Authentic Turkish Lavas Puff Bread

Authentic Turkish Lavas Puff Bread recipe

The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

Prep: 40 mins
Cook: 8 mins
Rise Time: 2 hrs 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 18 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
344 Calories
9g Fat
58g Carbs
8g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 344
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 9g 11%
Saturated Fat 5g 25%
Cholesterol 20mg 7%
Sodium 946mg 41%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 2g 9%
Total Sugars 2g
Protein 8g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 16mg 1%
Iron 3mg 19%
Potassium 96mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

If you’ve eaten at an authentic Turkish kebab house or ocakbaşı (meaning "fireside restaurant"), you’re sure to have sampled this classic puff bread from southeastern Turkey. You can use this recipe to bake authentic Turkish lavaş (lah-VAHSH) at home. The bread is delicious and a lot of fun to make at home.

Lavaş, sometimes called "balloon bread," is thin and crispy and puffs up high as it cooks. It’s served piping hot with a hollow center full of steam as an appetizer before kebab meals. You'll often find it accompanied by Turkish tulum goat cheese, chunks of unsalted village butter, and a spicy tomato and pepper crush called ezme (ez-MAY).


  • 2 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

  • 1 1/4 cups warm water

  • 2 teaspoons sugar

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, or margarine

  • 3 1/2 cups flour

  • 2 1/2 teaspoons fine salt

  • Sesame seeds, for garnish

  • Nigella seeds, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Authentic Turkish Lavas Puff Bread ingredients

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  2. In a large bowl, stir the active dry yeast and warm water until the yeast is dissolved.

    yeast and warm water in a bowl

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  3. Add the sugar and stir again until it has dissolved. Set the yeast mixture aside in a warm place for about 15 minutes to let it develop. You’ll know it’s ready when you see bubbles on the surface.

    sugar in the water and yeast mixture

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  4. Melt the butter then let it cool down. Stir it into the yeast mixture.

    melted butter

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  5. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the yeast mixture and mix.

    salt and flour added to the yeast mixture

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  6. Knead the dough first in the bowl, then on a lightly floured surface until it forms a smooth ball.

    ball of dough

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  7. Grease the inside of a deep bowl with a little olive oil, place the dough inside, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for about 15 minutes. Turn the dough out onto your floured surface and knead again for 15 minutes.

    dough in a bowl

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  8. Oil the bowl again and add the dough, this time letting it rise for about 2 hours. The dough should double in size.

    dough in a bowl, covered

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  9. Preheat the oven to 480 F/250 C. Turn out the dough onto the floured surface and flatten it with your hands.

    dough on a floured surface

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  10. Cut the dough in half, then cut each half into 3 even-sized pieces, making 6 pieces total. Form the pieces into balls, cover them with plastic wrap, and let them rise on the floured surface for 15 minutes.

    dough divided into pieces

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  11. Using your hands or a rolling pin, make a disk out of each piece of dough. Continue to flatten the disk until it becomes very thin. Use extra flour to keep it from sticking to your hands and the surface.

    dough balls rolled out with a rolling pin

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  12. Sprinkle sesame and nigella seeds onto the dough and roll it in with the rolling pin with one last stroke to press the seeds into the dough. Grease 2 large baking trays with a little olive oil and place 3 pieces of dough on each one.

    dough rolled out with a sprinkle of sesame and nigella seeds

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  13. Bake for about 8 minutes, or until the centers puff up high and they begin to brown. If you have time, bake them one by one in the very center of the oven for the best puff-up results.

    Authentic Turkish Lavas Puff Bread on a baking pan

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii

  14. Serve the lavaş hot with your choice of accompaniments.

    Authentic Turkish Lavas Puff Bread with toppings

    The Spruce / Ahlam Raffii