I’ve never met a carbohydrate I didn’t like! I am in love with Turkish bread: pide (pea day). So what exactly is pide? Well, it’s a Turkish bread that can be eaten plain or stuffed. Some of the most popular stuffing choices are: seasoned lamb, feta, or spinach. There are also regional differences. Similar dishes to pide can be found throughout Central Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe. In Turkey there are street shops that specialize only in pide, they are called “pideci.” Pide is street food at its best, but it’s also something you can make at home and accompany with a side salad, and voila, a great weekday meal has materialized.
Turkish food is amazing because it has so many culinary influences. Its diversity is owed to many factors, including geography, rich flora and fauna, and of course the sultan’s kitchen from the days of the Ottoman Empire. The fact that Turkey was influential in the spice trade is another bonus to its rich cultural heritage.
Don’t let the fact that this is bread scare you away from making it. It is so easy, and I am not the bread baker in the family. If you can mix, knead, and roll, you can do this. My first attempt was successful, and the pide looked prettier the first time than it did the second time. I think I overfilled them or something. Don’t worry the ones I am showing you here are really pretty. You all know that I like pretty food.
Although traditionally, kaser peynirli (a type of Turkish cheese) is used, I am sort of a fan of feta, so I use it combined with mozzarella; I know,mozzarella isn’t exactly Turkish, but it works. I like to add parsley instead of spinach. I love spinach, but there is something about cooked spinach that I can’t get past. Now give me a spinach salad, and I am all over it. As an added touch, before baking, I like to sprinkle my pide with nigella seeds; I think they add a nice peppery flavor, plus a great visual contrast too. You can get nigella seeds on Amazon if your store does not carry them.
- 1¾ cups flour
- ½ cup warm water
- 2 tsp. dry active yeast
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- ¾cup crumbled feta
- ⅔ cup shredded mozzarella
- ¼ finely chopped parsley
- ¼ tsp. cinnamon
- ⅛ tsp cracked pepper
- 1 egg wash (one beaten egg with 1 Tbsp. water added to it)
- ½ Tbsp. olive oil
- nigella seeds for sprinkling
- cornmeal for dusting baking sheet.
- In a large bowl place flour and salt.
- Mix olive oil into egg wash. Stir and place in fridge until ready to use.
- In a small bowl place the warm water (the water should be between 100-110'F)). Add the yeast and sugar, stir lightly and let it sit until frothy ( this will take about 5-10 minutes).
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour and blend well until a soft dough forms.
- Place inside a bowl that has been rubbed with olive oil. Cover and let it sit until double in size.
- Preheat oven to 400'F
- Turn dough onto a floured surface. Punch down and knead for about 5 minutes.
- Roll dough into a cylinder and divide into 4 equal parts.
- Using a rolling pin roll out into 12" x 3" oval shape.
- Place filling down the center of the oval.
- Pinch the top and bottom of the oval to create a boat shape, and fold sides inwards.
- Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with nigella seeds.
- Place individual pide on a baking sheet that has been sprinkled with cornmeal.
- Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until pide appears golden and crispy.