Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Turkish Pide

There was a request for a pide (pronounced pee-dah) recipe in the comments a while ago. Here it is with my apologies for delaying it until now. The recipe below is from Ayla Esen Algar's Classical Turkish Cooking, and is for a cheese pide; but in fact, the filling can be almost anything. We even use potatoes and eggplants in pides, and they are all delicious.

  • 4 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 c warm water
  • 1/2 c flour
  • 3 1/2 c bread flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 c plus 1 tbs lukewarm water
  • 2 1/2 c crumbled feta (or a combination of ricotta and feta)
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 c chopped parsley or dill
Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water and let satnd in a warm place for 10 minutes. Stir in the flour, cover and let rise for 3o minutes.

Put the flour in a large bowl, make a well in the center and put the sponge, salt, olive oil and lukewarm water. Gradually mix in the flour to make a soft and sticky dough. Knead it on a floured surface for 10-15 minutes. At the end of the kneading, the dough should become springy and no longer sticky, offering no resistance to kneading. Place the dough in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic and let rise for 1 hour.

Meanwhile prepare the filling by mixing all the ingredients.

Roll the pide dough into a log. Divide into 8 pieces and roll each into a ball. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375F. (Ayla Esen Algar suggests a 550F oven and baking the pides on tiles which I have never tried myself.) Roll each ball into a 6"x12" oval. Spread 1/8th of the filling leaving a 1/2" border all along the edges. Fold the two long edges over the filling, making them almost meet at the center. Pinch together a 1-inch section at the two ends; you should have something resembling a canoe. Bake until the dough is lightly browned on top and more so at the bottom, and the filling seems set. You can brush them with melted butter as they come out of the oven. Keep warm stacked in a covered pan or in the folds of a towel until served.