Our pan-fried breads filled with cheese are prepared differently and are not very similar in taste to gözleme.


How is the pan-fried Turkish bread filled with cheese prepared?

A normal yeast dough is kneaded for the preparation, such as for our simit. Originally, you wouldn't even need to add sugar, but you can always add a little to white bread. Then flatten the dough pieces and fill the middle with cheese. Now press all the ends together over the filling in the middle (photo below) and roll them out later to form the actual bazlamas. Then fry the Turkish bread with cheese on both sides in a pan and brush with butter while still hot.

pan-fried bread bazlama

We used our electric sac* for the pan bread filled with cheese. This is normally gas-fired in Turkey and is used to make yufka or lavash bread (thin dürüm bread). We bought our sac primarily for baking such bazlama breads, lavash and gözleme. It sits on a side table in the kitchen around the clock and is often used. Let's put it this way: fresh lavash spread with butter and filled with white cheese and tomatoes is one of our go-tos.

pan-fried turkish bread bazlama

The difference between the Sac and the pan is that we can regulate the temperature up to 300 degrees. This means that the pan-fried bread filled with cheese is ready faster and has an incomparable taste. Apart from that, the Sac is of course larger than a normal pan. This means that we can prepare lots of pan-fried bread filled with cheese at the same time. 


But the fluffy Turkish breads with cheese can also be baked quickly and easily without a sac. You can either use a normal pan or, even better, a special crepe or gözleme pan*. The pan-fried breads are ideal for a Sunday breakfast and can be eaten just as easily the next day.


Which cheese for the filled pan-fried bazlama?

We have mixed two types of cheese. One is typical brine cheese made from cow's milk (found in Turkish supermarkets or well-stocked supermarkets as "beyaz peynir") and the other is Tel Peynir. Tel peynir (also called "cecil", pronounced "djedjil") is a typical Turkish string cheese. These are strips of cheese that you can separate like strings. It has a fairly neutral taste, similar to the cheap mozzarella block.


You can also use just white cheese or sheep's cheese for this Turkish bread with cheese. You can also use Turkish kasar (kashkawal cheese) or simply grated Gouda or mozzarella in the pan-fried bread. Go wild – if cheese is involved, everything will be fine anyway.

pan bread turkish bazlama
filled pan-bread bazlama

And about the butter: we placed this pretty and impressive piece of butter on our pan-fried bread filled with cheese for the photo. We usually do it like mom (in-law). There is a block of butter in the fridge that is only used for buttering treats from the pan/sac. We smear the packet directly over the pan-fried bread. However, you can also spread a little butter with a knife or – theoretically – leave the butter out completely. In practice, however, we definitely recommend buttering the pan-fried bread filled with cheese.


Bazlama recipe with cheese: Pan-fried bread filled with cheese

Ingredients (approx. 6 bazlama)

  • 400 ml/little less than 2 cups water
  • 0,5 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 yeast cube
  • approx. 650 gram/ 5 cups flour 

For the filling

  • White cheese, sheep's cheese, Kasar, mozzarella etc. as desired 

For spreading

  • butter
pan-fried bread filled with cheese bazlama


turkish bread with cheese
turkish bread with cheese

Step 1: Dissolve the yeast with the sugar, oil and salt in the lukewarm water. Slowly add the flour and knead constantly. If the dough is still too sticky, knead in more flour. You should end up with a smooth, soft but not sticky yeast dough. Cover the dough and leave it to rise for approx. 45 minutes.

Step 2: After 45 minutes, divide the dough into six pieces. Now take one dough piece at a time and press it flat on the floured work surface. Put some cheese right in the middle. Now form a pocket by pressing all the ends together over the filling. Shape it back into a round pastry. Roll it with the rolling pin into a flatbread about 0.5 centimetres/0,2 inch thick. Put the bread to one side, do the same with the other pieces of dough and remember the order. This allows you to roll the pan breads again.

Step 3: Once all the pan breads filled with cheese have been rolled out, start frying the bazlama that you rolled out first. Use a non-stick frying pan and bake the flatbreads without adding any oil, turning several times over a medium heat until golden brown. Take the finished bazlama out of the pan, butter it as desired and bake the next rolls in turn.

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