Like most nations, Turkey's cooking is varied so far as flavors, textures, etc. More interesting are the range of culinary influences, other cultures brought in to the mix during the historic Ottoman empire. Since coming back from Istanbul, I've missed the plethora of street food, yearning for the flavors I sampled but also missed (there was so much I wanted to try!).
Dilara, who runs Istanbul's excellent restaurant Abracadabra, sent me home from my recent trip with a gift basket full of delicious things. One such delicacy was suçuk, a dried sausage known around the whole of the former Ottoman empire. It's a dried sausage made of beef or lamb, redolent with flavors and scents that are a reminder of the spice route that ran through Anatolia. Since I have been slaving at work, that suçuck has been hanging out in my fridge waiting to be sampled. My cat has been eyeing it for some time, so yesterday I took it off the hook from which it was hanging on the side of my baker's bench, afraid it would be gnawed to bits by my cat if I waited.
Meanwhile I set about converting the pide hamuru (dough) recipe from my friend Gökhan the baker, throwing in some old fashioned intuition, not to mention some useful videos in Turkish on You Tube. Together, this assortment of ingredients and user-help led to a fair recreation of the great street food I've been pining for since returning from Istanbul. The result is a winner, and it sure beats that tired take out pizza from your local where you're lucky if they bake the pie rather than just reheat.
Gökhan’s Pide Hamuru with suçuk
Serves two (Unless your hungry and don't want to share!)
285 g Flour
8 g Salt
170 g water or as Gerkan said, squeezing his index and thumb to ear (gauge hydration by feel.)
I used a combination no knead like Jim Lahey with a couple fold like Dan Lepard, but left the dough for about 8-10 hours or so to rise, while I went shopping at the market for the rest of the ingredients!
I cut the dough into two equal portions and rolled them out into oblong shapes covered with the fillings and pinched up the side of the dough like the shape of a canoe. Brushed with extra virgin olive oil and baked in a 450 F oven for about 15-20 minutes till nicely colored, finish with another coat of olive oil, can't get enough of the stuff!
Fillings: In this I used
1 sliced onion slightly sauted with 2 green peppers, also sliced. ( green frying Italian style peppers)
1 beautiful red ripe tomato, quatered and slice about a 1/4 inch wide
Suçuck chopped up, you could substitute any good sausage really, chorizo, merguez etc...
I didn't have any mozzarella, instead I used grated ricotta salata.
With this delicious pide I had a wonderful Hog Heaven Barley winestyle- ale from Avery Brewing Co. in Boulder, nice.