Why did I wait so long?
As an outdoor cooking enthusiast, I enjoy preparing themed dishes inspired by major sporting events and countries. Over time, I’ve cooked cuisines from around the world, but Turkish Pide Bread has long caught my interest. Despite noticing this unique flatbread many times, I never got around to making it myself until now.
Turkish pide bread is a popular oblong-shaped flatbread with origins in Turkey. It is made from a yeasted dough that is rolled out and stretched by hand into an elongated shape resembling a canoe. Before baking, pide is topped with a variety of ingredients like spiced ground meat, vegetables, cheese and eggs. Traditionally, it is baked at high heat in a stone oven which gives the bread its distinct puffy texture and chewy, crisp crust.
Preparation and the Cook
To begin making the Turkish pide bread, I first prepared the dough and let it rise. Since I enjoy spicy flavours, I decided to top the pide with a lamb keema mixture seasoned with aromatic spices. I sautéed the boldly spiced lamb filling ahead of time and set it aside to cool. Next, I divided the risen dough into three equal pieces and shaped each one into an oval ball. I used a rolling pin to carefully roll out each ball into an oblong flatbread. Once I had elongated the dough into the classic pide boat shape, I generously spread the pre-cooked lamb keema over one-half of each oval, leaving a border. Then I folded the edges of the dough over the filling and made a small well in the center to crack an egg into before baking.
To bake the pide, I used my Ooni Pro pizza oven which can be fueled by charcoal or wood. For this recipe, I chose to use apple wood chunks to impart a subtle sweet-smoke flavour to the bread. I was initially concerned the oblong pide shape might be tricky to slide from the pizza peel into the oven. However, I employed my go-to technique of dusting the peel with semolina flour before loading on the pide. The coarse grains of semolina prevent sticking and allowed the pide to smoothly launch off the peel and into the 500°F oven.
The temperature of the pizza oven was at 450-500°C, which meant these only took a couple of minutes to cook. I kept rotating the Pide Bread (as you would a pizza) to ensure an all-round even cook.
After finally trying my hand at making Turkish pide bread, I’m kicking myself for not having tried it sooner! This Turkish staple was a big hit with my family. With its pillowy oval shape and chewy crust, pide reminded me of a delicious flatbread-pizza hybrid. The spiced lamb keema topping provided a savoury, protein-packed contrast to the airy dough. The flavour and texture combined perfectly for a new family favourite. Pide is an ideal alternative to pizza that I will definitely be making outdoors again soon. I can’t recommend this Turkish speciality enough, especially for fellow pizza lovers looking for an exciting bread to add to their repertoire!
Turkish Pide Bread
For the Pide Dough
- 300 g 00 Flour
- 1 tsp Dried Yeast
- 1 tsp Salt
- ½ tsp Honey
- 240 ml Warm Water
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- Handful Mozarella (optional)
For the Spicy Lamb Mince
- 400 g Lamb Mince
- 1 Onion (finely diced)
- 1 Red Pepper (finely diced)
- 2 Tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 tsp Cumin Powder
- 1 tsp Coriander Powder
- ½ tsp Tumeric
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
Making the Dough
- First combine the dried yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Pour in 1/2 of the warm water and gently mix the yeast and sugar until completely dissolved. After mixing, I set the yeast mixture aside for 5 minutes to proof. During this time, the yeast will become frothy and bubbly, indicating it was active and ready to use in the dough. Allowing the yeast to proof properly in the warm water ensures the bread will rise and develop an airy texture.
- Combine the flour and salt together in a large mixing bowl, then create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil along with the frothy yeast mixture.
- I used a Kitchen Aid so at this point I started mixing the ingredients together. Next, slowly add the remaining warm water. Do this gradually, bringing the ingredients together. Knead the dough for around 5 minutes.
- Place the dough in a large bowl and cover with a cling film or a damp cloth. Leave it in a warm place for 1 hour until it doubles in size.
For the Spicy Lamb Mince
- In a pan heat the olive oil then gently cook the onions and peppers until they start to soften.
- Add the cumin, coriander and turmeric, mixing well with the pepper and onion. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Next add the mince, cooking until it is all browned. Finally, add the chopped tomatoes and cook for around 5 minutes.
- Once all the ingredients are cooked, take off the hob and allow to cool.
Bringing it all together
- Once the dough has risen, turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead for 1 minute to punch it down.
- Divide the dough into 3 and shape each piece into a tight round ball.
- Use a rolling pin to roll each dough ball into an oval oblong shape, then spread the spiced lamb topping over the centre of each oval, leaving a 2-3cm border.
- Fold the untopped outer edges over the filling to create a border. This border will help keep the topping contained as the pide bakes. Gently pinch and gather the dough at each end of the oval to form two pointed tips. This gives the pide its characteristic canoe or boat shape.
- Make a well in the lamb mixture and crack an egg or eff yolk into the middle. You can then optionally add some grated cheese on top. I added some grated mozarella and parmesan (and also a few Jalapenos).
- Cook in the OONI for around 2 minutes, rotating every 30 seconds (if you don't have a pizza over you could to this in your oven for 25-30 minutes at 180℃).
- Remove from the oven and optionally drizzle with some chilli pizza oil.