What do Turkish pide's and Nirvana have in common? Nothing, except that I'm writing up this post while listening to Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. Pide's make me want to thrash my head around. Forget it, pide's are like reaching a pizza nirvana. You can see that I should just stick to writing about food and forget about everything else (but quick side note, if you want to channel your teenage years, don't miss the 90's show from NPR's All Songs Considered. It'll take you straight to 1994).
Pides are like pizza canoes stuffed with savory fillings. Making them will take some time because the dough takes longer to knead than regular pizza dough. Enlist help, and divide up tasks. Someone can prep the fillings, while someone else makes the dough. Karl made the dough, and I prepped two stuffings: feta and dill, and eggplant. The recipes below have been adapted from a fantastic Turkish cookbook, Ayla Algar's Classical Turkish Cooking.
With so many fast-foodish Turkish owned restaurants in Belgium, I wish real Turkish food was as widely available as the fast-foodified kebabs and durums. Mostly, I wish they had pide's available everywhere. So utterly good.
Pide dough - Yield: 8 individual pides
4 tsp yeast
½ tsp sugar
½ cup warm water
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 and ½ cups flour (bread flour if you have it)
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp olive oil
1 cup water
1 egg beaten (for egg wash)
- You'll make a sponge out of the first 4 ingredients. Combine the yeast, sugar, and warm water in a large bowl. This should eventually bubble or look scummy (the yeast is active). Stir in the flour, cover the mixture, and let it rise in a warm location (such as your oven) for 30 minutes.
- Put the flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle, and pour in the sponge, salt, olive oil, and the warm water. Gradually stir in the flour until it gets shaggy. It will be heavy. Turn it out onto a floured surface and knead it for 15 minutes. The dough will be slightly damp and very heavy. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and let rise 1 hour.
- Once ready, turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface. Roll it into a log and divide it into 8 pieces. Roll these into balls, and set them on a lightly floured surface. Cover with a damp towel and let rest at least 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to it's hottest setting. If you have a pizza stone, stick it in the oven while it preheats.
- To prepare the pide, roll each ball into an oval (~6” by 12”). A slight dusting of flour will keep it from sticking. Put 2-3 tbsp of the stuffing in the middle and spread it out leaving a half-inch border.
- Fold the layers lengthwise slightly over the filling. The layers may overlap. You'll have smaller points on the end. You can pinch them together or flatten them to finish the canoe. If desired, brush them carefully with some eggwash.
- Carefully lay the pides on the hot stone; with a round-12” pizza stone, 2 pides were able to get cooked at a time. Cook until golden, 10-15 minutes.
Rolling out the pide dough (above)
Pide with eggplant filling
Feta and Dill filling
Yield: Enough stuffing for 4 individual pide. Double recipe if you want to use one stuffing.
8 oz feta cheese (or 200 g, which is more like 7 ounces)
1 egg lightly beaten
2 tbsp butter
1/3 cup fresh dill, chopped (I used parsley instead)
- Mix all the ingredients together and set aside.
Yield: Enough stuffing for 4 individual pide. Double recipe if you want to use one stuffing. Filling can be prepared ahead of time.
2 medium eggplants, about 1 lb (use 3-4 Japanese ones, or 2 medium globe eggplants)
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup tomatoes, chopped
1 bell pepper chopped, any variety of peppers will do
1 chili chopped, seeded and de-veined
2 cloves garlic, chopped
½ tsp red chili flakes
½ cup parsley, chopped
½ cup cilantro or basil, chopped
- Wash and slice eggplant lengthwise and then cut it into thin slices. Salt the slices generously and set in a colander to drain for an hour. Rinse the eggplant to remove the salt, and then squeeze the eggplant dry.
- Heat up olive oil over medium-high heat, add the eggplant and cook until golden. Once golden, remove from pan and set aside. Chop them when cool enough to handle.
- Add the tomatoes, peppers and chilies to the pan. Cook 5 minutes. Stir in eggplant and garlic, heat through. Add in red pepper flakes, herbs, and adjust for salt.