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Bread bulletin: Peynirli Pide

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Sometimes, it's nice to simply open a page in any cookbook and try whatever recipe is on the page. You're only challenging yourself, so you can always close the book and open it at another page if you don't like the recipe, but lucky for me, most of the cookbooks I consult are for bread, so I know I will get something that I would want to make.

My latest crack-the-book-and-cook recipe was Peynirli Pide from Linda Collister's Bread: From Ciabatta to Rye (2005; pp. 110-111). Peynirli, I am informed, translates as "with cheese" and pide is a thick pita bread (though pocket-less). The dough is shaped into an oval, or more accurately, a boat shape and it has a thick rim to hold in the filling in the centre. I found this out after I made the recipe from the book, but in the future, my pide will look like a boat (very much like a sampan, actually).

From what I gather through various online comments, likening the pide to a pizza isn't accurate as it is much more than that. Linda Collister says it's a cross between a quiche and a pizza, because the filling contains eggs as well as cheese, typically Mozzarella on an Italian pizza, but in her recipe, feta is used. Kaseri is often the cheese of choice in Turkish and Greek pides.

Six-strand braid using leftover pide dough
The dough contains eggs and butter, which makes it extra delicious and moist. When the butter is first kneaded with the dough, it may be a bit worrying because in the beginning, the ingredients don't seem to want to gel (like oil and water, right?). But keep at it (and I would recommend kneading by hand) and everything comes together beautifully.

I think the dough is perfect as a loaf as well. I actually made only four pide and used the remaining dough for a six-strand braid  (right; here's a tutorial on braiding). I just got some small fluted baking tins and with the addition of a little more butter to the dough, it could make some presentable brioche à tête, I think. Hmm, definitely an attempt for the future...

I am submitting this to YeastSpotting.

From Bread: From Ciabatta to Rye
Makes 6 large pides

350g unbleached strong white bread flour
7g easy blend dry yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons tepid water
100ml tepid milk
2 medium eggs, beaten
30g unsalted butter, very soft

Cheese Filling
175g feta cheese, crumbled
1 medium egg, beaten
Several grinds of black pepper
1 rounded tablespoon chopped, flat leaf parsley
Several dashes of Tabasco
About 20g butter, for dotting
  • Grease several baking sheets.
  • To make the dough, put  the flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add the water, milk and eggs and work in the flour to make a soft dough.
  • Turn out onto a floured work surface and knead thoroughly for 5 minutes. Work in the soft butter and knead again for 1 minute until evenly distributed. Return the dough to the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1½ hours.
  • Turn out the dough onto a floured work surface and punch down to deflate. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and shape into balls using well-floured hands. Pat or roll out the balls to ovals, about 15cm long. Pinch and crimp the rim of each oval to prevent the filling spilling over the edge. Arrange well apart on the prepared sheets.
  • To make the filling, put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork. Spread the filling in the centre of each oval, then dot with little flakes of butter. Let rise for 20-30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200°C.
  • Transfer the baking sheets to the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes. Eat while still warm.

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