Fast food occupies an important place in the eating habits of the Turks. There are many who, especially for lunch, take one of the many options that the country’s establishments offer. The repertoire of street food in Turkey it is wide, rich and varied. And the street vendors, omnipresent.
Shich taouk (marinated chicken breast skewers), adana kebab (long skewer of lamb roasted on the charcoal grill), kokoreç (skewer of lamb tripe and offal seasoned with herbs and spices), köfte (meat dumplings, vegetables, cereals or legumes), shawarma (pita bread sandwich stuffed with meat) and, of course, ask. The turkish pizza most popular of the fast and street food repertoire.
The two ways of asking
Some consider it pita bread, although different shape and workmanship, but the most common comparison is the one that equates it to Italian pizza, at least when it comes to “ask for stuffing or garnish.” There is another type of request that is more similar to focaccia (the other great Italian flatbread): the “bread of requests”. Its main function is to serve as an accompaniment to meals.
Ask for ekmeği
Called “pan de requested” in Spanish. It’s a flatbread, but slightly thick than the previous one (hence it is compared with focaccia), which is part of the menus of the vast majority of restaurants in Turkey and is served to accompany meals. It has a delicate flavor reminiscent of brioche and two versions are prepared with its dough:
- The tirnaklı asks, which means “ask for nails” in Turkish. It is decorated with the fingertips before cooking, hence the term “nails”, and it is the best bread to serve with a kebap.
- The Ramazan asks, generally available only during the holy month of Ramadan. It is a round white bread that is brushed with egg and covered with nigella seeds. It is served as an accompaniment to meals.
Translated into Spanish as “ask for stuffing or with garnish”, with boat or eye shape and topped with meat, sausage, cheese, egg, etc. The order with garnish admits many fillings and has different names depending on the ingredients or the region:
- Kaşarlı asks and peynirli asks, both with cheese.
- Kaşarlı-yumurtalı asks, with cheese and egg.
- Kavurmalı asks, which means “roast”: it can include different ingredients and it has the particularity of being crunchy, hence its name.
- Kıymalı asks, with minced meat.
- Ispanakli asks, with spinach.
- Kuşbaşı etli asks, with chopped veal.
- Pastırmalı-yumurtalı, with pastrami and egg.
- Sujuk asks, with sausage.
- Sarmısaklı asks, with garlic.
- Tahinli asks, with tahini.
- Karadeniz asks, which means “from the Black Sea”, region of origin.
- Kastamonu kır pidesi, which means “from the grasslands”, very similar to lahmacun.
For the filling
Finely chop the onion and grate the tomato (discard the skin). We mix with the minced meat. Heat a little oil in a frying pan and sauté the mixture until the meat change color.
Add the cayenne pepper, tomato concentrate, a pinch of cumin, salt and pepper to taste. We fry slow fire 10 minutes or until mixture looks juicy, but not excess liquid. Let cool and, meanwhile, prepare the dough.
For the mass
Mix the warm water (the ideal temperature is 30-40º C) with the dry yeast (you can substitute 6 g of fresh yeast) and the sugar. We stir so that the three ingredients are integrated and let it rest for 10-15 minutes or until activate yeast. We will know when little bubbles appear on the surface.
Pour the mixture into a deep and wide container, add an egg and the yogurt. We remove. Sift the wheat flour over the mixture, add the salt and stir again. Finally we add the oil and work the dough until obtaining a homogeneous ball, which we leave to rest for 20 minutes so that the flour particles are well hydrated.
We dump the dough on a clean work surface and knead it for about five minutes, so that it becomes smooth and uniform. Then we place it in a container sprinkled with a little flour, cover and let rise until double your size (It will depend on the ambient temperature).
Assembly and baking
We divide the dough into four equal portions and roll them. On a floured work surface (to prevent the dough from sticking), we spread each ball in Extended form until they are 3-4 mm thick. We can do it with our hands or use a roller.
We cover the surface with the filling, without going to extremes, and sprinkle with grated mozzarella. We fold the ends inwards, over the filling and pinch the ends together so that they are pointed. If we want shiny edges, brush the dough with beaten egg (optional).
We place the filled requests on a baking tray covered with greaseproof paper. We introduce in the average oven height, preheated to 250º C with heat up and down, and cook for 10-15 minutes or until the dough looks golden and the base is well cooked.
With what to accompany the order filling or with garnish
The turkish pizza or order stuffing it is delicious freshly made, but warm or cold it does not lose its charm. It can be eaten at any time of the day. In fact, in Turkey, it is consumed for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. It is ideal for eating with your hands, cut into transverse strips.
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