If you love pizza or dough in general, you’ll be thrilled with pide. Pide, or the Turkish version of pizza, is a soft flatbread filled with various toppings. In this version we top the pide with a succulent combination of sliced baby beef and ajvar. Although known as Turkish pizza, pide is much softer and more airy than its Italian relative. The basic pide dough presented here is prepared with olive oil, but the recipes for pide differ from region to region. Since pide can be topped for instance with cheese, sausage or Turkish sujuk, ground orchopped meat, it seems to offer, just like pizza, many possibilities for combinations of flavours, but our ajvar makes this dish especially succulent. Pide is distinguished by its boat-like shape, soft dough and unmatched flavour. Since working with pide dough can be a little more challenging, as it is softer than that used for bread, simply choose whether you’re going to put lots of oilor flour on your hands, roller and work surface. Don’t mix these two techniques, so as to avoid hard clumps of dough from the oil and flour, and simply immerse yourself in preparing these tasty dough boats, since the effort you put in will pay off.
Mixthe yeast and a handful of flour and sugar in approximately 100 ml of lukewarm water and leave the mixture to rest for a few minutes until the yeast is activated.
Siftthe flour onto the surface for kneading, add salt to taste and in the middle make a hole into which the activated yeast and oil is poured. Carefully and gradually mix the soft dough while adding approximately 100 ml of lukewarm water. Knead the dough until it is smooth and soft, then shape it into a ball, place in a large dish, coat with olive oil and cover with cling film, so the dough does not develop a crust and crack while proving – cover the dough with a towel and leave in a warm place for at least an hour.
Meanwhile, prepare the topping. Add salt and pepper to the piece of baby beef, and you can also add a pinch of dwarf sumac and powdered cumin to taste. Fry the meat onall sides in a hot pan – fry it until it has a crust but is still rare inside. When it cools, slice the beef into the smallest slivers possible and sprinkle with the juice of half a lemon.
Dice the onion, peppers, courgettes and tomato, and braise in a separate pot untilsoft. Season with a little salt, pepper and the juice of half a lemon. Remove the vegetables from the heat and add the meat and ajvar, then mix well all together to obtain the topping for the pide.
Knead the risen dough quickly once more to squeeze out any excess air, then roll intoa thin roll and cut into equal portions from which you will roll the pide. Roll the pieces of pide dough into rectangles.
Place the topping in the middle of the dough about 2-3 cm from the edges, add cubes of cheese and close up the pide in the shape of a boat. Before baking, coat the dough with a mixture of egg yolk and water, bake the pide in a preheated oven at 220–230°C in a convection oven for no more 15 minutes.
When working with the dough you need to be very careful, so oil or flour your handsand work surface very well; it’s also best to roll the dough in a baking tin soas to keep its shape.
Sprinkle fresh herbs on the baked pide to taste (basil, thyme or parsley).