Vegan Turkish pizza (lahmacun)

Vegan Turkish pizza (lahmacun)

vegan turkish pizza lahmacun

Happy Weekend, everyone! Apologies for being a bit quiet but I’ve had to take a few days off to concentrate on my website design as I found that the constant context switching was too challenging. Although it still requires a lot of work, Duncan has just finished coding the new homepage and things are already looking better than they do now and we are both glad that we’ve decided to take the plunge. Like with most things, changing something that works isn’t easy as there is always a fair amount of risk and it’s hard to fully appreciate the necessity of that change until things settle down and you are able to look back with some objectivity.

I find this to be true of most things. I still remember when we were leaving our familiar and comfortable life in London for rural Greece several years ago. It was scary as heck. We were both established in our well paying corporate jobs, we lived in a nice flat, we had a bunch of like-minded friends we had met over the years and things were good, but we also had this itch to see what else is there and I had a yearning for doing something more creative in my life – the mundanity and pointlessness of my corporate job had a serious impact on my mental health.

I knew something had to change but I was also really frightened as it seemed like a massive step backwards in some ways. And don’t get me wrong, it was. We went from owning a flat and having everything like we wanted it to renting again and having very little control over anything, from having job security to none, but even though we ended up leaving Greece after 4 years of sea and sunshine, we now look back and are both happy we dared to ‘go there’. It was in Greece that we both went vegan and that this blog was born. Little did I know that not only would I end up finding this creative outlet I’ve been dreaming of for all these years, but that it will also align with my core values as well as pay my bills (eventually). Duncan, who quit his job with less excitement than me, felt like his career took a hit due to his absence from a traditional workplace, but he quickly found his feet again and is now enjoying his work even more than before. Job satisfaction aside, the move taught us more self reliance and adaptability and enriched us with a unique life experience that we wouldn’t have got otherwise.

Today’s recipe is something I associate with our London life, but something we have not had since and I’ve been meaning to make a vegan version of this dish for a couple of years now but never quite got round to it. The dish in question is lahmacun (here is how to pronounce it), which is often referred to as Turkish pizza although to me, it seems more like a flatbread.

It’s a super thin piece of yeast dough topped with an aromatic mince meat filling, served with salad and a squeeze of lemon, rolled up and eaten like a wrap-style sandwich. I love the flavours and the concept but I’m not so keen on the meat part, of course, so I made it my own and it’s been a real winner in my house. It’s not hard to make, but I recommend using a pizza stone if you have one and if you don’t improvising one – my brother who makes a mean Roman-style pizza – uses an old metal (not teflon!!) baking tray and it works just as well. These pizza pies only need about 5 minutes in the oven so making sure the bottom gets cooked through well is very important. Other than that, it’s super easy and a perfect weekend project. Enjoy!

vegan turkish pizza lahmacun topping

vegan turkish pizza lahmacun onion salad

vegan turkish pizza making

vegan turkish pizza lahmacun top down

vegan turkish pizza serving

vegan turkish pizza lahmacun plate

makes
6
PREP
60 min
COOKING
5 min
makes
6
PREPARATION
60 min
COOKING
5 min
INGREDIENTS
DOUGH

  • 125 g / 1 cup white bread flour
  • 125 g / 1 cup plain flour
  • ¼ tsp sugar
  • 8 g / 1¼ tsp salt
  • 4 g / 1¼ tsp instant dried yeast
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

TOPPING

  • ½ large white onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 100 g / 3½ oz roasted red pepper (1 large)
  • a handful of parsley, plus more to serve
  • 200 g / 7 oz smoked firm tofu*
  • 60 ml / ¼ cup tomato passata
  • 30 ml / 2 tbsp olive oil (optional)
  • 1½ tsp date syrup or sugar
  • heaped ½ tsp salt, more to taste
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1¼ tsp cumin
  • ½ (mild) smoked paprika
  • ½ tsp pul biber (Turkish chilli)
  • 6 lemon wedges, to serve

ONION SALAD** (optional)

  • 1 red onion
  • 15 ml / 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp pomegranate molasses
  • salt, to taste
  • a pinch of sugar
  • ½ tsp sumac
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped parsley

METHOD
DOUGH

  1. Mix both flours, sugar, salt and instant yeast in a large mixing bowl. If using active (not instant) yeast, make sure to activate it first.
  2. Make a well in the centre, add olive oil (if using) and approximately 150 ml / ½ cup + 2 tbsp of lukewarm (!) water. Mix everything together with a spoon and when everything comes together transfer the dough onto the work bench and knead for about 5-10 minutes, until the dough is elastic and smooth.
  3. Place the dough ball in a clean bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to allow the dough to rise (it should more or less double in size).

TOPPING

  1. Grind onion (chop it roughly first), garlic, roast pepper and parsley in a food processor and transfer the mixture into a large mixing bowl. Alternatively, grate onions and garlic finely using a box grater, chop peppers and parsley super finely with a sharp knife.
  2. Grind tofu in a food processor coarsely – take care not to over process it as you want the topping to have some texture. Alternatively mince it with a fork.
  3. Combine onion, garlic, red pepper and parsley paste with ground tofu, tomato passata, olive oil, date syrup, salt and spices. Adjust the level of spice (pul biber) to taste. Set aside for the flavours to mingle.

ONION SALAD** (optional)

  1. Slice red onions as thinly as you can. If you want this salad to taste milder, blanch the onions for a few seconds in boiling water and drain straight away.
  2. Mix olive oil, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses, salt and sugar. Stir this dressing through the onions, sprinkle with sumac and finely chopped parsley.

ASSEMBLY

  1. 45 minutes before you are ready to bake, place a pizza stone in the oven and preheat the oven to 250° C / 480° F, with the fan function switched on.
  2. Divide the dough into 6 equal portions using scales or eyeballing it. Form each portion into a ball, with a seam at the bottom.
  3. Next, roll it out as thinly as you can on a well floured surface.
  4. Top the rolled out dough with a thin layer of the filling, spreading it almost all the way to the edge.
  5. Using a pizza peel or a homespun replacement, place the lahmacun on the pre-heated pizza stone and bake for about 5-6 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and proceed with the remaining dough balls in the same manner. To keep the pizzas pliable, stack them and cover the stack with a large upside down bowl.
  7. Top with fresh parsley, onion (or other) salad and a squeeze of lemon, roll up and consume.

NOTES
*I used tofu that doesn’t require pressing, if yours does make sure you press it or at the very least squeeze it out well before using.

**If you are not a fan of raw onions, a simple salad of assorted greens (such as rocket, gem lettuce, spinach) radishes, fennel etc. would also work well.

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NUTRITIONAL INFO
calories
249
12%
sugars
4 g
4%
fats
5 g
8%
saturates
1 g
4%
proteins
10 g
19%
carbs
39 g
15%
*per lahmacun
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5.0
3 reviews, 7 comments
REVIEWS & QUESTIONS
Sara:
These are seriously delicious! I was a little concerned that they would be more difficult then what I wanted to take in for Sunday lunch but they were actually pretty easy and well worth the effort. I made the recipe as stated and from the moment I started cooking the first one, we knew it would be a hit. They smell exactly like real Turkish lamacun!!! My only regret is not doubling the recipe. So so good!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Aw, thank you so much Sara! I am so delighted to hear that you found it both easy to make and delicious. And I really appreciate you returning to leave this review, it really helps my work be noticed by more people - thank you. x Ania
Laana:
I got so excited when I saw this recipe! I've never had traditional lahmacun, but always wanted to try one (minus meat). I've made this once with soy mince, but it was rather bland and the texture wasn't right. This recipe is a game changer! Even though I had neither pomegranate molasses nor roasted pepper (I used a couple of dried tomatoes, lemon juice and some ground walnuts ) it turned out so delicious! The tofu topping tasted very strong but it mellowed perfectly after baking and the texture was very nice too. I used some leftover flat bread dough and it worked great. Next time I'll try it with pizza dough! Thank you for a great recipe!
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thank you, Laana! I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed it and thanks so much for taking the time to leave this lovely review - I really appreciate it. x Ania
Krishna:
Thanks for this recipe. It was very tasty. I have seen these often in street food markets in London but never found a vegan version. It was genuinely quick to make. I made the dough the night before and after that it took just over 50 minutes to prepare everything bake the pizzas as well as to tidy up and there was enough filling for two more meals as I was just making it for myself. The first time I used a sourdough for the bread but the next time I realised I did not have any yeast so I make a kind of quick bread dough mixing flour with vegan yogurt and baking soda. I just chopped all the vegetables, parsley and tofu finely and it worked well. I did not have pomegranate molasses so I added about a teaspoon of anardana powder (ground dried pomegranate) for half a batch of the salad and used coconut sugar in place of date syrup in the filling. I didn't have pul biber either so used a couple of crushed dried chillis.
    Ania
    Ania:
    Sounds great and very resourceful, Krishna and I'm so happy to hear that they turned out well. Thank you so much for taking the time to write up a review - I really appreciate it. x Ania
reem bieber:
how large do i roll the dough ?
    Ania
    Ania:
    Hi Reem,
    As thinly as you can (the thinner the better!), but I have not measured how large mine was after rolling as I didn't think that was important. As per my instructions, divide the dough into 6 equal portions (it's best to use scales for that) and then roll each portion out as thinly as you can. Ania
Ramya:
will be making this soon with few subs i never had turkish pizza and food before i love pizza soooooooooo much will dm you if i make this and let you how it goes Thanks Raya
    Ania
    Ania:
    Thanks and I hope you'll enjoy it! Ania
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