Breaking Bread

The best thing since sliced bread may well be unsliced bread...

The delicious Turkish Pide Bread (pronounced peedeh) being baked nightly at Zeki’s Bread in their woodfired oven, is traditionally pulled apart – not sliced, in true ‘cradle of civilization’ style.

As friends in other restaurants started ordering the loaves, and word of mouth spread, an ever increasing following of appreciative and loyal customers were a catalyst – Zeki started a bakery with a difference – a woodfired oven and only one product!Zeki Kizilata, a native of Izmir, Turkey, first started baking Turkish bread to accompany the mezes, dips and meals at his restaurant in Mission Bay, Auckland in 1998. An authentic recipe and method dating back to biblical times, repeated by successive generations of bakers, father to son - Turkish pide is baked in stone ovens all over Anatolia. It has a great, slightly chewy texture gained through the high and direct heat of the oven floor on which it sits as it bakes. The wood fire adds that subtle flavour, so elemental, that we love about food cooked in natural, old fashioned ways.

Joined by master baker Yusuf Ozbal, the bakery now supplies many cafes, restaurants, delis and a chosen few small retailers, avoiding the supermarket. As the bread has no preservatives and, like all bread, is made to be eaten on the same day, the unsupervised supermarket shelf is no place for it. However, even 2 day old pide comes up beautifully in a hot oven or toasted, and the bread freezes well.

These days a range of other breads have been added to the repertoire – a one stop bread supplier to the hospitality industry.