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Kıymalı & Peynirli Pide | Turkish meat and cheese pizza

بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِارَّحْمَنِ ارَّحِيم
السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته

Pide, also known as “Pita” or "lahma bel adjaine", "lahmacun" in some countries is typically served as a part of Turkish, Armenian and Middle-Eastern cuisines. It's a pizza-like dish that has a soft, chewy texture. The oval-shaped dough is topped with finely chopped meat and herbs before baking. 

Regional variations in the shape, baking technique, and topped materials create distinctive styles for each region. Pides can include chicken, beef, cheese, potatoes, garlic and many other ingredients. Beside Pide with meat topping and cheese topping, you can use a chicken topping, spinach, suçuk - a Turkish sausage topping. Some even top their Pide off with soft cooked eggs. 

The main trick to making Pide is the dough. The dough should be chewy and very soft. I tried making it once, but it didn’t come out as good and it was not as chewy as I would want it to be. Plus, it is very hard for my children to nibble on something hard. My Turkish friend Açelya whose a great cook and baker shared with some tricks for making this delicious pizza. If you remember she also shared her recipe for another bread with the same name "Ramazan Pide" that traditionally eaten in Turkey during Ramadan.

 I quickly adopted her tricks and recreate that exact Pide I ate years ago in a Turkey. I put together a combination of toppings we like and decided to share it with you.The topping that I am going to use, is the most appealing to me but it can be altered according to the taste of your family. 

For an authentic Turkish experience, serve your Pide it with Acılı Ezme, a Turkish style salsa and Ayran, a fermented yoghurt drink. 

active prep time: 20 mins | inactive prep time: 30min | cook time: 15-25 mins 
2 large Pides

  • 3 cups - 380g of strong flour (I used 2 cups whole wheat + 1 cup white)
  • 1 TBS of dry yeast
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup of warm milk (+ or -)
  • 1 tsp of honey (or 2 tsp sugar)
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 medium egg
  • 3 TBS of olive oil
2 red bell peppers
olive oil
freshly ground black pepper


topping one -
  • 500g ground lamb 
  • 1 onion, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 large green paprika, chopped
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • handful of freshly chopped parsely
  • 1 tsp hot dersa or hot pepper paste (optional)
  • salt/black pepper
topping two -
  • 500g cheese of your choose (I used a combination of Cheddar, Mozzorella & Halloumi)
  • Few slices of suçuk (or halal chorizo or other smoked sausage) 

    PREPARE the dough:
    HEAT the milk. Dissolve the yeast in the milk.  Set aside and allow to bubble up for a few minutes. Mix in the egg, baking powder, honey, salt and oil. Gradually add in the flour and mix to incorporate. Knead the dough into a smooth and bouncy ball of dough.  I precisely measured the amount of flour needed. I hope you will not need more. But if you do, add 1/2 cup or less.  Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and place a clean kitchen towel over the bowl. Allow to rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in size for 30 minutes.

    Make the sauce: Using a broiler or gas stove, thoroughly char the skins of the red bell peppers until blackened. Place the peppers in a large bowl and cover to allow them to steam for 15-20 min. Carefully remove the blackened skin as well as the stem and seeds. Roughly chop the roasted peppers and place in the bowl of a food processor. Drizzle in a healthy glug of olive oil and puree. Season with salt and pepper.

     Make the topping: Heat 2 TBS of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add in onions and garlic to cook until softened, about 5 min. Add in the remaining ingredients and saute until lamb is cooked through, about 10-15 more min. Taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Spoon off some of the excuse liquid if needed and let cool.

    Assemble the Pides: Preheat oven to 250°C - 400°F. If using a pizza stone, that should be in the oven during preheating. Sprinkle a peel with a pinch of cornmeal. If you don’t have a peel, use an inverted baking sheet.
    Once the dough is rested, it should double its previous size. Take out the dough to the floured surface, cut into two pieces. This way you will have two large Pides. Keep the other pieces covered while you work with one piece. Make 2 round balls, set one aside and work with another one. Using a rolling pin, roll an 45 cm or 18 in thin oval. Use a floured rolling pin to gently roll out the dough into a long, oval shape (see photos). Once you have the dough rolled out to the thickness, transfer to your prepared peel or inverted baking sheet. Spread a few spoonfuls of sauce on the dough, leaving a thick border. Reserve some of the sauce for later. Now add the topping.
    Fold the border up over the meat to create a frame.It's like making a boat. Shaping it by pleating and pinching together (see photos), similar to how you would wrap dumplings except on a bigger scale. You can also just fold the border up without pleating. At each pointy end of the dough, pinch together the two sides and give the “tail” a twist to secure the fold. Now brush each Pide with the remaining sauce. 

    Preparing the lamb Pide

    Preparing the cheese Pide
    Baking the Pides: Carefully slide the pide onto the baking stone (or stick the whole baking sheet into the oven if not using a stone). Bake for 15-25 min, until the dough edges are nicely browned, the red pepper sauce is bubbling slightly, and the bottom is crispy. Carefully remove the pide from the oven. Repeat with the remaining two pieces of dough.
    Size- Wise
    You can easily make individual Pides instead of 2 large ones by dividing the dough into 16.

    Subsitute rye, barley or gluten free baking flour in this recipe.

    Top with spinach, feta or chicken instead of the lamb and cheese mixture.

    bread, pizza, Turkish


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