Turkish Pizza

Creating Turkish Pizza, known as Lahmacun, at home without an oven is entirely possible and can yield incredibly delicious results. This dish combines a thin, crispy base topped with a flavorful mix of minced meat, vegetables, and a variety of spices. Let’s dive into a detailed guide to making Turkish pizza at home without using an oven.

Ingredients for Turkish Pizza

To prepare Turkish Pizza, you will need the following ingredients:

For the Dough:

  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of instant yeast
  • 3/4 cup of warm water
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the Topping:

  • 250 grams of ground lamb or beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 large tomato, finely diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of parsley, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon of paprika
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Preparing the Dough

  1. Mix Dry Ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.
  2. Add Wet Ingredients: Gradually add the warm water and olive oil to the dry ingredients, mixing until a dough forms.
  3. Knead the Dough: Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic.
  4. Let it Rise: Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.

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Preparing the Topping

  1. Combine Ingredients: In a large bowl, mix the ground meat, onion, garlic, tomato, green bell pepper, parsley, and tomato paste.
  2. Add Spices: Add the paprika, cumin, salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Mix well to combine.
  3. Add Lemon Juice: Squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture and stir until all ingredients are well incorporated.

Cooking the Turkish Pizza Without an Oven

Using a Skillet:

  1. Divide the Dough: Punch down the risen dough and divide it into 4 equal parts. Roll each part into a ball.
  2. Roll Out the Dough: On a floured surface, roll each dough ball into a thin circle, about 1/8 inch thick.
  3. Heat the Skillet: Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. You can lightly grease the skillet with a small amount of olive oil if needed.
  4. Cook the Base: Place one rolled-out dough circle into the hot skillet. Cook for about 1-2 minutes until bubbles start to form on the surface.
  5. Add the Topping: Flip the dough and spread a portion of the meat mixture evenly over the surface. Press the topping down slightly to adhere to the dough.
  6. Cover and Cook: Reduce the heat to medium, cover the skillet with a lid, and cook for another 5-7 minutes, or until the meat is fully cooked and the base is crispy.
  7. Repeat: Repeat the process with the remaining dough and topping.

Using a Stovetop Pizza Maker:

  1. Preheat the Pizza Maker: Preheat the stovetop pizza maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  2. Prepare the Pizza: Follow the same steps to divide, roll out the dough, and add the topping.
  3. Cook the Pizza: Place the prepared pizza in the preheated pizza maker, cover, and cook for 5-8 minutes or until the meat is cooked and the crust is crispy.

Serving Suggestions

  • Garnishes: Serve the Turkish pizza with a side of fresh lemon wedges, sumac, and fresh parsley. These garnishes add a bright, fresh flavor that complements the savory topping.
  • Accompaniments: Pair the pizza with a simple salad of mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

FAQs About Making Turkish Pizza Without an Oven

Can I use different meats for the topping?

Yes, you can use ground beef, lamb, or even a mixture of both. Some recipes also incorporate ground chicken or turkey for a lighter version.

What if I don’t have a stovetop pizza maker?

A non-stick skillet works perfectly fine. Ensure it has a lid to cover the pizza while cooking to ensure even heat distribution and proper cooking of the meat topping.

Can I freeze the dough or the prepared pizzas?

Yes, you can freeze the dough after the first rise. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. To use, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight and bring it to room temperature before rolling out. Prepared pizzas can also be frozen. Cook them as directed, let them cool completely, then wrap tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil before freezing.

How can I make the crust extra crispy?

To achieve an extra crispy crust, ensure your skillet or pizza maker is well preheated. Cooking the base for a minute or two before adding the topping also helps in achieving a crispy texture.

What other toppings can I use?

Traditional Lahmacun toppings are simple, but you can get creative with additional vegetables like finely chopped mushrooms, zucchini, or eggplant. Just ensure they are finely diced to cook evenly with the meat mixture.

How do I store leftovers?

Store leftover Turkish pizza in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in a skillet over medium heat or in a toaster oven to retain the crispiness of the crust.

By following these detailed steps and tips, you can enjoy the delightful flavors of Turkish pizza right at home without the need for an oven.

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