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I’ve been meaning to make pide (in case you’re wondering, it’s pronounced “PEE-day”) for quite some time.  This is street food, at its very best.  And this dough?  It is positively fabulous and wonderful to work with.  I’ve given you a couple of filling options, and then some!  We’ve been baking bread, in some form, for at least 8,000 years!  Pide, or pide bread, usually unfilled, is used to break the fast on Ramadan, or in Turkey, Ramazan. In Istanbul, pide baking started to develop in the 15th and 16th centuries.  It’s closest relative is probably pita bread, but the dough is entirely different.  It’s much more tender, and it doesn’t “puff”.  It is said that during the Ottoman Empire, pide lovers would bring their own fresh eggs, black cumin, onion seeds and sesame seeds to the bakeries and ask the baker to add the ingredients in front of their eyes.  I love the stories, and the foods, of other cultures.  So interesting.  Anyway, back to our pide!

I got this recipe from Little Ferraro Kitchen.  I did make a number of changes, but go take a look at her blog.  She has some really nice recipes.  Anyway, the dough is fabulous.  I really can’t say that enough.  The dough is fabulous!  It’s a slightly soft, sticky dough, but mmmmm!  I made it in the mixer, but I think this would actually not be too bad to do by hand.

Many times the cheese-filled version has an egg baked on top.  I didn’t do that this time, but I do want to try it.  I think I want to use either one small chicken egg or a couple of quail eggs.  Keep in mind, if you add the egg, you can’t freeze the finished pide.  The meat filling, is a combination of cooked vegetables, cooled and combined with uncooked meat.  I prefer lean ground lamb, but beef is good, too.  I also did a “filling” of very thinly sliced zucchini, sprinkled with Aleppo pepper flakes and garlic granules.  Next time (and there will definitely be a “next time”), I think I might put some zucchini slices on top of the cheese filling…why not?  I really liked the zucchini filling and think an egg would be great on it.  And maybe some shaved fennel bulb and onion, too.  I didn’t add any black olives to the cheese filling, but I will next time.  These reheat in the toaster oven beautifully.

For the dough…I’m giving you pictures…for the method, see the recipe, please.

For the meat filling:

For the Cheese Filling:

And the zucchini is simply thinly sliced zucchini and chopped fresh mint.  To assemble the pide:

You can see that I patted the ovals out on the parchment right on the pan…the dough is so pillowy soft, it just easier that way. I let the filled pide stand for about 15 minutes, so the dough would rise a bit.  You may brush the edges with an egg wash, if you wish.  I didn’t and I don’t think I would.

Slide the pan into the oven and bake until the bottoms are lightly browned and the meat is cooked through, about 15-18 minutes.  Let them cool completely, or if you want to eat them warm, let cool for at least 5-10 minutes.  I served them with a Mandarin, Green Bean, Tomato, Cucumber and Olive Salad…it seemed like a fitting match, and it was.

Turkish Pide

  • Servings: Makes 2 large pide or 6 smaller
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Print

  • Dough
  • 2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (more for rolling out)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2/3 cups warm water
  • 1/3 cup plain full-fat Greek-style yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Meat Filling
  • 1/2 pound lean ground lamb or beef
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet peppers
  • 1 onion very finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 Roma tomato, grated (discard the skin)
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika (pimentón)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon red pepper (I use Aleppo flakes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon za’atar
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Cheese Filling
  • 1 cup full fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 2-3 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Urfa Biber chile flakes (optional)
  • Pinch of kosher salt
  • Toppings
  • Chopped parsley, cilantro or basil
  • Sesame seeds
  • Excellent flavored olive oil
  • Chile flakes (Urfa Biber or Aleppo are my favorites)
  • Za’atar

In a large boxing bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt; stir until combined.  Combine the  water, yogurt and olive oil in a microwave-proof container; I use a glass measuring cup. Heat to 120°F.  Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the very warm liquid.  Attach the flat beater; beat for 1 minute.  Add the egg and the honey; beat for an additional minute.  Attach the dough hook.  Add the remaining flour (you may need a bit more flour, but don’t overdo it…this is a soft dough).  Knead until the dough forms a loose ball, about 5 minutes.  There will be a small amount of dough under the dough hook, but the bulk of the dough should clean the sides of the bowl as it kneads.  Form the dough into a ball, and cover with a cling film. Leave it in a warm place for 45-60 minutes; it will be doubled in size, and puffy.

In the meantime, prepare your fillings. Heat a wide heavy pan over medium heat.  Add a bit of olive oil; stir in the onions and peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes, until they begin to soften. Grated the tomato into the mixture, along with the white wine, lemon juice, tomato paste, and spices.  Stir to combine; let simmer until only about 2-3 tablespoons liquid remains. Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Place the ground meat in a bowl, add the vegetable mixture and combine with the ground meat.  Set aside.

For the cheese filling, combine the ingredients until well mixed.  Taste and correct the seasoning.  Set aside.

Once the dough is risen, drop it out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough three or four times; divide the dough into two pieces (see NOTE); roll into two balls.  Roll the dough balls into 2 oval shapes about 8×16-inches, and a little less than 1/4-inch thickness.  Line a large baking tray with parchment; place the 2 ovals on the tray, with at least 1-inch between them.  Spread the fillings evenly over the flat breads (one filling for each bread), leaving about an inch of bare dough, at the edges.  It is easier to spread the filling while the oval flat bread is in the tray is on the sheet pan…it doesn’t move easily.  Fold the sides in on the filling, to act as border to keep the filling intact. Gently pinch the bottom and top ends of the oval together to make it pointy.  You may brush the edges of dough with and egg/water mixture, if desired (I don’t do this, because I’m lazy!).

Preheat the oven to 425°F.  Let the pide stand for at least 15-20 minutes before baking.  Bake for 15-28 minutes, or until the meat is done and browned.  When done, remove from the pan; let cool for at least 5-10 minutes (or to room temperature).  Slice and serve.  If you wish, garnish with additional za’atar, chopped parsley or basil, and a drizzle of good olive oil.

NOTE:  I made 6 smaller pide.  The size of each was about 3×8-inch ovals.  These freeze well and reheat in a toaster oven, set to “toast”.  One whole small chicken egg per cheese-filled pide or 1-2 quail eggs are perfect.  If adding an egg, make a well in the center of the filling with the back of a spoon, before baking. Partially bake the cheese-filled version, about 7 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven, break the egg(s) into the well and return the pan to the oven to finish baking, about 9-10 minutes or until the egg is set.

Heavily adapted from Little Ferraro Kitchen.