When I asked my friend Bojana for a typical recipe from North Macedonia, she sent me a recipe for Gjomleze. It’s a special pie from the Ohrid area that consists of many crispy layers. In Ohrid, the women wake up very early to prepare gjomleze in the typical way, using a sach and fire, ash and coals. The ingredients are very simple, and the technique and the crispiness are what makes the dish so delicious. Although it is referred to as a pie, since it does not have a filling it also resembles a crispy bread.
While at home, I used the oven instead but be prepared to spend many hours to make it. In fact, this recipe for gjomleze took the longest of any recipe I have ever prepared, not counting resting time. For this recipe, I needed to pay attention and keep doing a new layer pretty often. However, in the end it was worth it to try this. Now I want to try the traditional version in Ohrid!
500 g flour
670 ml water
2/3 tsp salt
35 ml oil
Pre-heat the oven to 200 C (400 F)
First, in a large bowl, mix flour, salt and water with a mixer to obtain a batter similar to that of crepes. Add more flour or water if needed.
Next, coat a round pan with oil and pour a small amount of the mixture with a large ladle to make a thin layer. Place in a heated oven to bake until slightly brown.
After you bake the first layer, coat with oil and pour the second thin layer and return to bake again.
Repeat the procedure until you use all of the mixture.
When the last crust is slightly baked, remove pan from the oven, cut in cubes, sprinkle with oil and return to bake a little longer until brown.
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