Monday, May 20, 2013

Spartan Pizza

The first recipe I want to share is one of my favorites, from a small city in Turkey which is called Isparta. Despite the similarity in the name, this city has nothing to to with Sparta. However, I have decided to call it 'Spartan pizza', as it is more pronounceable and memorable name. You can make five pizzas out of these ingredients.


For the dough

  • 3,5 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 2-3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 cup of milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon dry yeast

For the fill

  • 1/2 lb ground meat (85%)
  • 1 big tomato
  • 2 sweet or jalapeno pepper
  • 1 onion
  • parsley
  • salt
  • black pepper and red pepper
  • oregano

For the top

  • 1/2 cup of plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of vegetable/canola/sunflower oil


First you need to prepare dough. To do that, heat the milk a little bit and then mix it with dry yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Wait until it rises, then put all flour in a large bowl and add yeast mixture, salt and yogurt (Actually you can mix all ingredients at once, without mixing yeast and milk first, but you need to wait longer for the dough if you do like that).  Start kneading, add some warm water if it is too hard and continue kneading until it become soft.  There are two conditions to be met for the dough to be ready; first it should be soft like your earlobe and it should not stick to your hand. If it is ready, you can wrap it, put it in a warm place and wait until it rises. It will probably take one or two hours for the dough to rise.

In the mean time you can prepare the fill. First chop the onion, tomato, pepper and parsley in very small pieces and then put them in a bowl with ground meat. Add salt, pepper and other spices you wish to add, I personally prefer oregano and red pepper and put one tea spoon for each. The important point here is the tomato should be very juicy, if you cannot find that you can use the petite diced tomatoes, as it will give almost same results. Also, you can add some water if it is not juicy enough.

After one or two hours check the dough. If the dough rises double size of its, then it is ready. Take the dough and cut it into five pieces. You need to use some flour to prevent it sticking to your hands. Take the first piece, put some flour on it and make a thin and long pizza base with a roller.If you do not use roller it will be very thick, I personally do not like a thick one.

Then lay the base on an aluminum foil, before filling it.

Spread the meat mixture on top of it, leave half inch for each sides empty.

After spreading the fill all around the base, close the empty edges on top. Combine the yogurt and sunflower oil in a small bowl and apply it to the half-inch edges that you close on top with a brush. Repeat these steps for all five pieces. Preheat oven at 450 F and cook it for 20 minutes. After taking from the oven, cut it into 5-7 pieces, put in a tray, wrap it with a cloth and wait 15 minutes to open. It is important to do this, because if you do not wrap it, the pizzas will be very hard to bite.

This recipe seems hard to do,  but  it becomes easier as you continue doing it.  If you are vegetarian or do not like ground meat,  you can put cheese,  potatoes or spinach in it. 

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