I just got back from a whirlwind vacation across Europe, gorging my way through five countries before rolling into Istanbul. Ahhh Istanbul--land of lamb chops so pink that even Mary would have had a nibble; tiny plums so sweet they put those cotton candy grapes to shame; and olives so large you could eat them with a knife and fork. I thought all of this was wonderful and great and more than enough to keep me full and happy, and it was... until I found Pide.
Lamb Pide at Karadeniz Pide and Kebap, Istanbul, Turkey
Pide is Turkey’s answer to pizza, and it is exactly what you would get if a kebab, a calzone, and a pita walked into a bar (or oven). A traditional Turkish street food, Pide is found all over Istanbul and is comprised of a long oblong-shaped, open-faced dough filled with spiced meat, vegetables, cheese, eggs and any other ingredients you could imagine. Today, I made Pide with lots of leftovers from my garden and some delicious fresh lamb sausage. This is a great meal to make to clean out the fridge and explore some new flavor combinations.
For the dough:
10 ½ oz all-purpose flour + 2 tbsp
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
34 tbsp olive oil
8 oz warm water
4 tsp (2, 7-gram packets) dried yeast
1 egg for egg wash
Dissolve sugar, yeast and ½ cup warm water in a bowl. In a separate large bowl, mix flour and salt and dump out onto worktop. When yeast is bubbly and active, make a well in flour and add yeast plus additional ½ cup warm water and olive oil.
Draw additional flour into well and work flour into dough.
Knead dough until it is smooth and springy (about 5 minutes) using extra flour if dough gets too sticky. Shape dough into a ball and place into oiled bowl. Cover with clingfilm and let rise until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
For more information on dough making, check out Come Visit Us For A "Pizza" The Action. While waiting for the dough to rise, make the filling.
For the filling:
Filling varieties are endless. This is a spin on the classic ground lamb filling found at most Pide shops. I cheated a bit by using heavily spiced fresh lamb sausages. If you can find these, I highly recommend them as they give a really authentic flavour. If not, any type of ground meat will work along with whatever veggies, cheese and spices you fancy.
1 small onion diced (I used two small spring onions)
1-2 small tomatoes diced (I used 20 grape tomatoes)
1 bell pepper diced (I used 3 seeded jalapenos)
14 oz ground meat (I used 4 lamb sausages removed from their casings.)
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in shallow pan. Sautee onions and peppers until soft.
Add tomatoes and sautee an additional 3 minutes. *Pro Tip: To quickly slice cherry and grape tomatoes, secure them under a plastic lid and slice through them all at once with a bread knife!*
Season with salt and pepper. When vegetables are cool, mix with meat until well-combined.
When dough has doubled in size, turn out onto floured surface. Divide in half.
Shape one half into an oval. Roll out into a long oblong and place on sheet tray lined with parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
Spread filling down the center, leaving an inch border along the entire edge.
Fold edge over, pinching the dough at each end to create Pide’s distinctive boat shape. Brush with egg wash and bake for 30 minutes at 350. This recipe makes two Pide.
Once meat is cooked through, top with shredded cheese, turn oven up to broil and broil until cheese is bubbly and dough begins to brown. Slice it up and eat!
Even if you can’t make it to Istanbul to experience the wonderful hospitality of the people, the rich cultural history or the incredible energy of the world’s 8th largest city, you can bring a taste of Istanbul home by making Pide!
Learn more about bread and dough making in one of The Chopping Block's fall baking classes like How to Bake Bread or Artisanal Breads Boot Camp (where you’ll learn to make Pide’s cousin the Pita), or explore the spices of the East with our Chef Dinner: Mumbai to Marrakech: The Spice House.