Turkish Pide on a board

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Turkey’s answer to pizza, pide is unique, delicious and highly customisable. It is made with a soft dough that is filled with a variety of toppings and cheeses making it a rich and comforting food that can be enjoyed at any time! Many people argue that Turkish pide is better than traditional pizza, but I’ll leave that one for you to decide!

What is it?

Turkish pide (pronounced pee-day) takes the form of a flatbread which is piled with cheese and toppings and then slightly closed in around the edges, making sure all the delicious filling stays firmly put.

You start by making a simple dough, which just needs a little time to rest. While it rests (proofs) you can get all the toppings prepared so that when it comes to baking time, you can assemble the pide in front of your diners, based on their preferences.

Make sure you have enough cheese grated as, like pizza, this forms the base of most varieties.

Turkish Pide with different fillings on a plate

How do I know when the dough is ready?

After kneading…

The dough does take quite a bit of kneading. Expect to be working it for around 10 minutes. You’ll be able to see when it is done because the dough will be smooth and no longer have any lumps in it. It will also become springy, and the surface should bounce back after you press a finger into it.

After proofing…

Proofing the dough simply means leaving it to rest somewhere warm. When you do this, it allows the yeast to release carbon dioxide. This release of gas causes the dough to expand and grow. When you proof the dough for this recipe you want it to expand to nearly double the size that it was before proofing. This will give an ultra-soft result.

What fillings can I use?

The recipe in the printable card below is for one of the most popular pide toppings, minced beef with peppers and tomato. However, like pizza, you can use any combination of toppings you like (see the pictures for inspiration!). You can also do a half and half pide for people who just can’t make their minds up. A few ideas to try:

  • Sliced capsicum/peppers
  • Sliced chillies (large ones, so they aren’t too hot)
  • Halved cherry tomatoes
  • Chorizo
  • Salami/pastrami
  • Eggs (only add the egg 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Crack the egg into a cup first and then place the yolk and then a little of the white in the middle of the pide)
  • Wilted spinach
  • Fresh basil leaves
  • Thyme leaves
  • Dried oregano

When making pide, the staple ingredient that is included in practically all varieties is cheese. In Turkey, kashar cheese is more commonly used. This has a smooth and firm flesh that is great for melting. If you can’t get your hands on any on kashar, you can use pretty much any mild solid cheese which melts well. Mozzarella is a great option, as is cheddar. Or you can get creative and try gruyere or gouda.

Whatever you use, do grate the cheese yourself at home. Pre-grated cheeses have additives that prevent the pieces from sticking together. However, this can also stop the cheese from melting as well.

How do you serve it?

Turkish pide is often served as a snack or light meal. It doesn’t necessarily need to be served with anything and it is perfectly fine to serve alone.

When serving pide it is usually sliced along the width into pieces, which are then eaten by hand.

If you want to serve it as more of a rounded meal, then you could add a side salad or some crispy fries. You can also pair it with Turkish tea or coffee for authenticity. You could even try some ayran if you are feeling adventurous (a savoury yogurt drink).

Why is my dough dense and flat?

If your dough turned out thin and dense rather than fluffy and soft, then it is most likely down to your yeast. The most common reasons for this include:

  1. Your yeast has expired. Not only should you check the expiry date, but yeast that has been open for 3-4 months+ may have also passed its best. Always keep yeast in the fridge to maximise its lifespan.
  2. You used water that was too hot or too cold. Too hot and it could kill the yeast, too cold and it may not activate it.
  3. You didn’t activate the yeast. Make sure to give the yeast enough time to activate when mixing with the water (usually 5-10 minutes but sometimes longer).
  4. You didn’t allow the dough enough time to proof.

You might also hear that sugar is required to activate the yeast. This is not strictly true; however, the sugar will cause the yeast to froth up in the liquid, which is a great visual cue as to whether the yeast is active or not.

Ingredients

For a full list of ingredients with weights and measurements jump to the printable recipe card.

Turkish Pide Ingredients

For the dough

  • Water, slightly warm
  • White sugar
  • Active dry yeast
  • Plain/all-purpose flour
  • Salt
  • Butter, unsalted, melted

For the filling

For alternative filling ideas see above

  • Onion, finely diced
  • Red & green peppers (capsicum), finely diced
  • Garlic, finely chopped or crushed
  • Minced (ground) beef
  • Tinned chopped tomatoes
  • Chilli flakes
  • Paprika
  • Firm cheese, gratedcheddar or mozzarella work well
  • Parsley, finely chopped – to garnish

How to make it

For more detailed steps with recipe tips jump to the printable recipe card.

To make the dough

Recipe steps 1-9
  1. Mix together the water, sugar and yeast in a large bowl. Stir until fully combined and set aside until the top of the water has turned frothy.
  2. Mix the flour, salt and butter in another bowl and then add the yeast mixture a little at a time until fully combined.
  3. Knead the dough until it is smooth and doesn’t compress when prodded with your finger.
  4. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover with clingfilm. Leave in a warm place for around 1 hour, until doubled in size. While the dough is proofing make the filling using the instructions below.
  5. Knead the dough a couple of times to deflate, and then cut into 6 roughly equal sizes. Shape each piece into a round ball and place on a tray lined with parchment paper. Cover with a tea towel and leave for 15 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  7. Roll each piece of dough into a long shape, around 30cm/12in long and 15cm/6in wide.
  8. Divide the cheese between each piece and spread along the bottom of the dough, leaving a 2-3cm/1in gap around the edges.
  9. Spoon the filling over the top of the cheese.
  10. Flip the outer sides of the dough inwards, slightly overlapping the filling. Pinch in the ends and then brush melted butter over the sides.
  11. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

To make the filling

Recipe Steps 10-14
  1. While the dough is proofing, make the filling. Sauté the onion in a large pan until softened.
  2. Add the peppers and cook for a further 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic and cooking for another minute.
  3. Add the minced beef and cook until browned all over.
  4. Add the tomatoes, chilli flakes and paprika and cook for a further minute.

Looking for more great cheesy recipes? Try:

Products that work well for this recipe:

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Turkish Pide on a board

Turkish Pide


  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 49 minute
  • Yield: 6 1x

Description

This Turkish Pide is unique, delicious and highly customisable. A rich and comforting food that can be enjoyed at any time, try it out for yourself!

The default recipe makes 6 pide. Use the scale below to increase the portions.


Ingredients

Units Scale

For the dough

  • 250ml water, slightly warm (see note 1)
  • 1 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 400g plain/all-purpose flour + extra for rolling the dough
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15g unsalted butter + extra for brushing the dough
  • olive oil to grease

For the filling:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 large red pepper, finely diced
  • 1 large green pepper, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 500g minced/ground beef
  • 400g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 300g firm gratable cheese, such as cheddar (see note 2)
  • chopped fresh parsley, to garnish

Instructions

Make the dough

  1. Mix together the water, sugar, salt and yeast until everything is dissolved. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, until the top of the liquid turns frothy. (see note 3)
  2. In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and melted butter. Add the water and yeast mixture a little at a time, until fully combined into a solid dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead until it is smooth and the surface springs back when pressed. This will take around 10 minutes. If you are using a stand mixture it will take around half this time. 
  4. Lightly grease a large bowl with some oil and then place the dough inside. Brush the top of the dough with a little oil and cover with clingfilm. Leave the dough to proof in a warm place for around 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead a couple of times to deflate. Cut it into 6 pieces and shape each piece into a roll shape.
  6. Place the rolls onto a baking tray lined with baking/parchment paper making sure you have around a 2cm/1in gap between them. Cover with a tea towel and set aside for 15 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  8. Roll each ball into a long piece, around 30cm long and 15cm wide. Carefully transfer to a large baking tray lined with parchment paper.
  9. Split the cheese among the pides and spread evenly in the centre of each. Leave a 2-3cm/1in gap from the edge.
  10. Spread the filling on top of the cheese.
  11. Flip the outer edges of the pide inwards and pinch in the ends. Brush the exposed dough with melted butter and place in the oven for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Make the filling

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 2-3 minutes until starting to soften. 
  2. Add the peppers and cook for a further 2-3 minutes before adding the garlic and cooking for another minute. 
  3. Add the minced beef and cook until sealed all over, working the meat to break it apart.
  4. Add the chopped tomatoes, chilli flakes and paprika. Reduce the heat to medium so the mixture is lightly simmering and cook for 10 minutes.

Notes

  1. The water needs to be around 60C/110F. In practical terms, this means warm, but not hot. Definitely a lot cooler than you would use to shower or wash up.
  2. Cheddar, Mozzarella, and Monterey Jack are all good options. For authenticity use kashar if you can find it. Make sure to grate the cheese yourself, as pre-grated varieties have additives to stop it clumping, which also stops it from melting as evenly.
  3. If the yeast doesn’t turn frothy (and you definitely added the sugar to the water) then it may be because the yeast is past its best which will stop the bread from rising. I recommend using a different packet.
  4. If you are using egg as a filling then add it 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. Break the egg into a cup first and add the yolk and then spread a little of the whites around the yolk.
  5. See the main recipe post for more filling ideas.
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2.5 hours
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Turkish

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 630
  • Fat: 27g
  • Carbohydrates: 58g
  • Protein: 38g

Keywords: Turkish pide, pizza, snack, dinner, cheese

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