Somun is a flatbread similar to pita. The real star of this dish is the čevapi though. Grilled mini kebabs are what I would describe them as. All served with a sour cream sauce makes this an amazing meat lover’s meal.
This kind of meal is popular across the Balkans, but Bosnia was the first one on my list in the Baking World Tour so that is why I made it for Bosnia. Although my recipe looks like the real deal, I will admit that a lot of times authentic ingredients are not available to me. I used sour cream for the sauce, but the original recipes use a kind of soured milk. A mix of yogurt mashed with feta cheese can also be a good substitute. As I know most of you do not live in countries where soured milk is common I guess you would forgive me for not using it.
Making recipes more accessible is one of my main goals, so here we are.
The flatbread is super simple to make. You could turn it into a recipe that uses preferment if you wanted to, but I think keeping this one easy is the way to go as the rest of the elements of this dish are simple and not time consuming either.
When it comes to the čevapi there are a few things to note. I used a mix of pork and beef. You can use different kinds of meat. Lamb and beef or just beef or just lamb would work. Mixing beef and pork for me is the sweet spot. You get the flavour from beef and the juiciness and fattiness of pork. This same mix can be used to make meatballs which go perfectly in a tomato sauce.
To keep the kebabs nice and springy and juicy I used an old granny trick which involves soaking some stale bread, then squeezing the water out and adding it to the meat mixture. If you have never tried this, you may realize that you have been eating golf balls up until now.
You can cook the čevapi in several ways. Leave them on a tray and bake them on a high temperature in the oven or cook them in a pan. Barbecuing would be the best option in my opinion. I used my panini press, which worked fine, but it is not a great tool for this job.
This recipe makes 4 flatbreads and has a total of 1kg of meat. So, it is for 4 extremely hungry people.
Watch the video down below for detailed instructions.
For the dough –
250g (8.8oz) strong white bread flour
5g (0.17oz) salt
3g (0.1oz) instant dry yeast, 3.6g (0.12oz) active dry yeast or 9g (0.3oz) fresh yeast
155g (5.45oz) cold water*
*To learn more about dough temperature control click here.
For the čevapi –
500g (1.1lb) minced pork
500g (1.1lb) minced beef
10 cloves minced garlic
10g (0.35oz) salt
5g (0.17oz) paprika
1 whole egg
1 bun worth of stale bread
Ground pepper to your taste
For the sauce –
Herbs of your choice. I used chives.
Salt & pepper
*You could also add a squeeze of lemon juice
To serve –
Sliced fresh onions
Chili flakes if you like it a bit spicy
- Make the čevapi mix. Soak the stale bread in cold water. Whilst the bread is soaking combine the egg, paprika, salt, pepper, and garlic. Squeeze as much water from the bread as possible and add it to the rest of the ingredients. Mash everything together as smoothly as possible. Add the minced meat and mix until all the ingredients are evenly dispersed. Place the čevapi mix in a piping bag if you are using one. It is by far the best and most convenient way of making the čevapi. Pipe the čevapi onto a tray. Cover and leave in the fridge for later.
- Make the sauce. Mix all the ingredients well. Cover and leave in the fridge for later.
- Make the dough. In a large bowl combine the water, yeast, and salt. Mix well to dissolve the salt. Add the flour and mix to a dough.
- Tip the dough out on your table and knead it for 5 minutes. *Desired dough temperature 25-26C (77-79F). If your dough is warmer, then it will ferment more rapidly. If it is cooler, then it will take longer. Adjust proofing time accordingly.
- Place the dough into a bowl. Cover and ferment it for 1.5 hours.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces and shape them into round balls.
- Cover and ferment for 1 hour or until doubled in size. *During this time preheat your oven to 250C (480F) fan on. Also preheat your baking stone or meatal tray or any other base you may use.
- Flatted each dough ball and using a chopstick or a skewer impress a diamond pattern into it.
- Bake the somun for around 3 minutes.
- Cover the somun as soon as they come out the oven to prevent them from drying out.
- Cook the čevapi.
- Assemble your massive sandwich and enjoy!
Keep in mind that the conditions in each kitchen are different, so fermentation times may vary for you. It is up to the baker to control the bread and react accordingly.
Your oven may be different too, so your baking time may vary.
Watch the video here