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Lahmacun - Turkish pizza with minced beef and salad

Main Weekend project
Serves 4

Lahmacun literally means 'meat with dough'. If you want to get ahead, prepare the meat topping in advance – the flavours only intensify. And if you have any veggies leftover, they are make the best lunchtime salad.


250g white flour, plus extra to dust
1½ tbsp milk powder
½ tbsp salt
2 tsp fast-action dried yeast
½ tbsp caster sugar
60ml sunflower oil
1 medium egg
100ml lukewarm water
olive oil for brushing
250g minced beef
1 medium onion, finely chopped (180g net)
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp ground cinnamon
1½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp red chilli flakes 
25g flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 tbsp  pomegranate molasses 
1½ tbsp  sumac
3 tbsp tahini
25g pine nuts
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 mini-cucumber, cut into 1cm dice (190g)
2 small tomatoes, cut into 1cm dice (150g)
10 radishes, thinly sliced (75g)
½ red onion, thinly sliced (65g)
10g parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil 
salt and black pepper


  1. Start with the dough. Put the flour, milk powder, salt, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Make a well in the centre. Add the sunflower oil and egg and stir as you add the water. When the dough comes together, remove it from the bowl and knead lightly for 3 minutes on your work surface until smooth, elastic and uniform. Dust a bowl lightly with flour, place the dough inside, brush with some olive oil, cover with cling film and leave somewhere warm for 1 hour, at which point the dough should have almost doubled. 

  2. Put all of the topping ingredients in a large bowl, apart from the tahini, pine nuts and lemon juice. Mix well with your hands and refrigerate.

  3. Preheat the oven to 210°C and line two large baking sheets with baking parchment. 
  4. Divide the risen dough into 40g balls, you should get about 12, and roll each into a thin disc, about 2mm thick and 15cm in diameter. Brush each disc lightly with olive oil on both sides and place on the baking sheet. Cover and leave to rise for 15 minutes.

  5. If you make the salad, mix together the vegetables and add the parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Stir gently and set aside.

  6. Spread the tahini onto each pastry disc, divide the filling between the pastries and spread it evenly so it covers the dough fully. Sprinkle over the pine nuts and place in the oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until just cooked. You want to make sure the pastry is just baked, not over-baked; the topping can be slightly pink inside and the pastry golden when you look underneath. Remove from the oven, spoon the salad on top, if making, and finish with a drizzle of lemon juice.