Katmer is an ancient pastry, well-known in Anatolia, especially in rural areas. The earliest written reference to katmer goes back to the end of the 14th century during the Ottoman era. But its history possibly began even before. According to some historians, katmer has been known in Central Asian Turkish cuisine since the 11th century. In 17th century Istanbul katmer existed among the pastries sold in bakeries. Katmer is prepared with the same technique used in making flat bread (yufka) and baklava. But the dough for katmer is prepared with a generous amount of butter and oil, unlike yufka. It is known in most of the regions in Turkey. Katmer can be prepared plain or stuffed with tahini, poppy seed paste or with walnuts. It can be consumed as a savoury or sweet pastry. It is prepared with grounded pistachios in Gaziantep, a city in the South-East region and with poppy seed paste in Afyon and Uşak. Katmer filled with tahini is renowned, especially in Konya. Tahini is a paste made from ground sesame seeds. Katmer with tahini can be served plain and also as a sweet pastry, when it is served with jams, grape molasses or icing sugar. Katmer is baked on a metal plate or copper pan. Nowadays it is also baked in the oven.
Sift the flour and salt. Make a well in the centre and add water, egg and olive oil. Mix well until soft dough forms. Knead until smooth.Divide the pastry into 12 walnut-sized pieces and roll each piece into a tight ball. Place on a floured surface and leave to rest for 15 minutes under a slightly damp towel.Take a piece of pastry and put it on the lightly floured work surface and roll it out into a circle (30 cm diameter) Spread the butter and tahini over the circle of dough and roll it up tightly. Then roll it again into a circle in a spiral shape.Press out each circle of dough then roll it again gently and place it on a greased oven tray.Repeat the 4th- 5th and 6th steps for all the pieces of dough.Bake the katmer in a preheated oven at 200 C º for 20 minutes.After they are baked, sprinkle with icing sugar or serve hot with jam or honey. NoteAs you coat the dough with tahini and butter, you may sprinkle a little sugar on.