Pide (Turkish Flatbread Pizza)

5 from 1 vote

Pide, often referred as Turkish Flatbread Pizza, is a savory, oval flatbread of yeasted dough loaded with cheeses, meats, sautéed vegetables or even an egg! Simply fill the boat-like shape with spinach, lamb, beef, or a spiced cheese mixture and bake. It’s one of the most unique and delicious homemade pizzas you can make and I show you how to make it in the video!

overhead: a baking sheet with four pide (Turkish flatbread pizza) with different types of fillings

Is there anything more satisfying than fluffy, delicious dough stuffed with cheese, meats, and veggies? Every country has its iteration, and my favorite might just be Turkish pide! It’s different from Ramadan pide, or Ramazan pidesi, which is a rounded flatbread only made during Ramadan.

A bonus to Turkish pide is that it’s as portable as it is tasty! I first had this Turkish street food in Istanbul and later in Izmir, like stuffed Turkish gozleme. More of a thin crust fan? Turn to Lahmacun, another, crispier kind of Turkish pizza.

However, don’t be confused that this is lahmacun! The difference between pide and lahmacun, another Turkish national favorite, is that Lahmacun (also a flat bread) has a savory ground meat topping, but it is thinner and in round shape. I like to top it with piyaz salad like I had in the port city of Çanakkale, and roll it like a wrap to eat lahmacun. Pide is oval in shape, has a thicker dough and is typically served in slices.

closeup: a man holding two Turkish pide in front of him, one with cheese and one with spinach and feta

For help with shaping and slicing, check out the video! In the recipe card, I include instructions on how to make this pide recipe with a variety of other fillings.

In this post, I go in-depth on the most popular option, which is the same as America’s favorite pizza topping — cheese! I decided to experiment and make the outer crust like Simit and it is fantastic!

While the dough rises I make my optional filling. Besides the delicious cheese version, you can make a spinach version as well as a ground meat one.

Tip From Kevin

Powdered Milk or Dough Conditioner

I learned about this bakers trick while researching and making Japanese breads. It’s completely optional for this, but I recommend you try it to see the difference it makes.

Powdered milk adds richness and flavor to baked goods while also promoting a tender crumb. Its proteins contribute to browning and moisture retention. Dough conditioners, typically containing ingredients like ascorbic acid, enzymes, emulsifiers, and vital wheat gluten, enhance dough elasticity, texture, and volume. They improve gluten development, resulting in better dough handling, uniform rise, and softer finished products. Dough conditioners also help maintain freshness and extend shelf life by stabilizing the dough structure.

overhead closeup: my pide recipe after baking

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

(Be sure to check the recipe card for a full list of ingredients and quantities)

  • Dough Water, sugar, instant yeast, all-purpose flour, and kosher salt. It couldn’t be easier!
    • Dough Conditioner -See my note above! By adding a dough conditioner or powdered milk to the dough, it will retain more moisture and come out fluffier! 
  • Coating – There are two possible coatings for pide:
    • Pomegranate Molasses – This is a common Middle Eastern ingredient that’s more tangy than sweet. Thick and syrupy, it needs to be watered down a bit.
    • Egg & Olive Oil – A simple yet guaranteed way to get a golden crust. 
  • Cheese Filling – Whip up the following ingredients for a spicy, creamy Turkish pizza filling (see the recipe card for all filling options):
    • Turkish Kasar Cheese – The most popular cheese in Turkey. It’s like a less creamy mozzarella — which is a great substitute!
    • Cream Cheese – To add a bit of bubbly creaminess. Substitute with feta or goat’s cheese for a bolder, more savory center. 
    • Green & Red Hot Chiles What’s life without a bit of spice? Feel free to substitute with a different, milder pepper if preferred. 
    • Turkish Spice Blend – Adding spice to the filling isn’t necessary, but a great opportunity to infuse it with authentic Turkish flavors.
closeup: Turkish pizza on a baking sheet after baking

How to Make Pide

  1. Activate Yeast. Combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast in a small bowl and let activate for 3 minutes until foamy. 
  2. Mix Dough. Whisk the dry dough ingredients in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the activated yeast mixture. Mix together.
  3. Knead & Let Rise. Knead the dough until smooth and elastic. Cover and let rise for an hour until doubled in size. 
  4. Prepare to Assemble & Bake. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment paper. Add the molasses to a shallow dish, whisk with 3 tablespoons of water, and set aside. 
  5. Shape & Fill. Divide and shape the dough into 6 balls. Roll each into a long, ½” thick oval. Fill the center with the cheese filling, leaving a ¾” border. Fold up the edges of the oval and pinch where they meet in the center. Dip in the molasses water, then coat in sesame or nigella seeds if you’d like.  
  6. Open & Top. Place the pide on the tray. Slice the center of each piece with a knife, leaving ½” of uncut dough on each end, and pull open to expose the center. Flatten slightly and top with more of the filling ingredients. 
  7. Bake. Bake on the bottom rack for 10 – 12 minutes, then on the top rack for 3 – 5 minutes until golden brown.
  • Baking Tray & Parchment Paper – Not all parchment paper is rated safe for use up to 450 degrees F. Make sure yours is.
  • Sharp Knife – Perhaps the trickiest part of this pide recipe is slicing along the length of the dough and exposing the cheesy filling. The best way to do that is with a good, sharp knife. 

Storing and Reheating

Pide is best enjoyed within 3 days. Leftovers must be refrigerated. Reheat in the oven at a lower temperature, around 300 degrees F, until the center is warm and bubbly.

closeup: Turkish pide with spinach and feta filling after baking

Frequently Asked Questions

How is pide different from pizza dough?


I would say the biggest difference is that Turkish pide is softer than most pizzas. Additionally, Turkish pizza doesn’t have a layer of sauce beneath the toppings.

Is it possible to let the dough rise for too long?


Yes. Any dough that is left to rise too long (or in too hot of a place) collapses, deflates, and sags. It becomes dense when baked and has an almost fermented, unpleasant taste.

If you want to pre-proof this pide recipe ahead of time (that is, make the dough, let it rise, and then bake at a later time), let it rise in the refrigerator to slow down the process. 

Make sure it rises enough — it should double in size.` Then, allow the refrigerated dough to come to room temperature before baking.

Can you freeze pide before baking?


Yes. Freeze after the dough has risen, been divided, and rolled into balls. Flash-freeze on a baking tray in the freezer and transfer to a plastic baggie after solid to prevent the portions from sticking together.

Let thaw in the fridge overnight, bring to room temperature on the counter, then shape and fill as normal.

closeup: Turkish pizza with meat filling after baking

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closeup: my pide recipe with cheese filling after baking

Pide (Turkish Flatbread Pizza)

5 from 1 vote
Pide, often referred as Turkish Flatbread Pizza, is a savory, oval flatbread of yeasted dough loaded with cheeses, meats, veg or even an egg!
Servings: 6
Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Dough Rise: 1 hour
Total: 2 hours

Ingredients 

Dough

  • 3/4 cup water + 2 tbsp water lukewarm (207 ml)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 300 g
  • 3 tbsp powdered milk or 1 tbsp dough conditioner optional (See Note 1)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Coating

  • 3 tbsp molasses or pomegranate molasses (See Note 2)
  • 1 cup toasted sesame seeds optional
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds optional

Cheese Filling

  • 2 cups Turkish kasar cheese or mozzarella cheese shredded
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 tsp Turkish Spice Blend optional
  • Green and red hot chiles diced or sliced

Spinach Filling (optional)

Meat Filling (optional)

Instructions 

  • In a small bowl mix the water, sugar and yeast. Let the yeast activate and get foamy, 3 minutes.
  • Combine the flour, salt and optional powdered milk or bread conditioner in a large bowl or mixer and stir to combine. Make a hole in the center and add the yeast mixture.
  • Mix together and knead for about 6-7 minutes until it is smooth and elastic. Cover with linen towel and let it rise for 1 hour (it doubles in size).
  • In large shallow dish whisk together the molasses with 3 tablespoons of water. Place sesame seeds in large shallow dish. Set both aside.

Cheese Filling

  • Line a large baking tray with parchment paper or silicone mat and set aside. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  • Divide dough into 6 equal balls. Roll each dough ball into a long oval shape, with 1/2 inch thickness. Fill each center with shredded cheese, 3 tablespoons cream cheese and seasoning, leaving 3/4 inch border. Fold up the sides and pinch together to seal. You should have a long oval shape. Turn over and gently press to flatten slightly. Dip it in the molasses water, then coat it all over with the sesame seeds.
  • Place each oval pide on the prepared tray. Using a sharp knife make a deep, long slice down the center of the top dough only leaving 1/2 inch on both ends. Open the slice, exposing the filling. Flatten it out a little and top it with more cheese, Turkish seasoning or chiles.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes on the bottom rack then put it on the top rack for another 3-5 minutes or until golden brown.

OPTIONAL FILLINGS

    Spinach filling

    • Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet. Saute the onion until translucent. Add the spinach, dill, parsley, salt and red pepper flakes and cook until spinach is wilted. Add feta cheese, toss to mix and cook for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

    Meat filling

    • In a skillet over medium heat add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until golden.
    • Add ground beef (or lamb), pine nuts, cumin, Turkish spice (optional), kosher salt, black pepper, paprika and cayenne. Cook 8-10 minutes until meat is browned, stirring with spoon to break up meat. Remove from heat and cool.

    Video

    Notes

    1. In this recipe you can use either an optional dough conditioner or a powdered milk. Both assist in creating a lighter dough that helps retain moisture for a fluffier bread. I learned about this bakers trick while researching and making Japanese breads. It’s completely optional.
    2. If not using the molasses and sesame seed to coat the pide, you can beat 1 egg in a small bowl and mix it with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Brush the edges of dough with this and sprinkle with nigella seeds.
    3. Nutrition based off of Cheese Filling Pide.

    Nutrition

    Calories: 667kcal | Carbohydrates: 60g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 39g | Saturated Fat: 16g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 0.003g | Cholesterol: 99mg | Sodium: 969mg | Potassium: 487mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 851IU | Vitamin C: 0.3mg | Calcium: 551mg | Iron: 7mg

    The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

    Course: main dishes
    Cuisine: Turkish
    Author: Kevin
    Have You Made This Recipe? Let Me Know on InstagramTag @keviniscooking or tag me #keviniscooking!
    titled image (and shown): Turkish pide flatbread pizza

    Kevin

    I was bitten by the cooking bug as a kid cooking and baking along side my mom. After an ROP restaurant course in high school, I went to work in restaurants and catering. My love of travel and food has led me across the world and I love to share those foods with family and friends.

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