Now I decided to do a dish that is close to home and my background. My Armenian background, so with all the numerous recipes I can pick I decided to do a dish which is often times called Armenian pizza or Lahmacun or Lahmajoun. Basically a meat pie. Not sure where this dish has originated as some Turkish people will say it’s their’s, and Armenian people will say it’s their’s, I couldn’t really care too much, however if someone wants to leave a comment below and educate me by all means go ahead. I’m Armenian and I grew up with this dish, so it’s an Armenian dish to me. Growing up with this dish I have developed a need to have this at least once every couple of months. There really isn’t too much to this dish but what makes it special is the ingredients you stuff this with. Today I stuffed my Lahmajoun with a Fattoush salad which is the same thing as a bread salad but middle eastern style. If I had on hand I definitely would have added some kind of pickles in there as well. The dish is very easy to make if you want to use store bought bread/torilla. Whatever works for you but I decided to make fresh flat bread for this in hopes of working on my baking skills and really, why not. I have tons of time. A Taste of Armenia: Traditional Recipes for the Armenian Cook
I rolled my dough very thin as I wanted to resemble the authenticity of the dish. I also use potato flour in my dough recipe as it gives a soft chew and flexibility for folding. Roll yours out to the thickness you prefer but it might change the cooking time in your oven. Next time I definitely will roll mine out a bit thicker as I would want a softer pita like bread, and not thin and crunchy on the edges. You have to try both though in order to make that decision.
Dough Recipe for Lahmacun or Lahmajoun (Also known as Armenian Pizza)
I looked all over the web for a recipe that I thought would be nice for this Lahmacun / Lahmajoun dish. I wanted a flat bread that was soft but yet sturdy enough to hold the ingredients I put in it. I used a recipe from the King Arthur website. *This recipe works best with instant yeast because it dissolves during the kneading process, so you don't have to knead liquid into the dough. If you really prefer to use active dry yeast, use only 1 cup boiling water for the initial dough, dissolve the yeast in ¼ cup warm water, and add this mixture to the dough along with the potato flour mixture. It'll be somewhat "slippery" at first, but will knead in and eventually become smooth.
3 Cups flour
1¼ Cup boiling water
¼ Cup potato flour
1 Tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 Tsp instant yeast
Making the Dough: Place 2 cups of the flour into a bowl or the bucket of a bread machine. Pour the boiling water over the flour, and stir till smooth. Cover the bowl or bucket and set the mixture aside for 30 minutes.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the potato flour (or flakes or buds) and 1 cup of the remaining flour with the salt, oil and yeast. Add this to the cooled flour/water mixture, stir, then knead for several minutes (by hand, mixer or bread machine) to form a soft dough. Note: You can allow the dough to go through the entire kneading cycle(s) in the bread machine, but it's not necessary; about a 5-minute knead in the machine, once it gets up to full kneading speed, is fine. The dough should form a ball, but will remain somewhat sticky. Add additional flour only if necessary; if kneading by hand, keep your hands and work surface lightly oiled. Let the dough rise, covered, for 1 hour.
Shaping: Divide the dough into 8 pieces (each about the size of a handball, around 3 ounces), cover, and let rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Roll each piece into a 7- to 8-inch circle. Once rolled out your dough is ready for the meat mixture. Read the next recipe to continue making the Lahmacun / Lahmajoun.
Lahmacun / Lahmajoun Recipe (Also known as Armenian Pizza)
Generally most of the Lahmacun / Lahmajoun recipes are pretty similar. There is some room for variation but if you do want to keep authentic the recipe is as follows. I did use thegutsygourmet.net as a reference for this dish.
Recipe type: Main
12-16 Ounce ground beef
2 Tbsp Ketchup
2 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp red pepper paste
1 Tsp red pepper flakes
1 Large lemon, juice of
1 Cup chopped flat leaf parsley
1 Tbsp chopped mint
1 Tsp cumin
1 Tsp paprika
½ Red pepper
½ Green pepper
1 Tomato skinned and chopped
Preheat your oven to 450F/232C and place a pizza stone in your oven. If you don't have a pizza stone you can just use an oven pan to cook your Lahmacun / Lahmajoun.
Place your ground beef aside. Add your all your other ingredients into a food processor and pulse in a fine spreadable spread. Don't pulse to the point where you can't tell what ingredients are in the spread.
Add the pureed mixture to your meat and mix thoroughly.
Take a handful of the mixture and place it on your round dough that you rolled out. Use your hands to spread the meat mixture as close to the edge of the dough.
Use a pizza peel or parchment paper to place your Lahmacun / Lahmajoun on the pizza stone or oven pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove and Enjoy.
I use this traditional salad to stuff my homemade Lahmacun / Lahmajoun. This salad includes baked or fried pita's, vegetables and lettuce. I used my dough to make some of the crispy bread used for this salad.
½ Head of chopped iceberg lettuce
½ Red pepper diced
½ Green pepper diced
½ Cup of diced cucumbers
1 Tomato chopped
½ Cup chopped mint
½ Red onion diced
1-2 Baked pita (or uses dough we made to make crispy bread in oven)
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 Large lemon, juice of
1 Tsp lemon pepper
Salt and Pepper
½ Cup parsley stem pesto(recipe to be posted soon)
For the dressing whisk all ingredients in a bowl.
Add all other ingredient to the bowl, including the crispy bread you baked. Make sure you tear up the bread so it incorporates into salad and soaks up the dressing.
Mix salad up and enjoy as a side or add it to the Lahmacun / Lahmajoun. The whole point is to stuff the Lahmacun / Lahmajoun, roll it up and eat it like you would a burrito, wrap or sandwich.
I had left over parsley stems that I turned into a pesto for the salad. I also use lemon pepper in this dish which is definitely not traditional but I like the punch it provides for the salad. Overdress the salad (Stop drooling you acid lovers) as the crispy breads in the salad will soak up the dressing and soften up a little. That’s the whole point of a bread salad, and I think to get rid of stale bread, ha. Not sure though.
Really stuff this bad boy with whatever you want. Pickles, veg, more meat, whatever you want but at this point your customizing the dish to your liking. If you follow the recipe above you have successfully made an Armenian pizza also called Lahmacun / Lahmajoun. I hope you enjoyed the dish I grew up with and if you have any thoughts or insights please leave a comment below.