Nicknamed the “Turkish pizza”, pide is the other Turkish pizza after Lahmacun.

Pide is undoubtedly the predecessor of pizza.
It is true that when it comes to pizza, Italy is the first place that comes to mind. But stuffed pasta has long been known in many cultures. Already 2000 years BC, the Assyrians garnished a thin mixture of meat, this specialty was called lahmacun, which means “meat on dough” which until today is still known as Turkish pizza. Pide is a flat Turkish bread, known in Greece as pita, which is eaten to accompany a meal, and this is where the name “pizza” would come from. The history of pizza, a dish that has become an icon of the quality and authenticity of Italian cuisine, is in fact inextricably linked to the history of bread and the art of cooking.
The ancestors of pizza are found about 6000 years ago, at the dawn of agriculture, in Mesopotamia and in general throughout the region between the Tigris, the Euphrates and the Nile, where the Egyptians observed that they did not immediately cook a dough based on flour and water have led to strange consequences: the dough has risen first and then, if it has not been cooked long enough, it has ended up spoiling and becoming inedible. The Italic peoples of the 1st century BC they used the rolled thin bread dough as the dish on which they served the main dish. They were already experimenting with a particular type of bread production which involved a flat disc shape. From that moment, the idea of ​​using “bread dishes” began to spread throughout the Mediterranean region of Roman and non-Roman influence. There are therefore examples such as focaccia, piadina, cocas from Catalonia, the Valencia region and the Balearic Islands, and in particular from the Turkish or Greek pide. Cooking at the time did not suggest the exclusive use of wheat flour, on the contrary spelled was particularly appreciated. By reconstructing the etymology and structure of the word “pizza” in all its variants, from the Greek “pita” to the Turkish “pide” through Hebrew and Arabic, the researchers ended up hypothesizing a commonality with the ancient Semitic languages . Returning from there, these researchers arrived in Naples: the word that identifies the famous Neapolitan creation today may have its origin on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean and may have been brought there by the Byzantines. Presumably this garnished dough was originally the poor man’s meal. In fact, the bread dough was topped before or after baking, with what people had at hand.

What is the Turkish pide?

In Turkey, pide comes in two forms.
The İçli pide, which means “stuffed” or “garnished pide”, which is the recipe presented here, and the pide ekmeği (“Pide bread”), which is a flat bread, thicker than the pide İçli. Pide ekmeği is offered in the vast majority of restaurants in Turkey.
From the pide ekmeği dough, with a delicious brioche flavor, other types of flat bread are produced:
Tirnaklı pide, which means “nail pide” in Turkish, which is pide ekmeği but in a different presentation because it is decorated with the fingertips before firing, hence the term “nail”. Tirnaklı pide is the last bread served with an İskender kebap or a doner kebap.
Pide Ramazan, generally available only during the holy month of Ramadan, is a round white bread with sesame seeds. The Ramadan version is the essential flavor of Iftar meals. It is often eaten with a good Turkish lentil soup, such as Mercimek Çorbasi.

Adana Kebab
Adana Kebab

The different variants of garnished pide

Garnished pide is known by different names depending on the topping or region:
Kaşarlı pide, with cheese; Kaşarlı-yumurtalı pide, with cheese and eggs; Kavurmalı pide, which means “roast”, which can be garnished with different ingredients and which has the distinction of being crunchy, hence its name; Kıymalı pide, with minced meat; Ispanakli pide, with spinach; Kuşbaşı etli pide, with diced beef; Pastırmalı-yumurtalı, with pastrami and eggs; Sujuk pide, with Turkish sausage; Peynirli pide, with cheese; Sarmısaklı pide, with garlic; Tahinli pide, with tahini; Karadeniz pide, which means “from the Black Sea”, a region where it looks excellent. All versions prepared in the Black Sea region are called so; Kastamonu kır pidesi, which means “of the grasslands”, very similar to lahmacun.

Garnished or not, all of these are baked in stone ovens in Turkey, which gives them a special and inimitable taste.

How to make Turkish pide?

Nicknamed the Turkish pizza, pide is a boat-shaped bread topped with various ingredients, including meat and cheese. But what is the recipe for making Turkish pide?

Ingredients for 9 pides:

For the dough: 4 cups of sifted flour: ½ cup of yogurt; 1 lightly beaten egg; 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar; 1 tablespoon of salt; ¼ cup of hot milk at 97 F / 36 ° C; ¼ cup of hot water at 97 F / 36 ° C; 1 and a half tablespoons of active dry yeast; 3 tablespoons of olive oil; 1 egg yolk; 1 tablespoon of white vinegar.

For the meat filling (for 3 pidi): 1/2 kg of minced meat; 1 peeled tomato, seeded and diced; 1 finely grated onion; 1 clove of minced garlic; ¼ of diced green pepper; 1 teaspoon of tomato paste; 1 teaspoon of red pepper paste biber salçası; 3 tablespoons of olive oil; salt; pepper.

Adana Kebab
Adana Kebab

For the spinach garnish (for 3 pides): 8 ounces spinach leaves; 1 grated onion; 3 tablespoons of olive oil; A few slices of Turkish salami or sausage, suçuk; salt; pepper.

For the cheese filling (for 3 pides): 6 ounces cheddar or other hard cheeses, grated: 2 tablespoons of melted butter; 1 egg; salt; pepper.

Instructions for making the Turkish pide

Dough: in a  large bowl, mix the yeast and granulated sugar in hot water and let it rest for 15 minutes in a warm place, away from drafts. In the bowl of a food processor, add the flour and dig a well in the center. In the center of the well, add the egg, yogurt and yeast. Using the dough hook, start mixing the ingredients at low speed, gradually incorporating the milk. Knead for 3 minutes, then add the salt. Then knead for 10 minutes at medium speed until you get a soft and homogeneous dough, coming out from the edges of the bowl. Cover the dough and let it rise for an hour in a warm place, away from drafts. It should at least double in volume.

Stuffed with meat: in a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Brown the onions for 2 minutes, then add the pepper and mix well.

Sauté for 1 minute. Then add the minced meat and garlic, mashing it well with a potato masher so that large pieces do not form. Then add the tomato, tomato paste and pepper concentrate. Season with salt and pepper and cook for 10 minutes, covered, over medium-high heat, stirring regularly. If necessary after cooking, remove the lid to reduce the sauce.

Outline Of Spinach: Fry in a pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and sweat the onion for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the spinach, salt and pepper and brown over high heat, stirring regularly. Cook until the liquid is reduced. Reserve.

Cheese side dish: beat the egg. Add the melted butter and grated cheese. Add salt, pepper and mix well. Reserve.

Cooking Turkish pide: Preheat the oven to 180 ° C. Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface, degass and divide it into 9 pieces. Roll each pide to a thickness of ½ inch (1 cm) to form a boat and place them, well apart, on a parchment lined baking sheet. Distribute the outlines on the pides and fold the edges of each pide. In a bowl, beat the yolk and vinegar together and, using the brush, edge the edges of each pide. Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.

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