A perfectly, thin, crispy crust coated with a mixture of veggies, spices and ground meat. Turkish pizza is the ultimate, traditional Turkish street food.
The Legend of the Turkish Pizza
I have been told that the Turkish pizza was the creation of baker that visited the coast of Italy. He saw the people eating and enjoying pizza and he tasted it and enjoyed it too. So as the story goes, he brought the concept back to his homeland but put a local spin on it infusing Turkish spices and seasonings to make it such a beloved Turkish dish.
I do not know if this legend is true or if my friend was only trying to play a joke on me, but it does make for a really great story, if you ask me.
There’s nothing like going to the Firin (Turkish for bakery) and to see that they are making Turkish pizza*. Hot and fresh out of the wood-buring oven, the pizza is the perfect food to eat for lunch or dinner. In many ways, it reminds me of my years in New York City, when I would go and grab a slice from Joe’s Pizza, and stand outside or grab a seat at the counter and eat my slice.
Needless to say, no matter where I am in the world, I make friends pretty quickly with the bakers and the people who sell food. Lol! And no matter how long I’ve been gone, if they are still there, they remember me, lol! So do yourself a favor, and either go to enjoy a Lahmacun from your favorite place or make this beautiful recipe. Because, who doesn’t like pizza?
Here’s the recipe:
Lahmacun (Turkish Pizza)
For the topping:
- 1/4 lb ground beef
- 3/4 c tomato (chopped)
- 1/4 c sweet red pepper (chopped)
- 1/2 c chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 c tomato paste
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- salt (to taste)
- 2 T olive oil
For the dough:
- 1 cup of flour (+1/2 c more for kneading)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 c warm water
- 1.5 tsp yeast
Place all of the topping ingredients in a food processor (except for the ground beef) and blend it until it forms a smooth mixture. Add in some olive oil if needed and continue blending.
Then mix in the ground beef with a fork and spatula until it is well incorporated.
Set the mixture aside and roll out the dough.
Pre-heat the oven for 220C/428F.
For a large lahmacun, take half of the dough and roll out into a long, thin, oval piece.
Gently transfer the dough onto a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Then take about half of the topping and spread it evenly on top of the dough to create a nice thin layer, being sure not to leave too much empty space.
Bake the lahmacun in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is browned and crispy and the toppings cooked.
Remove from the oven and serve immediately.
*In some cases, they are making it for a special order, because you can bring them all the ingredients and they will assemble and bake the pizzas for you, but in the heart of the city centers, it is quite common to find them bakers making them for individual sale.