Meet our Turkish pizza recipe—the best Turkish Pide you'll get to eat outside of Turkey with a tender crust and juicy toppings! 3 plant-based options full of flavor: a take on the classic mince made with walnuts & mushrooms, almond chive ricotta with a vegan yolk à la Georgian khachapuri, and an herb-chickpea quiche.
In Turkey, I grew up eating pide at least once a week. It's available anywhere in the country (I do mean anywhere) and even the worst one is often still decent. Though today, we're approximating the best of the best.
I've researched and tested this recipe for days as usual and this time even got to learn some tricks from a professional Turkish pide bakery owner! The result: a crust that is tender yet crisp, the fillings juicy—what's not to like?
📋 What is Pide and where does it come from?
Pide is a traditional Turkish yeasted flatbread with various toppings, the most popular of which is spiced minced meat with onion, tomato, and pepper (Kıymalı Pide). It's often dubbed the Turkish pizza and is very similar (if not identical) to the Georgian khachapuri (cheese bread). It is somewhat similar to gozleme as well, but more robust and poufier.
The name sounds familiar, doesn't it? That's because PITA and PIDE have the same origins! But it's complicated. See, in Turkey, we refer to two different baked items when we say pide. Neither of which is pita bread. That, we call bazlama. Makes no sense, but that's okay because they're all delicious in their own right.
What the Turks do call pide are these circular flatbreads that everybody lines up for during Ramadan (left, below) and what we’re making today (right, below). Ottoman food historians think the flatbread came from the Black Sea region first, then we slowly started to add the fillings, the bread got thinner, and the boat shape became popular.
You'll notice this is a long recipe... but don't let that deter you from giving it a try! It's quite simple once you get the basics down. I just want you to succeed on the first try—hence the extra directions. A video is available where you can follow through step-by-step!
Let's get started...
🧂 Pide dough ingredients
This yeasted dough will come together at 70% hydration and 2% salt.
All-purpose is the flour of choice for Turkish pide makers. In fact, there are two specific Pide flours with different protein contents. The circular Ramadan Pide is made with ~13% bread flour and the Pide with fillings is made with ~11% flour.
If necessary, you may substitute it with gluten-free flour. I highly recommend using King Arthur or Bob’s Red Mill measure-for-measure GF flours. Just make sure not to roll out Pides too large if you make them GF—the dough will be more prone to tears while kneading due to a lack of robust structure traditionally provided by gluten. 150g individual dough pieces per each Pide is still fine to roll out fully.
Active dry yeast works well, but you may substitute it with instant. Either way, you need to make sure the yeast isn't expired.
To test this, mix the yeast with sugar and lukewarm water (~105°F), and wait for 10 minutes. Is it foamy? Great! No foam? Start over with a fresh packet. Do this even for instant yeast where this initial step is often not required. Otherwise, you won't know until hours later that the yeast was no good!
I like to mix all the water with the yeast at the beginning. I'm more careful with its temperature that way, making the yeast as happy as possible.
Pretty much any vegetable oil will do but go for extra-virgin olive oil for the best flavor.
I use regular table salt for all baking projects and this is no exception. Here's why:
Instead of Diamond Crystal, all King Arthur recipes are designed to use table salt. It’s the type most likely to be found in bakers’ pantries — plus table salt has smaller crystals than kosher salt, so it dissolves more evenly into baked goods for even seasoning.King Arthur Baking
If you're using kosher salt, double the volume listed in the recipe but keep the same weight if (ideally) using a scale.
🥣 Make the Pide dough
Activate the Yeast (1, 2)
Mix active dry yeast, sugar, and lukewarm water in a large bowl. Whisk and set aside until foamy—takes about 10 minutes. Once the yeast is activated, add in the olive oil and mix.
Knead the Dough (3, 4, 5)
In a separate large bowl, mix the flour with salt. Gradually add this flour mixture into the other bowl while mixing with a wooden spoon. Once most of the flour is incorporated, switch to kneading with your hands for about 8-10 minutes, or for 3-4 minutes if using a stand mixer. The dough should not break or be bumpy when pulled apart. When it's smooth and stretchy when pulled apart, it's ready.
First Rise (6, 7)
Place the kneaded ball of dough back into the bowl, cover with cling wrap, and let rest for at least two hours, until the dough doubles in size. You may also place it in the refrigerator overnight after the first proof.
Second Rise (8, 9, 10)
After the first rise, deflate the dough fully by pressing out the large air bubbles and divide into six 150g pieces. Roll each piece into a ball between your hands, place it on a lightly floured surface, cover it with a damp dishcloth and set it aside for the final proof. It should take about an hour for the balls to approximately double in size. If the dough was refrigerated, give the second rise for at least three hours.
🍕 Assembly & Baking
Preheat oven to 475°F. Lightly flour the working surface and roll out the dough into a long oval shape (10in long and 4in wide per 150g dough).
Cut out pieces of parchment paper to sizes slightly larger than the rolled-out pides. Sprinkle each paper with semolina and place the rolled-out dough on top.
Place the chosen topping all over the dough, leaving a ½-in lip throughout the perimeter. Fold the sides inward and pinch the ends together. Brush the raised border with aquafaba and (optional) sprinkle a mixture of sesame and nigella seeds along the border.
Bake for 12-14 minutes until the crust is golden. While still hot, brush the border with melted vegan butter. If desired, place a vegan egg yolk on the pide as well as charred vegetables on the side. Cut into 1-in thick slices and serve.
If you have a pizza oven you may be able to achieve a professionally-made pide without traveling to Turkey. If not, don't worry! A regular home oven will work just fine and you won't regret making this recipe either way.
🧀 Pide toppings
I'm sharing three topping options—two classics (minced meat and cheese) and one novel (herbs with chickpea flour). Each option makes enough for six pides. Feel free to make multiple toppings in smaller batches to decide which you like the best!
Minced meat topping is the most popular in Turkey by far. So much so that in order to differentiate it from its circular, more bread-like cousin Ramadan pide, it is often referred to as "kiymali (with minced meat) pide". I'll make it plant-based. You could either use a store-bought alternative like the Impossible mince or make a delicious ground beef substitute from scratch. I like to do the latter for pide.
Simply use this walnut & mushroom mince recipe and add in the necessary chopped vegetables: onion, tomato, and shishito (or sub green bell pepper) peppers. Mix in the seasonings and the topping is ready to be placed on our dough!
Cheese and Egg (Vegan Khachapuri)
Peynirli (cheesy) pide is quite popular in Turkey too, but it certainly is a superstar in the country of Georgia and goes by the name khachapuri, ie. cheese bread. The best pides in Turkey are made in the Black Sea region and Georgia is our neighbor right there along the Black Sea border! It makes sense why these baked goods are so similar.
Again, I'm making this pide plant-based, so we'll use an almond ricotta base. It takes less than a few minutes to make! If you have chives, even better.
The egg yolk is not essential but is an impressive touch—even more so if you make it vegan from scratch!
Herbed Chickpea Egg
In the Black Sea region of Turkey, using herbs or other greens like spinach on pide are quite common. They are usually mixed with a scrambled egg and/or cheese, so I wanted to do something similar with chickpea flour. Besan would work too!
We're using lots of dill, parsley, and scallions along with olive oil.
To finish off, sprinkle with fresh parsley and preserved lemon peel slices. This was absolutely divine!
♨️ Best way of reheating Pide (or pizza for that matter)
Even though it's best enjoyed fresh out of the oven, you can still save pide for later! It can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to three months. The same theory as reheating pizza applies here. For best results, I like to follow the Serious Eats method that minimizes moisture loss: place the pide on a large skillet on very low heat with the cover on and reheat for 20-30 minutes, or longer if frozen.
While you may still use a toaster or regular oven for reheating, this method ensures the closest texture to fresh pide. Here's why:
Staling, or retrogradation, is the process by which the starches in the bread release the water they contain into the surrounding spaces and firm up. So long as the water released by the starches remains in the surrounding gluten, the staling process can be partially reversed by reheating the bread above 140°F, the temperature at which wheat starches absorb water and gelatinize (e.g., become soft and pliable). This is why toasting a partially stale slice of bread can restore softness to its interior.
But if the water released by the starches escapes from the bread, either through gradual evaporation, or rapidly, when it is heated above the boiling point (212°F), the starches will no longer have water to reabsorb, and all hope is lost.Andrew Janjigian
💭 Other Turkish recipes...
Looking for other Turkish recipes? Try:
- Gozleme (flat-bread with fillings)
- Ispanakli borek (spanakopita / spinach pie)
- Stuffed bell peppers (dolma)
- Zucchini fritters (mucver)
Don’t forget to let me know in the comments if you make this pide recipe. I make sure to respond to each one. Afiyet olsun (bon appétit)!Print