Lamb pide is a Turkish recipe that combines a soft and chewy bread dough stuffed with a savoury filling of lamb, onions, tomatoes, red peppers and spices. Also known as Turkish pizza, this lamb pide can be enjoyed either as a snack or as a main meal accompanied by a salad.
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What is pide?
Pide (pronounced pea-day) is simply the Turkish equivalent of the pizza that we all know and love. It is made with a soft yeast dough that is formed into an oval shape before being layered with various toppings.
Once the fillings have been added, the edges of the dough are folded up over the sides, and the ends of the dough are pinched together to form the traditional boat shape.
A pide is traditionally cooked in a wood-fired oven, but not too many of us have one of those at home, and a normal oven makes a perfectly adequate substitute.
The most well-known topping, and the one that I am sharing today, is made with lamb. However a spinach and feta combination is very popular as a vegetarian option, and I've even seen a breakfast pide filled with bacon and eggs!
What does lamb pide taste like?
Lamb pide (in Turkey they call it kiymali) has a unique combination of flavours that can be described as savoury, juicy and slightly spicy. The minced lamb in the filling provides a rich and flavourful base, while the combination of Middle Eastern spices gives it a warm and aromatic taste. Sweetness and freshness are provided with the addition of vegetables such as onion, tomato and bell peppers.
This version of lamb pide also includes the option for baking an egg in the centre of the filling, which adds an additional creamy element to the dish. When baked in this way, the egg yolk is soft and creamy and the white is perfectly cooked.
Once cooked, the pide can be garnished with crumbled feta cheese and chopped coriander or parsley, before being cut into slices for serving.
The dough is pillowy soft, with a crispy exterior, and is simply made with flour, yeast and water with a small amount of olive oil.
I experimented quite a few times to get the correct consistency of the dough - the first time it was too hard (too much flour) and the second time it ended up being too sticky and didn't rise properly (too much liquid). But eventually, I hit on the perfect combination of ingredients, so you should be able to make it yourself with no problem.
If you have a stand mixer, it only takes a few minutes to knead the dough. If you don't have a stand mixer then it will take a bit longer, but the effort is well worth it.
Let's make a pide!
What you will need
For the lamb filling, you will need a frying pan with a lid. Putting the lid on the frying pan when the onions are cooking helps them soften quickly.
And for baking the lamb pide you will need one or two baking trays.
This recipe makes 2 lamb pides which will probably feed 3 people. We are only 2 at home, and we had leftovers. You can double the ingredients for both the dough and the filling if you would like to make a larger batch.
**You can get the complete list of ingredients and full instructions for making your own lamb pides on the printable recipe card at the end of this post**
Flour - this is strong white bread flour. You can get away with using all-purpose flour, but the gluten content will be lower, so your dough will not have the 'chewiness' that comes with using bread flour.
Salt - optional, but a small amount of salt does improve the flavour of the dough.
Yeast and sugar - I always use instant yeast granules because it's convenient and has a longer shelf-life than fresh yeast. I've included instructions below to test that your yeast is fresh - there's nothing worse than spending time making bread dough only to find it doesn't rise because your yeast was out-of-date! The small amount of sugar (half a teaspoon) helps to activate the yeast.
Olive oil - adds a little softness to the finished product!
You will also need some lukewarm water. The actual amount will depend on the flour you are using. I always recommend adding less than the stated amount and then gradually adding more if needed. You can always add, but once you've put the water in, you can't take it out again if you added too much.
This looks like a long list of ingredients, but most of them are pantry staples, and the rest are spices (and some of the ingredients are optional too).
Lamb - this is ground or minced lamb. In the UK we can buy it in the supermarkets ready minced. If you can find it in your supermarket, you could buy a piece of lamb from the butcher and ask him to mince/grind it for you.
Red pepper, onion and tomato - these should be finely diced.
Tomato paste (or tomato puree) - is highly concentrated tomatoes and not to be confused with tomato ketchup.
Lemon juice - from a bottle is fine - you don't need too much and it would be a waste to cut an entire lemon for the amount you need for the recipe.
Spices - this combination of spices gives the authentic Turkish taste. If you can't find (or don't have) all of them, I would recommend that you at least use paprika, cumin, coriander and cinnamon. You will also need cloves, nutmeg and cardamom. I realise that the measurements for the spices are in either quarter or one-eighths teaspoons so it might seem insufficient, but once you've measured them all out you end up with almost 2 teaspoons of spice.
Garlic - you can use one or two cloves of fresh garlic which has been finely minced, or for convenience use the equivalent amount of ready-minced garlic from a jar.
Mozzarella cheese - traditional Turkish lamb pides use a Turkish cheese called taze kasar which is similar to mozzarella in that it goes 'stretchy' when cooked. If you can find it in your supermarket then by all means use it. I couldn't find any so I substituted it with mozzarella.
Feta cheese - optional (for garnish)
Sesame seeds - optional (for sprinkling on the edges of the dough before baking.
Egg - optional (used both for egg washing the dough before sprinkling on the sesame seeds and also for baking on top of the pide).
Salt - optional and to your own taste.
What to do
Mix the dough
The dough only takes 15 minutes to knead by hand or 5 minutes in a stand mixer, but it has a first rise of one and a half hours and then a second rise of half an hour, so you need to take this into account when you make this recipe.
The first step is optional - if you are unsure that your yeast is fresh and still active, this is how you check it. Mix the yeast and sugar with 2 tablespoons of lukewarm water and leave for 10 minutes. If it becomes foamy then the yeast is fine. (If not, go out and buy some more 🙂 )
Optional - check the yeast as described above. This is what it should look like.
Place the flour into a mixing bowl along with the salt, sugar, olive oil and yeast (or sugar, yeast and water mixture). Add most of the water.
Mix the ingredients together with a spatula, then knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes by hand, adding the remaining water if necessary, or use the dough hook on a stand mixer and knead for 5 minutes on speed 4.
The texture of the dough should be smooth and elastic.
Leave the dough in the mixing bowl and cover the bowl with a clean towel. Place the bowl of dough in a warm place (draught-free) to rise for 90 minutes until doubled in size.
Punch down the dough to release the air (I love this bit 🙂 )
Divide the dough into two roughly equal sizes and place them on a lightly floured tray, cover with plastic wrap and leave for another half an hour for the second rise.
The dough should have increased in size again, and it is now ready to be used.
Make the filling
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the lamb. Fry on a medium heat until the lamb is brown and crumbly.
Add the chopped red peppers, onions and tomatoes along with the spices, tomato puree, garlic and lemon juice, and continue to fry until most of the moisture has evaporated. Putting a lid on the frying pan will help the onions soften quickly. But if you do this, turn the heat right down so the onions don't burn. The mixture should be quite dry.
Assemble and bake
Leave the lamb mince mixture to cool while you roll the dough.
Take one of the dough balls and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out until it is about 30 x 20 cm in size.
Sprinkle half of the grated mozzarella over the dough. Leave about one inch uncovered around the edges. Putting the mozzarella on first helps stop the mince mixture from making the dough soggy.
Now spread half of the cooled lamb mixture over the cheese.
Fold the edges of the dough up over the mince mixture (leave part of the mince uncovered) and press the two ends of the dough together to form a boat shape.
Transfer the pide to a lightly greased and floured baking tray. If you prefer you can sprinkle semolina on the baking tray instead of flour. Brush the edges of the dough with lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake for 15 minutes in a preheated oven (200C/400F) until the pastry is golden brown and crispy.
Add an egg to the pide after 10 minutes of cooking time. Replace the baking tray in the oven and continue to cook until the egg is done.
Garnish the cooked pide with either chopped parsley or chopped coriander, and optionally sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese. Cut into slices and serve with a fresh green salad.
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Lamb pide FAQ
When you knead dough, you are essentially stretching the gluten in the flour which will form the structure of the bread.
Place the dough onto a floured surface and press down with the heel of your hand. At the same time, press forward with your hand for a few inches to stretch the dough away from you. Pull the dough back onto itself and repeat the movement.
Give the dough a quarter turn after every few stretches and repeat until the dough is pliable, smooth and elastic.
It will take between 10 and 15 minutes of hand kneading to get the dough in this recipe to the right consistency.
The answer is yes, you can freeze this. Both the dough and the filling freeze beautifully.
To freeze an assembled lamb pide, simply put the pide on the baking sheet into the freezer and leave overnight or until solid. Take the frozen pide and wrap it in plastic wrap. You can freeze it for up to 3 months.
To use, cook from frozen according to the recipe instructions, but add approximately 5 minutes to the baking time.
Cooked lamb pide can be cooled and then wrapped in aluminium foil or plastic wrap and frozen. Allow to defrost and then reheat for a few minutes in a hot oven.
You can reheat lamb pide on a baking tray in the oven at 200C/400F for 5 minutes.
Yes, you can make this dish with other meat such as ground beef or chicken.
This dough makes the perfect base for your favourite pizza. Simply roll it out into a circular shape and top it with your favourite toppings.
Bake for the time and temperature given in this recipe.
Save for later
If you would like to try lamb pide yourself, why not save the recipe to one of your Pinterest boards so you can find it easily? Just click on the image below.
Alternatively, you can save the recipe by clicking on the floating heart icon on the right-hand side of the screen.
Here are some other easy recipes using ground meat (with a difference) that you may enjoy:
Lamb pide - Turkish pizza
(Click the stars to rate this recipe)
- 2¼ cups / 315 grams strong bread flour
- 2 teaspoons / 7 grams instant yeast
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅔ cup / 160 ml warm water
- 2 tablespoons warm water for testing yeast
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- ½ pound / 225 grams lamb mince (ground lamb)
- ½ large red pepper (capsicum / bell pepper) finely diced
- 1 small onion finely diced
- 1 medium tomato finely diced
- 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon tomato puree / tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- Salt to taste
- 2 medium eggs optional (for baking on top of the pide)
- 1 small egg lightly beaten for egg-washing the dough
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- ¾ cup / 100 grams grated mozzarella cheese (divided into 2 portions)
- ¼ cup / 30 grams crumbled feta cheese optional for garnish
- 1 - 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley or coriander optional for garnish
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
- ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom
- ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes more or less according to how spicy you want to make this
- Place the flour into a mixing bowl (or the bowl of a stand mixer) along with the salt, sugar, olive oil and yeast. Add most of the water.2¼ cups / 315 grams strong bread flour, 2 teaspoons / 7 grams instant yeast, ½ teaspoon sugar, ½ teaspoon salt, ⅔ cup / 160 ml warm water, 2 teaspoons olive oil
- Mix the ingredients together with a spatula, then knead the dough for 10 to 15 minutes by hand, adding the remaining water if necessary, or use the dough hook on a stand mixer and knead for 5 minutes on speed 4.The texture of the dough should be smooth and elastic.2 tablespoons warm water
- Leave the dough in the mixing bowl and cover the bowl with a clean towel. Place the bowl of dough in a warm place (draught-free) to rise for 90 minutes until doubled in size.
- Punch down the dough to release the air.
- Divide the dough into two roughly equal sizes and place them on a lightly floured tray, cover with plastic wrap and leave for another half an hour for the second rise.
- While the dough is rising you can make the filling. The filling should take around 15 minutes to prepare.
- Measure the spices into a small dish - this will make it easier to add them to the lamb.½ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon ground coriander, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves, ⅛ teaspoon ground cardamom, ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
- Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and add the lamb and season with salt. Fry on a medium heat until the lamb is brown and crumbly.½ pound / 225 grams lamb mince (ground lamb), 1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil, Salt to taste
- Add the chopped red peppers, onions and tomatoes along with the spices, tomato puree, garlic and lemon juice, and continue to fry until most of the moisture has evaporated. Putting a lid on the frying pan will help the onions soften quickly. But if you do this, turn the heat right down so the onions don't burn. The finished mixture should be quite dry.½ large red pepper (capsicum / bell pepper), 1 small onion, 1 medium tomato, 1 tablespoon tomato puree / tomato paste, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 2 cloves garlic
- Allow the filling to cool before assembling the pides.
Assemble and bake
- Preheat the oven to 200°C / 400°F
- Take one of the dough balls and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Roll it out until it is about 30 x 20 cm in size.
- Sprinkle one portion of the grated mozzarella over the dough. Putting the mozzarella on first helps stop the mince mixture from making the dough soggy. Leave a 1-inch border of dough uncovered.¾ cup / 100 grams grated mozzarella cheese (divided into 2 portions)
- Cover the cheese with half of the cooled lamb filling.
- Fold the edges of the dough up over the mince mixture (leave part of the mince uncovered) and press the two ends of the dough together to form a boat shape.
- Transfer the pide to a lightly greased and floured baking tray. Brush the edges of the dough with lightly beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds.1 small egg, 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- Repeat with the second ball of dough.
- Bake the pide for 15 minutes in a preheated oven until the pastry is golden brown and crispy.
- Add an egg - 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the tray from the oven and break one egg on top of each pide. Return the trays to the oven for the remaining 5 minutes.2 medium eggs
- Garnish - Garnish with finely chopped parsley or coriander and/or sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese.¼ cup / 30 grams crumbled feta cheese, 1 - 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley or coriander
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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