How to make Turkish pizza: tips and a recipe from Efendy's Somer Sivrioglu

Make Turkish pide at home

Efendy's Somer Sivrioglu steps through the making of a classic Turkish dish.

SAMSUN PİDE
PIDE WITH FOUR CHEESES

Samsun is a city on the Black Sea famous for its pide (a thick form of flatbread that's not the same as pita or pizza). The defining qualities of a Samsun pide are: the dough contains the highest quality butter, flour and eggs; it is rolled out by hand, not with a rolling pin; it is pulled into a boat shape that can hold a stuffing; and it is baked in a wood-fire oven. In this case, the passengers on the boat are cheeses, tomatoes and a fried egg, but don't get hung up on finding four different cheeses—three or even two will do, as long as they contrast in texture and flavour. And by the way, we do not agree with the claim by some bold Turks that our pide gave birth to Italy's pizza.

SERVES 4

DOUGH 

1 tbsp dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

When eggs and cheese combine ... Somer Sivrioglu's Samsun pide.
When eggs and cheese combine ... Somer Sivrioglu's Samsun pide. Photo: Supplied

300 g (2 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour, plus extra for dusting

150 g (1 cup) strong flour

50 ml milk

150 ml water

1 teaspoon salt

FOUR-CHEESE FILLING

4 tbsp each four different cheeses—such as feta, kaşar (or provolone or mozzarella or any semi-hard yellow cheese), tulum (or aged ricotta or any sharp crumbly white cheese) and gorgonzola (or any piquant mouldy cheese)

1 egg

2 tsp chopped oregano

TOPPING

2 large tomatoes

2 green bullhorn peppers (or 1 large green capsicum/pepper)

4 eggs

2 tbsp vegetable oil

Dissolve the yeast in 50 ml of lukewarm water. Stir in the sugar and set aside for 5 minutes. It should start to form bubbles.

Sift the flours into a mixing bowl, make a well in the middle and pour in the yeast mixture, 100ml water and the milk. Knead the dough for 10 minutes, or until it reaches earlobe softness. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and rest for 30 minutes to let the dough rise.

Add the salt to the dough and knead for 3 minutes. Place the dough on a floured work surface and form it into a cylinder. Then cut it into four equal pieces. Rest for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C. If you have a pizza stone or tile, place it in the oven. Or leave your baking tray in the oven so it will preheat.

Crumble the four cheeses together in a mixing bowl. Break the egg into the bowl and fold it through the cheeses. Pick the oregano leaves off the stalk and finely chop, then stir the oregano through the cheese mixture. 

Place the dough on the floured work surface and, with floured hands or a rolling pin, flatten it into an oval about 30 x 20 cm (12 x 8 in) wide and 5 mm  thick. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Spoon a thick strip of cheese filling into the middle of each oval, leaving a 5 cm gap around the edge. Fold over the two longer edges so they touch the filling but don't cover it. Join the folded edges at the top and bottom to make a boat shape. Press each end into a point and twist to close tightly.

Finely slice the tomatoes. Halve the pepper, remove the stalk and seeds, and finely slice. Put six slices of tomato and four slices of pepper on each pide, and break an egg into the middle.

If you are using a baking tray, take it out of the oven and put a piece of baking paper over it. Dust the baking paper with a little flour. If you are using a pizza stone or tile, sprinkle a little flour on it. Place the pides on the baking paper (or stone or tile) and brush the tops with oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Recipe from Somer Sivrioglu and David Dale's Anatolia, Murdoch Books, $79.99. 

Somer runs Efendy restaurant in Sydney's Balmain. He will be on stage at the Growers' Market Pyrmont on Saturday April 4 at 8.30am and 10am demonstrating two other recipes from his new cookbook.

Correction: The original version of this recipe listed an incorrect quantity for water in the dough. This has been amended.

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