Pide is one of the most delicious Turkish fast food you can get – greasy, crisp and filled with delicious things like meat, cheese, sausage or whatever you want to use. As in almost all other countries, there is also a version of pizza here in Turkey – and although the idea is still a long way from the real Italian pizza, pide is a really, really good substitute. It’s actually so good, that it is a must try, when you visit the country and I bet that you’ll miss it, when you are far from Turkey.
We usually get Pide at least once during our vacation. I usually love when it’s karışık – mixed, so the elongated Pide is divided into sections with different fillings – cheese, sausage, meat, spinach and pepper, eggs etc. Then you get a little of everything, if you cannot decide (and it can be difficult). Otherwise I can recommed kiymali (with chopped meat) – it is heaven!! I’ve never tried to make it at home before. Actually a little odd, now that I think about it, because we quite often make homemade pizza or Lahmacun (and youcan get the recipe here). You may wonder a little about what the difference is between Pide and Lahmacun, as in principle they are both a kind of pizza. Pide is elongated (like a submarine) with thick, crisp edges and different fillings, while Lahmacun is a round very, very thin pizza stuffed with minced meat, sprinkled with lemon juice and rolled up like a pancake. So they are quite different, but both are a kind of fast food.
The other day I finally dared to give it a try and make pide. They were not completely perfect (and lacked definitely some fat and a stone oven), but they could do it and tasted really good anyway (and just a bit authentic if you closed your eyes). So now you get the recipe. My favorite was the one with spinach, feta cheese and red pepper, though I usually prefer meat. I used spared lamb meat from the night before and chopped the roasted meat completely, till it was in fine bits. It went really well, but could have tolerated more fat. You can also use raw lamb meat in really small bites or minced meat, if you have it. Or Turkish sausage with eggs (eggs just cracked, so they look like fried eggs on top of the pizza).
What you need:
Here there is enough for 2 oblong pide bread, which is enough for about 4 people. To make both kinds of filling either halve the stuffing or double up on the dough.
For the dough you’ll need:
300 gr plain flour + 1 tablespoon for later use
1 teaspoon salt
14 gr / 4 tsp. dry yeast
1 cup handluke water
3 tbsp. olive oil
For meat topping:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
400 gr ground beef or lamb
½ green Turkish peppers (one of the long and spicy), finely chopped
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1-2 tbsp. olive oil
about 1 teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 egg + 1 tbsp. olive oil to brush the edges with and some melted butter
For spinach / cheese topping:
1 medium onion, finely chopped
200 gr spinach leaves, washed and dried
200 gr crumbled feta cheese
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced lengthwise
1 tbsp. Turkish red pepper paste – preferable the strong one (use only ½ teaspoon if you prefer it less spicy)
1 tbsp. olive oil
Salt (depending on how salty your feta is) and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 egg + 1 tbsp. olive oil to brush the sides of pide and melted butter
Remember to half the topping portion or double up the dough, if you want to make both kinds of fillings – you can always use the remains till lunch the next day.
Make the dough:
Preheat the oven to 200 C along with the pizza stone or baking sheet, depending on what you use. We made pide on the grill and put a pizza stone on top of the grate. I think it will be a good thing, if you heat the oven or grill for as high as it can get (just make sure it’s not only from the buttom) – it might give you a more crispy pide. Make take care and pay attention to the dough.
Stir the dry yeast with the lukewarm water in a small bowl and stir. Let it rest for about 10 min until it foams.
Mix flour and salt in a large bowl, make a well in the center and pour 2 tablespoons. olive oil and yeast mixture (I usually use a mixer). Pour the remaining water into the flour mixture and knead for 3 -5 minutes, until you have a soft, smooth dough. The dough is quite sticky and a little crazy to work with, but perhaps give it a little extra flour and oil until it is ok. Just 1 tablespoon at a time.
Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until it is well double in size.
Make the filling to pide:
Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the onions and peppers for 2-3 minutes over medium heat until they begin to soften. Stir in the tomatoes and saute for another 2 minutes, then lemon juice and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Turn off the heat.
Put the minced meat in a bowl and mix vegetable mixture with the meat. Now, the topping is ready. If you also make spinach filling, use same approach, where you also warm 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large frying pan and sauterer onions and peppers for 3-5 minutes over medium heat until they begin to soften. Turn off the heat and stir in spinach, red pepper paste (if you use it) and Feta, mix well. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and then the topping is also ready.
When the dough is raised, you put a little flour on the table and knead the dough for about a minute and divide into two (or four, if you made double portion). Roll each portion into a rectangular form (approximately 20 x 40 cm and about ½ cm thick), so you finally have 2 or 4 “bread”. The dough is quite crazy – it teased me a bit and was a little hard to move.
Grease the baking sheet or stone with oil and put the loaves on.
Make a 1 cm. edge of each loaf by folding the dough and pinch the ends together a bit, so the loaves are oval or boat-shaped. Spread the filling evenly over the bread.
Beat an egg in a small bowl and mix with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Brush the edges of the dough with the mixture.
Bake for 25-30 minutes until pide is golden brown and crisp around the edges.
Let them cool slightly, brush the pide with melted butter, cut into slices and serve. They taste wonderful !!