Author Topic: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?  (Read 9086 times)

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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« on: January 22, 2010, 03:26:58 PM »
The latest episode of Bourdain's No Reservations was filmed in Istanbul. One segment covered Lahmacun, a very thin flatbread with spicy toppings baked in a very hot WFO. Condiments were added and then it was rolled up like a burrito. It looked pretty good. There are some recipes and videos on the web, but before I jump in, I was wondering if any of our fine members have experience making this dish. Thanks.

Bill/SFNM
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Offline pizzaboyfan

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2010, 03:38:38 PM »
Never made it, but I've eaten a few in my time
You can find them at Armenian or Persian groceries around here
It's pretty much a pita bread base.
Very tasty

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2010, 06:46:29 PM »
Bill,

What you described sounded familiar and led me to search my files to see if I had a recipe for what you described. I found a recipe that I had saved but never tried. It is as follows:

Lahmajoon Armenian Meat Breads (from Calling All Cooks)

For the dough:
1 packet dry active yeast
1 c. warm water (around 105-115° F)
2 1/2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 t. sugar
1 t. Kosher salt
1/4 c. vegetable oil

Proof the yeast in the warm water for 5 minutes until foam appears.  In a large bowl, sift together the flour, then add the sugar and salt, and mix with a spatula.  Create a well in the center and pour in the vegetable oil and the yeast mixture.  Fold together all the ingredients until well combined.  Knead the dough thoroughly for about 10 minutes or until it is smooth and thick.  Cover with plastic wrap and let the dough rise for 2 1/2 hours.  Once risen, punch the dough down, divide the dough into 13 egg-sized balls, and roll each by hand. Roll each ball with a rolling pin into 7” or 8” diameter rounds, about 1/8” thick.  Preheat the oven to 450° F.

For the meat topping:
1 lb. lean ground beef or lamb (lamb is the classic ingredient)
3 T. tomato paste
1 T. Kosher salt
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. sweet paprika
1 T. dried mint
1/2 t. allspice
1 1/2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed and finely chopped
3 T. finely chopped green bell pepper
1 t. finely chopped jalapeno pepper
1/2 c. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 (14-oz.) can seedless chopped tomatoes, well drained and rinsed
Lemon wedges and plain yogurt, for garnish

To prepare the meat topping, combine the ground beef or lamb, the tomato paste, salt, garlic powder, black pepper, paprika, mint, and the allspice in a bowl.  In a food processor, pulse the onion and fresh garlic until it has a thick-chunky texture.  Add to the meat mixture. Next, add the bell pepper, jalapeno and parsley to the food processor and pulse just until fine.  Then add to the meat and onion mixture.  Lastly, add the tomatoes to the food processor, puree, and then add to the meat mixture. Mix well by hand or a spatula.  Let the mixture marinate in the refrigerator, covered, for 2 hours.

When ready to make the lahmajoons, spread a thin layer of the meat mixture—about 2 ounces—onto each dough round and place on a lightly oiled sheet pan.  Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and the edges of the dough start to brown.  To serve, stack the baked breads on top of each other in a tower.  When ready to serve, squeeze a bit of lemon juice on top of each lahmajoon, followed by a dollop of plain yogurt.  Roll up like a wrap and eat.  If desired, the baked breads may be wrapped in wax paper and stored in a plastic freezer bag and frozen for future use.

Peter

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2010, 07:48:12 PM »
Thanks, Peter. I think I'll give this a try. From what little I saw on the TV show, the pie is cooked in an extremely hot WFO. Rather than the 15-20 minutes @ 450 as your recipe directs, I'll give it more of a Neapolitan twist @ 900+. Stay tuned.

Thanks, again.

Bill/SFNM
« Last Edit: January 22, 2010, 08:08:12 PM by Bill/SFNM »
Sometimes I use big words that I don’t fully understand in an effort to make myself sound more photosynthesis. - @itjenlawrence

Offline WestCountry

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #4 on: February 01, 2010, 09:58:43 PM »
This thread inspired us to try making our own version of this, so we got creative with our imaginations…

I used homemade dough (Caputo 00 Rosso, water 63%, .1% IDY, 2% salt, 19-hour room temp rise) and added  topping of ground meat and lamb blended with onion, pepper, various spices. No cheese. 
Cooked at around 700-750 in a 2Stone Inferno.

The caputo crust was nice and crispy at the lower heat with the longer cook time. This really surprised and pleased me. The toppings were cooked on the pie and came out very tender and flavorful. Key flavors also existed through the fresh cilantro and the drizzling of fresh squeezed lemon on the slice while eating. The lemon tasted GREAT with the topping.

(We did not think about rolling it up…as I just noticed that mentioned now in the first post in this thread, and actually it would have been a little too crisp to roll.)

Pizza was delicious! Everyone had a smile eating it.
Here are some photo’s…

Thanks for the inspiration.
-Chris
« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 09:18:56 AM by Steve »

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2010, 10:03:18 PM »
Nice, Chris. I've the toppings made and the dough fermenting with plans to make some for lunch tomorrow. Looks very promising. 
Sometimes I use big words that I don’t fully understand in an effort to make myself sound more photosynthesis. - @itjenlawrence

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #6 on: February 01, 2010, 10:48:56 PM »
Chris,

The pizza looks great. What size were the pizzas?

The ingredients reminded me of gyros using beef and lamb. If you substituted fresh dill for the cilantro and added diced tomatoes and Greek tzatziki sauce, you would have a gyro pizza with a flat profile  ;D.

Peter

Offline WestCountry

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #7 on: February 01, 2010, 10:59:28 PM »
Thanks Peter and Bill,

That pizza peel of mine in the photo is just about 14 inch, so the pizza was around 13 inches. I rolled out the dough with a rolling pin (something I usually don't do with my neapolitan style doughs), but I did it in this case to attempt to get a flat-bread pizza without much cornicione.

And the Greek variation you mention is another one to try sometime.

Chris

Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2010, 02:23:00 PM »
Just made up a bunch of these using an experimental Neapolitan dough in the WFM. Observations:

- Even with aggressive use of the rolling pin, the dough still puffed up enough to make rolling them up like a wrap very difficult
- After baking, butter was brushed on the edges of the crust and lemon juice squeezed over the pie. Nice!
- All in all, this topping was nothing special. I have no clue what it is supposed to taste like, but I don't think I'll invest more time to find out.

As part of my nod to Turkey, I also made some spinach & feta cheese böreks. These were delicious. They seemed just like a Turkish version of the Greek spanakopita but given the age-old hostilities between Greece and Turkey, I'm sure the Turks would proudly proclaim that spanakopita is the Greek version of spinach & feta cheese böreks. Regardless, they were a hundred times better than the "pizza".


Sometimes I use big words that I don’t fully understand in an effort to make myself sound more photosynthesis. - @itjenlawrence


Offline WestCountry

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2010, 03:17:21 PM »
Bill,
Those look great. Good job. Those boreks making me very hungry right now...

Chris

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #10 on: February 02, 2010, 04:03:24 PM »
hi bill

the borek here in sao paulo are made by Bulgarians... there delicius...

yours look very nice...
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline norma427

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2010, 10:32:49 AM »
Bill,

I missed this post and thread, but find the Lahmacun interesting.  It does sound similar to a Gyro with cucumber sauce.  I think in the cucumber sauce some the of the ingredients are yogurt, cucumber, white pepper, sugar, dill, lemon juice and maybe garlic cloves.  I wonder if using a small dough ball and only putting it into the oven for a short while, would produce something like a Panini that you could add either the ingredients for Lahmacun’s or Gyro’s. 

Your böreks or the Greek Spinach Pie looks great.  :)  Do you have a recipe for it that you would be willing to share?  Were they made with flaky phyllo dough?

I also wonder how a grape leave pizza would turn out?  I really like grape leaves and have made them here at home. 

Thanks for the ideas,

Norma
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Offline Bill/SFNM

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2010, 04:50:41 PM »

Your böreks or the Greek Spinach Pie looks great.  :)  Do you have a recipe for it that you would be willing to share?  Were they made with flaky phyllo dough?

Thanks, Norma. The böreks are from "The Sultan's Kitchen" cookbook by Ozan - it is a really interesting book. Yes, it is is made with phyllo dough.
Sometimes I use big words that I don’t fully understand in an effort to make myself sound more photosynthesis. - @itjenlawrence

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2010, 07:01:42 AM »
I eat them a lot when I go to my favourite turkish restaurant in North London.

The dough is not comparable to pizza dough and the final product has virtually no crumb. It is like an unleavened dough that is streched thin and then quickly baked... it has some empty pockets of air, but no like the large holes in the crumb (I am not sure I can explain this ;-).

It served with a salads on the side (with pomegranate dressing) that is then spread over the individual slice and then rolled up and eaten. The ovens (like huge bread ovens) run at about 350 - 380 degree celsius.

Offline norma427

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2010, 07:41:40 AM »
pizzanapoletana,

Since you are familiar with the Lahmacun and have eaten them before could you explain how the taste of the crust is?  Are they something like a Panini that just comes out of the oven and then is  rolled and filled with filling? 
Since I make Panini and just open my regular or preferment Lehmann dough and then quick bake in the oven and there is no crumb to that dough, it would be interesting to hear if this is something similar.  I bake mine in a Baker’s Pride oven. 
In Peter’s reply #2 he gives a recipe for making Lahmacun.  By looking at that recipe it would seem to me like the dough would give a crumb.  Maybe there wouldn’t be a crumb if you rolled the dough out thin and gave a quick bake.  Since I am not an expert on this kind of dough it is something I would like to know more about.
I just would be interested in trying to make something like this and seeing what the flavor would be.

Thank you for explaining what a Lahmacun is and how the Turkish Restaurant serve them,

Norma
Always working and looking for new information!

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2010, 01:20:55 PM »
I am here to the rescue. They are Armenian not Turkish, I'm not going to go into a whole history lesson here but Turks took this and a lot of other things from the Armenians in the genocide. I know this because it is pounded into you when you are a kid going to school. Anyways back to the topic at hand, I have only eaten them fresh at one place and they were really good they make it right in front of you. The place is a Lebanese grocery store and they serve a lot of food like Shawarma,Zaatar bread and Lahmajoon heres a link http://www.cedarsmarket.com/bakery.htm if you click on "Kitchen" on the side there is more food. You guys might see it as ethnic food but its just the regular food I eat everyday. If you guys have a Armenian/Lebanese grocery store near you they are most likely going to have them. The ones we get are from Quebec, Canada. My aunt will take orders from the family and get like 5 or 6 big black trash bag filled with them and bring them back home. Norma the way I like it is for them to be crispy, almost like a pita bread that you left inside the toaster to long and you squeeze a little lemon on top and roll it up. But the way most people have them is they put them on top of eachoher in the toaster and the steam will cook them and they will be kinda soft but crispy at the same time. I would say it is more a cracker type pizza from looking at the pictures on here. There is no crumb what so ever. I took some out of the freeze and I will make them and put pictures up for you guys to see what they look like.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2010, 02:37:41 PM by BrickStoneOven »

Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2010, 01:33:08 PM »
Here are some pictures of frozen ones. I didn't want to rip them off each other. I will make them later today when they defrost.


Offline norma427

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2010, 05:17:05 PM »
BrickStoneOven,

They really sound interesting.  What kind of fillings are in them?  That would be great if you post pictures.   :)  I really like to try new kinds of foods.

Thanks for explaining them,

Norma
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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2010, 08:44:20 PM »
Here are the pictures. There are no fillings, maybe you mean the toppings. The ones we get are beef but they make them with lamb and I think pork as well.  That yellow label in the bag says " Ingredients: tomato,onions,green peppers, parsley, salt, pepper and garlic ". Its funny to that on the label it says "Garlic Pizza". You can see that there is no crumb at all, and it resembles a cracker style pizza like the ones you would see on here. The oil is from pizza I had before this so don't mind that.

Offline norma427

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2010, 08:58:34 PM »
BrickStoneOven ,

Thanks for the pictures.  They sure look tasty.  :)  Wish I could be there to try them.  I meant toppings, sorry.  Interesting to see food I never tasted.

Thanks,

Norma
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Offline tzoavva

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #20 on: March 03, 2010, 06:53:24 AM »
Glad I came across this topic.  I haven't had a Lahmacun or lahmajun as I know it in a while.  I have eaten it in Turkey were I thought it was originally from but years later and with the internet I think I read they are in fact from Armenia.  Also I have eaten them in Greece.  The pictures above from Norma are great to let folks see what they look like you can normally find those in your local international stores that sell Greek/Turkish/Arabic foods.  I always say I will buy them sometime but always skip out of doing so...anyway so not sure how those ones taste.

You will see the dough is like a very think pita (no pocket by the way on True Greek Pitas :P ) and in Turkey I found theirs were topped with spices that are pressed on to the dough.  Actually the one I hate the Turkish family that I was staying with made the spices themselves and took it to the bakery where the took the toppings and put it on their dough (flattend out thin as well) cooked it and the family would go later on and pick it up.  Not that it takes a long time to cook but my guess is the bakers fix first their breads then the ovens turn down and then they bake other things (such as food in pans taken to them by families and Lahmajuns).  They used to do that in Greece too where food was taken to the Bakery but not sure if they do that still....haven't seen my family take any food to them on my recent trips.  Anyway the Greek version I had was in a local Souvlaki shop (aka Gyro shop) where their interpretation of lahmajun was very very spiced up ground meat my guess is lamb or combo lamb and beef that was press in a ball shape that was pressed on flat onto the pita bread and it was grilled both sides on the charcoal grill.  That one was rolled up and served plain or like a gyro with onion/tomato/tzatziki.  No comparison with a Gyro in taste appearance what so ever but the meathod the same.  The Turkish one I had was cut in slices kind of like a pizza or in squares and eaten as an appetizer.

Bill and Chris your pics have inspired me to try this out so thanks for the reminder of something I loved and have had many years to taste.  I will try to post back results when I try it out.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2010, 06:55:08 AM by tzoavva »

Offline norma427

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #21 on: March 03, 2010, 07:30:31 AM »
tzoavva,

Thanks for your post and saying you are going to try this Lahmacun.  It will be interesting to see what your results are.

I am that familiar with Lahmacun, but was wondering if it anything like Injera (Ethiopian Flat Bread) I read about this kind of bread on the web and wondered if anyone knows what the difference is.  ::)

This is what I read off the web and what it had to say about making Injera.

I gladly refer you to Mary for the full recipes for this dinner, she has step by step pics to make
 injera and if you wish to present your family with a -tr-additional Ethiopian meal she has even more things to make. The butter mixture is wonderful btw!

About teff; the first bag I grabbed from the health food store turned out to be a ready mix, consisting of all kinds of different non-gluten flours and baking powder. It is still in the pantry. The next bag was the one I was looking for: brown all teff flour, in Holland it's a very very finely ground flour contrary to the flour Mary used I think.
To get a headstart on the starter (dôh) I used two tbs of a very active sourdough I had somewhere in the back of my fridge. Fed it with teff and off it went. Very lively, but with a teenage tendency to slump, frown, and roll eyes when confronted with authority... in other words, quick to bubble, quick to form the liquid brown on top. Another thing that comes to mind when looking at the evolving starter is quicksand.

Baking injera is easy.... if only I could get used to NOT flip the darn things over! Very confusing, I've been baking pancakes since I was 12 and all of a sudden I have to think while baking. I guess every other pancake was flipped. Sorry Injera!

(Sourdough Bereketei dough)
Ah yes...the secret ingredient? It's present in the other dishes as well, the bread I made with it is called Sourdough Bereketei and I'm not entirely sure this is going to be a hit, (it smells good though). On it's first rise it went crazy, doubled in an hour. Second rise equally good and then.... no ovenspring! Nothing. Like a 70's girl on the beach, just lie there and get a tan. Tap me on the shoulder when I need to turn.
Later!

Norma
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Offline tzoavva

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #22 on: March 03, 2010, 07:23:39 PM »
Norma,

Did some research to actually see what Injera is and I wouldn't say they are the same or close.  I have eaten once Ethiopian wow spicy food might add.  And from what I gather this is their staple bread that is also used to allow them to grab their foods since most of it is hand food like meals.  From what I remember eating of it and kind of mainly that because evertying was spicy it is light and very pliable kind of like a crepe imagine.  Didn't see any eggs added to it from some recipes I just looked up....but the concept texture is light and pliable like that but more sturdy to grab things.  Also the recipe indicates they fry it.  Lahmajun or Lahmacun is more dense and thicker and it holds up more and is crispier like a pizza to allow it to lay stay somewhat flat if lifted.  Think of it like a very thin thin pita bread or even cracker style pizza for that matter.

Here is a link on youtube on how it is made by an Armenian which somewhat describes what I was referring to in my prior post between how the Greek and Turkish version was. 

I need to write down here ingredient list and compare it with the one above to see which one I think my taste bud would like.  but I have to say the earlier pictures are awesome mmmm mouth watering as I type :)  OK could that I am hungry and haven't had supper yet .....

Offline norma427

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #23 on: March 03, 2010, 09:00:04 PM »
tzoavva,

Thanks for doing the research and telling me the difference between Injera and Lahmacun.  I enjoyed watching the video of how to make the Lahmacun’s.  The ingredients really sound tasty. 

Good luck on trying the Lahmacun’s,  :)

Norma
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Offline hyefatman

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Re: Turkish Pizza - Lahmacun?
« Reply #24 on: March 08, 2010, 04:44:20 PM »
update from a armenian

lahmajoon is an armenian food-  served hot 
you can add lemon and plain yogurt
(which is also armenian (madzoon)
yogurt= turkish word
madzoon=armenian
most of the info on the board is correct   but i would add
that the crust can best be described as a flour tortilla without
the lard taste    baked until crispy  unless you like it soft
most of the commercial meat is now beef  but it should be
ground lamb   during lent the meat is removed and a mushroom
creation can be used