Thursday, June 20, 2013

Armenia - Lahmacun (Armenian Pizza)

Hey, I'm back only a few months later with another food!

As soon as I saw the subtitle to this recipe I knew it was a winner. My family all love pizza. I don't have the best track record with making anything that has to rise though so the base will be a challenge. I'm up for it though, bring it on.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp yeast
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1+1/2 cup of warm water
  • 2 cups of flour
  • 8 oz of minced beef or lamb
  • 1 onion
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbls of butter
  • 1  tomato
  • 1 tsp of chili pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika 
  • 1 tsp of cumin 
  • 3 tbls dried herbs
  • salt and pepper
  • Juice of 1 lemon


The first point of business is to activate the yeast so it'll make a nice fluffy pizza base. Put the yeast in a jug/bowl/hat, add the sugar and half a cup of warm water. Cover and leave for 15 minutes in a warm place. My windowsill is the best place in an afternoon when the sun comes around. After 15 minutes it should be really frothy and smell disgusting (that's how you know you've got some good yeast).





Next put the flour in a bowl, add the smelly yeast water and an additional 1 cup (roughly, whatever it takes) of warm water. Mix until a dough is formed. Knead for 5-10 minutes. The recipe I was following said knead until the dough is as soft as your earlobe! I've never seen that comparison before but I tried it.








Now put the dough somewhere warm to rise for an hour. I covered mine in clingfilm and put it on the windowsill. It should double in size.




While the dough is rising you can get started on the topping. Cut up the onion and garlic as small as you can. Then either use a hand blender or food processor to blitz it to a nice soft mush. I did this with a hand blender and the fumes from it almost blinded me and my husband in the next room. So be warned, haha!






Melt the butter in a frying pan and saute the onion mush until golden. This smelled great while it was cooking.






Put the onion and garlic in a bowl to cool then add the herbs, spices, mince chopped tomato and chopped pepper. Mix thoroughly with your hand until it's a smooth-ish paste.








Line a couple of oven trays with foil and drizzle with oil. The dough is ready to make into pizza bases now so cut the dough into 8 pieces and roll out each to make a rough circle shape.



Spread the topping on each base leaving a rim for the pizza crust. You can more dried herbs for a garnish if you like. I did like.



Cook at Gas Mark 7 for 20 minutes or until risen and slightly browned on the edges. Serve while still hot. We ate ours with salad and bread rolls.






They were great, really delicious. I was pleased with how well the bases rose. Best pizza bases I've ever made in fact. The finished dish was bizarrely exactly like a burger on a pizza but with no cheese. My family seemed to enjoy the burger pizzas though. I enjoyed having pizzas in a different way but I did miss the cheese. We'll definitely have them again :)

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