Lahmacun (Flat Bread with Lamb and Tomatoes)

As soon as I saw the picture on Saveur’s website, I knew I had to try their recipe for Lahmacun. It is a fancy name for a lamb pizza, sans cheese.

I do not own a pizza stone so I worked with my Calphalon non-stick pizza pan. It has aerated holes in the bottom so it allows the crust to become crisp. My husband and I prefer thin, crisp crusts so I did not allow the dough to rest and rise. I used my KitchenAid mixer to knead the dough, which turned out to be the easiest pizza dough I have ever rolled out. It was smooth and did not have an overly elastic texture.

For the sauce, I used one pound of ground lamb, cooking it until medium and then adding it to the tomato paste topping. I sautéed a thinly sliced onion in the rendered lamb grease and omitted the grated onion).

I served this Middle Eastern style flatbread with an olive oil, balsamic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper vinaigrette atop spicy arugula. This meal was satisfying and delicious although next time I may add a handful of feta to the arugula to add a salty tang.

Lahmacun (Flat Bread with Lamb and Tomatoes)

By Saveur

1 tsp. sugar

1  1⁄4-oz. package active dry yeast

2 cups flour, plus more

1 1⁄2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more

1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tbsp. minced flat-leaf parsley

1⁄2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1⁄4 tsp. ground cumin

1⁄4 tsp. sweet paprika

1⁄8 tsp. ground cinnamon

3 oz. ground lamb

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 plum tomato, grated

1 small onion, grated

1⁄2 serrano chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced

Combine sugar, yeast, and 3⁄4 cup water heated to 115˚ in a small bowl; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Combine flour and salt in a bowl and make a well in the center. Add yeast mixture and stir to form a dough. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth, about 6 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let dough rest until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch down dough, divide into 4 portions, and roll each portion into a ball. Transfer dough balls to a floured baking sheet. Cover with a damp tea towel and let rest for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the topping: In a large bowl, combine oil, tomato paste, parsley, cayenne, cumin, paprika, and cinnamon and stir vigorously with a fork. Stir in lamb, garlic, tomatoes, onions, and chiles and season with salt; set topping aside.

Put a pizza stone in bottom third of oven and heat oven to 475°. Working with one dough ball at a time, use a rolling pin to roll dough into a 10″ disk. Brush off excess flour and transfer dough to a piece of parchment paper. Spoon 3–4 tbsp. topping onto dough and using your fingers, spread topping evenly to edges. Season with salt. Holding parchment paper by its edges, transfer to baking stone. Bake until dough is golden brown and topping is cooked, 6–8 minutes. Repeat with remaining dough and topping; serve warm or at room temperature.

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