Pide (pronounced pee-dah) is a traditional yet popular snack prepared with spinach and feta cheese filling or meat, onion, bell pepper and spices in Turkey. It is a close ralative to the Italian pizza sans the rich mozzarella topping.
In some rural areas in Turkey, there are bakeries that specialize in making pide; they make the dough and the local people will bring their own toppings. Then the pide will be baked in a special oven called tanur (tandor). Nowadays, a variety of pides are offered in many bakeries, making this delicious snack available at all times. Served with a side of salad, this slow-cooked snack can serve as a whole dish for a light lunch or dinner.
The addition of sumac gives this Turkish snack a Persian touch; the subtle sour taste of sumac lends a playful hint that is not overriding the original taste.
Prep time: 45 min.
bake time: 30 min.
Ready in: 75 min.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packs of ¼ oz)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 cup lukewarm water
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped
½ cup green bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Sumac
½ teaspoon turmeric powder
2 tomatoes, diced and seeds removed
1 teaspoon salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon Brewed saffron (optional)
1- Stir in the active dry yeast and sugar in a bowl. Pour lukewarm water over them and dissolve. Set aside the yeast mixture in a warm place to get frothy for 10 minutes.
2- Sift together flour and salt in a large bowl. When the yeast mixture is ready, make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and slowly add the yeast mixture. Gently mix with your hands by drawing the flour from sides to the center. Then proceed to knead the dough for 3-5 minutes. The dough will become sticky. Add the olive oil and knead until the dough becomes soft.
3- Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with a damp kitchen cloth and place in a warm place to double in size for about 30 minutes.
4- In the meantime, prepare the filling. Combine ground beef, onions, bell pepper, turmeric powder, sumac, black pepper and chopped parsley. Mix well for 2 minutes.
5- At the end, add deseeded tomatoes and salt. Adding them at the end of the mixing process prevents tomatoes from getting crushed and making the meat mixture runny. Also it is best to add salt to any meat at the end process to prevent the meat from becoming too hard. If using very lean meat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the meat mixture.
6- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
7- Once the dough has risen, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Then divide the dough in 2-3 pieces and roll into balls. Then spread the ball with a rolling pin on a lightly floured surface. With your hands, shape each dough into an oval with a thickness of a thin crust pizza.
8- Spread meat mixture over the dough, leaving 1 inch of space on the sides. Press the mixture with your hand or back of a spoon onto the dough. Fold in the edges of the dough to cover the edge of the meat.
9- Line a large baking tray with baking sheet or Aluminum foil. Transfer the pides to the tray. It is a good idea to transfer the dough and add the filling afterwards for a cleaner and easy transfer J.
Beat 1 egg with olive oil and brewed saffron (if using any). Brush the turned-up edges with the egg wash.
10- Bake in the rack below the middle oven rack for 25-30 minutes until the pides are golden brown and the edges are crispy.
11- To enjoy a pizza-like pide, add some shredded mozzarella on top before removing from the oven.
Serve with a drizzle of a few drops of lemon juice to add more zing and moisten it. Let the pides cool before cutting them. In addition to green salads, Shirazi cucumber salad works great as a side to pide. Noosh-e jān!