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Michael Turek Photo by: Michael Turek

Turkish Ground-Lamb Pizzas

At her takeout shop in Istanbul, Kantin Dükkan, Semsa Denizsel tops her pizzas with ground lamb (flavored with sweet sun-dried tomatoes and a little spicy red pepper), but you can substitute ground beef instead. To make the pizza even more substantial, bake it with an egg on top; the runny yolk is terrific with the whole-wheat crust.

Food & Wine MAY 2012

  • Yield: 4
  • Active:40 Minutes
  • Total:1 Hour, 40 Minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 (small) onion, finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground lamb or beef
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped, drained
  • 1 tablespoon Turkish red pepper paste (see Note) or 2 jarred hot cherry peppers, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 4 large eggs, (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves

Preparation

In a small bowl, whisk the whole wheat flour with the all-purpose flour and salt. In a large bowl, combine the warm water and honey. Sprinkle the yeast over the water and let stand for about 5 minutes, until foamy. Stir in the olive oil and then the flour mixture. Gently knead the dough on a work surface until it forms a smooth, somewhat sticky ball. Lightly oil another bowl and add the dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let stand in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

In a skillet, heat the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion and cook over moderate heat until translucent, 4 minutes. Add the lamb and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the lamb is no longer pink, 3 minutes. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper paste and cumin and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 450°. Arrange oven racks on the top and bottom thirds of the oven. Preheat a large rimmed baking sheet in the oven for about 5 minutes.

On a lightly floured work surface, punch down the dough and cut into 4 pieces. Roll each piece into a 6-inch round. Arrange the dough rounds on the preheated baking sheet, about 1 inch apart. Bake on the bottom shelf of the oven for 2 minutes. Spread the lamb topping over the dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edges; brush the borders with olive oil. Crack an egg in the center of each pizza (if using) and bake on the top shelf of the oven for about 6 minutes, until the crust is crisp on the bottom, the egg white is firm and the yolk is runny. Scatter the parsley over the pizzas and serve hot.

Note: Turkish red pepper paste, also known as biber salcasi, is available at specialty stores.
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Turkish Ground-Lamb Pizzas recipe

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