Eat Istanbul
David Loftus

These round, flatbread pizzas are much thinner and crispier than Pide. It’s customary to cut them into big slices, add some parsley, fiery Kırmızı biber flakes and a squeeze of lemon as you eat them.


Quantity Ingredient
7g dry yeast
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
300ml warm water
500g plain flour
1 tablespoon sea salt
a little extra virgin olive oil
polenta, for dusting
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper


Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
200g finely minced lamb
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon kirmizi biber flakes
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
1/2 tablespoon concentrated tomato puree

To serve

Quantity Ingredient
fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
kirmizi biber flakes
lemon wedges


  1. Put the yeast, sugar and half the warm water in a small bowl, stir well and leave for 15 minutes or until it becomes frothy. Sift the flour and salt into a separate, large bowl and mix. Make a well in the centre and pour the yeast solution and the remaining warm water into the well. Mix well with your hands until you get a dough-like consistency.
  2. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead it for about 10 minutes, sprinkling with extra flour if the dough is too sticky. Grease the inside of a large bowl with a little olive oil and put the ball of dough in it. Cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth and leave the dough rise for about 1 hour or until it has doubled in size.
  3. Preheat the oven to 240˚C (or get a wood-fired oven going!)
  4. To make the topping, heat the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and sauté the onion, garlic and oregano for about 3–5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, add the lamb, paprika, Kırmızı biber, parsley, tomato purée and season generously with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Combine the mixture well with your hands, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. To start making the lahmacun, turn the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and punch it down gently to release the air. Knead it into a cylinder shape and divide it into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball and press it down flatly with your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll each disc out into a round flatbread about 30cm wide, or as thin as you possibly can, turning the dough as you roll and pulling it with your hands.
  6. Remove the topping from the refrigerator and sprinkle it all over the first lahmacun. Drizzle with a little olive oil and transfer carefully onto a metal baking tray dusted with polenta and into the preheated oven (or onto a long-handled thin wooden board dusted with polenta and into a wood-fired oven). Bake for 10–12 minutes or until the lahmacun is crispy and golden brown. Repeat the process with the remaining lahmacun.
  7. Serve the lahmacun hot with parsley and Kırmızı biber flakes scattered over the top and lemon wedges for squeezing.
Turkish food
Middle Eastern
Andy Harris
David Loftus
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