Lahmacun is best enjoyed fresh from the oven. You roll crunchy ingredients such as salad and herbs into the baked flatbread and eat it with your hands.
Lahmacun on the food stall is usually quite large and prepared with enough dough to fill you up on one piece. We prefer thinner flatbreads, of which you can definitely eat two or three.
Firstly, a simple yeast dough is prepared: Dissolve some yeast in warm water and place flour and salt in a large bowl.
After 5 minutes, add the water and yeast to the bowl and mix everything thoroughly. You don’t need a machine for this. Then the dough is kneaded on the work surface for 5 – 10 minutes, repeatedly stretched, folded, pressed together and stretched again…
…until it has become smooth and a ball of dough can be formed.
Cover the bowl and leave the dough to rest for an hour in a warm place – as always, this can be your oven with the oven light switched on.
During this time, prepare all the other ingredients. We start with the topping, which consists of minced lamb (alternatively beef), tinned tomatoes, fresh bell pepper, tomato and red pepper paste, onions, garlic and spices.
Puree all the ingredients except the meat in a blender. Then mix them thoroughly with the mince and place the mixture in the fridge for at least 30 minutes.
We use two types of salad and a yoghurt dressing as fresh toppings. Herbs will be added later.
Peel the cucumber, cut in half lengthways and remove the seeds. This is easily done with a teaspoon, which is used to scrape all the seeds out of the cucumber halves. Tomatoes are washed and cut into quarters, then their seeds are removed with a knife as well. Cut the cucumber and tomato into small pieces and mix with olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to make a simple, crunchy salad.
To make a Turkish onion salad, peel the red onions and cut them into fine strips. Add chopped parsley, olive oil and lemon juice as well as salt, pepper and sumac and mix thoroughly into the onions with your hands, pressing firmly to release some of the liquid from the onions. Salt and lemon ensure that the onions lose some of their raw flavour.
A little yoghurt is seasoned with a finely grated clove of garlic and salt for the simplest version of a “cacik”.
In the meantime, the dough has risen.
We divide the dough into 10 pieces of around 70 g and form small balls. We have explained the best way to do this here.
Leave the dough balls to rest for another 30 minutes on a floured baking tray, also floured on the top and covered with kitchen foil.
Now you can preheat the oven to the highest setting with fan. For us, this is 250 degrees Celsius and that is sufficient.
Flatten one ball of dough at a time and roll out thinly on the work surface.
Place the thin flatbread on a Silpat baking mat and this on the oven rack.
If you don’t have such a baking mat (we highly recommend buying one), use baking paper, preferably also on the rack and not on a baking tray. Then use a large spoon to spread the topping on the dough flatbread. Not too thick, otherwise the meat will not cook and the dough will become too moist.
At 250 degrees Celsius, the baking time is almost exactly 4 minutes. You have to keep an eye on this, as every oven is different. The dough must not become too crispy so that the flatbreads can still be rolled later. When the edges of the dough start to take on colour, the lahmacun is done.
We then top each flatbread with our salads, herbs and some cacik, roll it up and enjoy this Turkish delicacy immediately. The rest of the salads we serve on the side.
And may the taste be with you.
Ingredients (for 10 flatbreads):
For the dough:
430 g standard flour (type 405)
2 tsp salt
250 ml warm water
1 tsp dry yeast
For the topping:
300 g minced meat (lamb, alternatively beef)
150 g onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 red pepper
300 g tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp paprika paste (alternatively: more fresh peppers)
1.5 tsp salt
1 tsp pul biber (chilli flakes)
1 tsp sumac
1 ½ tsp cumin powder
1.5 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp black pepper
500 g tomatoes
3 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
2 red onions
2 tbsp oil
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt, pepper and sumac
200 g yoghurt
1 clove of grated garlic
One bunch each of parsley and mint