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Turkish-style bread topped with lamb, spices and pine nuts

Inspired by lahmacun (Turkish-style pizzas), this spiced-lamb and flatbread number will fill your kitchen with the smells of just-baked bread.

By Lisa Featherby
  • 20 mins preparation
  • 40 mins cooking plus proving
  • Serves 4 - 6
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Minced lamb can sometimes act almost like a seasoning, or a garnish in Middle Eastern cuisine, scattered over hummus, say, or topping a lentil soup. In the case of these spicy Turkish-style flatbreads, inspired by lahmacun, the application is rather more generous, and the final dish is all the better for it.

Ingredients

  • 175 gm shanklish (see note) or firm feta, coarsely grated
  • 250 gm coarsely minced lamb
  • 3 long red chillies, coarsely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1½ tsp cumin seeds, dry-roasted (see cook's notes) and finely ground with a mortar and pestle
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • Roasted pine nuts, thinly sliced mint and pickled long green chillies, to serve
Flatbreads
  • ½ tsp dried yeast
  • 375 gm (2½ cups) plain flour, plus extra for dusting

Method

  • 1
    For flatbreads, dissolve yeast in 300ml lukewarm water. Combine flour and a large pinch of salt in an electric mixer fitted with the dough hook. Add yeast mixture and knead until a soft dough forms (6-8 minutes). Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into six balls. Place balls on a floured tray, leaving 10cm between each, and set aside for 1 hour to prove.
  • 2
    Preheat oven to 250°C. Combine shanklish, lamb, chilli, garlic and cumin in a bowl. Roll out dough to 5mm-thick rounds on a lightly floured surface, then scatter each round evenly with lamb mixture, leaving a small border. Transfer to oven trays lined with baking paper, drizzle with olive oil and bake (in batches if necessary) until crisp at the edges but soft in the centre (15-20 minutes). Scatter with pine nuts, sprinkle with mint and serve with pickled chillies.

Notes

Shanklish, a hard sheep's milk cheese coated in za'atar, is available from Middle Eastern grocers. To dry-roast spices, cook in a dry pan, stirring over mdeium-high heat until fragrant. Drink suggestion: Turkish lager. Drink suggestion by Max Allen.