Turkish Pide is a dish we are making more and more these days. Easier than a pizza because you don’t need a tomato sauce (unless you want it): you can use what cheese you might have in the fridge as a topping, together with something as simple as caramelized onions. Turkish pide is a super easy flat bread that will aid you as an improvised meal to serve to last minute guests (if you have Mediterranean friends, this might happen to you often). Or it might solve a week meal for those days when you seem to have nothing to cook (most of the times it’s not true). As we recently travelled with Turkish Airlines, we had the fortune to try freshly made pide at Istanbul airport, the memories of gorgeous pide and gozleme we used to eat in north London, where I lived for many years, came back to mind, together with a curiosity to recreate those flavours. If you follow b&b you know that I am a sucker for south Mediterranean and Levantine cuisine, so it is a honour to be able to make these very special dishes at home.
The ingredients below yield 3 Turkish pides.
- 200g flour
- 120ml water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp instant dried yeast
- 250gr shredded cheese (you can use cheddar, mozzarella, gouda, emmental, any cheese that will likely melt well)
- 1 small onion
Step 1 – Add the dried yeast to the water, mix it with a teaspoon and wait five to ten minutes for it to activate. It will create a fluffy foam on top When you see that, it means it’s ready to be used.
Step 2 – In an ample bowl, add the salt to the flour and whisk lightly. Add the active water to the flour and start kneading with your hands. You can also use the hook extension of a mixer for this step. Knead until your dough has a smooth, elastic texture.
Step 3 – Shape the dough into a ball, grease it lightly with oil and let it rest in a clean bowl for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.
Step 4 – While your dough is resting, you can caramelise your onion.
Julienne your onion. In a small frying pan, warm up a drizzle of olive oil on the stove at a medium heat. Add the onions, fry them at a moderate heat, stirring regularly. After 5 minutes, add some salt to taste. You may add some sugar (1 tsp or less) to enhance the caramelised flavour. Keep stirring regularly, scraping the onions from the bottom of the pan to ‘deglaze’ and create a rich brown colour. If they dry out, you can add some water to help with this process. Cook until they are soft and brown. Place on a side to be used later.
Step 5 – If you have it, place a baking stone in the oven and turn the oven on at 250°C.
Step 6 – Once the dough has doubled in size, divide it in three equal parts – help yourself with a scale to weigh the dough and make sure the parts are equals.
Step 7 – Take one third of your dough, and with your hands, extend it on a floured surface so it has a long oval shape. Then, with the help of a rolling pin, stretch the dough until it’s an oval measuring around 30cm maximum length and 15cm maximum width. Repeat with the other two parts of dough.
Step 8 – Place your shredded cheese on one of the oval, leaving a clean 3cm border. Sprinkle some caramelised onions sparingly, and add any additional flavours you might want to add, such as black pepper, oregano or jalapeno chillies. With your hands, pinch the dough at both ends of the length, lifting the side borders, to create a boat shape. Repeat with the other two ovals.
Step 9 – Place the pides on the hot stone in the oven and bake for around 10-12 minutes or until they are golden brown and visibly crisped up. Serve hot with a lovely glass of red wine!
Have you tried pide before? Would you make it at home? Let us know if you try this recipe!