Lahmacun (pronounced lah-ma-joon) is a popular snack in Turkey. Lahmacun are flat breads baked with a topping, somewhat in the style of a pizza. Toppings differ based on season and to suit what’s in the house. Tomatoes and red peppers make one common mixture, another uses lamb, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses, a third meat, walnuts, and green olives. Parsley and red pepper flakes are common to all.
- 4 cups bread flour, plus extra for dusting
- 1⁄4oz (7g) instant yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
For the topping:
- 9oz (250g) ground lamb
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large bunch flat-leaf parsley, large stalks removed
- 2 large plum tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed, and diced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tsp pepper paste (optional)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes sumac
To make the dough, dissolve the salt in about 11⁄4 cups warm water. Put the flour into a big bowl, stir in the yeast and sugar, make a well in the center, and pour in the water. Stir well to mix all together, add the olive oil, and use your hands to turn the dough into a ball. Leave the dough in a bowl, covered, for 10–15 minutes. Then, place it on a lightly floured surface and knead till it loses its stickiness and is smooth and elastic. Rinse out the bowl and put the dough back in it, cover with plastic wrap or a cloth, and leave for 1 hour, till it has doubled in size.
For the topping, chop the lamb if it is coarsely ground. Heat the oil in a small frying pan and lightly sauté the onion for a couple of minutes, add the garlic, and proceed to sauté till they’re soft and lightly colored. Set aside. Chop the parsley, put all the topping ingredients into a big bowl, and mix well. It should almost have a coarse pastelike consistency.
Heat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Lightly dust a work surface with flour, punch down the dough and form it into a long roll. Cut it into 10 equal pieces. Roll each out as thinly as possible into an oval, and spread the topping evenly over the top, including the edges. Transfer the lahmacun to a couple of baking trays and bake in the oven for 6–8 minutes. Serve warm sprinkled with sumac and a bowl of thick yogurt and a salad, if you want.