Making Turkish Pide at Home – Pizza vs. Pide

If you have ever visited Turkey, chances are you’ve seen an oblong flat bread stuffed with various delicious ingredients. At first look, it might resemble you the pizza (in oblong form). Some even call it Turkish pizza. Still, you will notice from the first bite that it is not! There are some very specific differences. And, before we go any further, I should also mention that it is not pita either. Many people associate it with Italian or Arabic food, yet, it has a long history in Turkish cuisine. Ok then, what is it?

What is pide?

Pide is a stuffed flat bread, baked without a pan, and usually in a wood-fired oven. The most popular ingredients are special pide cheese (unsalted white cheddar), spiced ground beef, pastrami, kavurma (braised meat in cubes), and various veggies such as fresh green peppers, spinach, boiled potatoes, parsley, etc.

Unlike pizza, tomato sauce and olives are not used. Some prefer to break an egg or two on the pide right after it comes out of the oven. Since pide is baked at around 375 °C (700 °F), the egg gets cooked almost instantly. Keep in mind that these settings are for commercial pizza/pide ovens! You cannot get those at home. Instead, use the highest setting of your oven.

What is the difference between pide and pizza?

Pizza and pide have many common features. Actually, the way we prepare the dough is pretty similar. It is leavened with yeast and fermented almost identically. In fact, today, I will prepare a pide and pizza from the same dough for you. Yet, the final products look and taste quite different.

For starters, pide is much thinner and chewier. This is because we roll it with a dough roller right before we stuff the ingredients on it. Another difference is that we never put tomato sauce (my favorite) on the dough. Plus, it is vital that a pide must have a crispy crust. We achieve this by buttering the sides right after it comes out of oven. As a side effect, buttering makes the crust shine like gold or as Jack Nicholson in The Shining. This makes the center parts remain rather softer, while the sides (handles) gets a bit crunchier. In the end, you get to taste the best of both worlds; soft in the middle, crispier on the sides.

To summarize the main differences between pide and pizza:

  • No tomato sauce on the pide: Unlike pizza, we do not apply tomato sauce on the surface of pide.
  • Roll the dough before you stuff it: We flatten the dough with a roller just before placing the ingredients, making it chewier.
  • Oblong shape: We give it a rectangular shape, then turn and curl the sides inward after we place the ingredients.
  • Butter the sides: We brush the crust with butter right after the pide comes out of the oven (while it is still super-hot).
  • No cheese: Pide can be made without adding any kind of cheese (like lahmacun).

Ok, I think it is time to get into the recipe, shall we?

Making Turkish Pide at Home – Pizza vs. Pide

Recipe by OzgurCourse: main courseCuisine: TurkishDifficulty: easy


Prep time


Cooking time




Total time




  • 4 cups of bread flour (use all-purpose flour if you like)

  • 1 teaspoon dry yeast (10 g fresh yeast)

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm water

  • 3/4 cup lukewarm milk

  • 1 teaspoon butter

  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • Topping ingredients for pide
  • 1 cup grated cheese (unsalted cheddar cheese)

  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced

  • 300 g (10 Oz.) sliced pastrami (or sausage, pepperoni, etc.)

  • Topping ingredients for pizza
  • 1 cup grated cheese (unsalted cheddar cheese)

  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced

  • 1 medium-size tomato, diced into small cubes

  • 1 small red onion, sliced thinly in half rings

  • 1/2 pound (225g) sliced mushrooms

  • 2 tablespoons sliced olives (green or black)

  • 150 g (10 Oz.) sliced sausage or pepperoni

  • Pizza sauce ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste

  • 1/2 cup water

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1/4 teaspoon powdered red pepper


  • Preparing the pide
  • Add the yeast and sugar into warm milk and wait about a minute for it to dissolve (skip this step if you are using instant yeast).
  • Combine the yeast mixture and water in a large bowl.
  • Add in the butter and salt.
  • Add in the flour gradually, start kneading by hand (or use a stand mixer with dough hook).
  • Dough will be ready when it becomes lightly sticky and manageable.
  • Form the dough into a ball shape.
  • Dust another bowl and transfer the ball shaped dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rest for at least 30 minutes or until it is doubled in size.
  • Divide the dough into 8 parts.
  • Dust the counter with flour and start rolling the first dough ball.
  • Use a dough roller or rolling pin (both are fine) to give it a rectangular shape. Form it like the one in the picture below.Rolling out the dough for pide making
  • Adding the toppings for the pide
  • Place 2/3 of the grated cheese on the dough and leave about 1/2-inch (about 1.2 cm) space from all sides.
  • Place the sliced green chili pepper.
  • Place the pastrami slices (or sliced pepperoni, sausage, etc.).
  • Add the rest of the grated cheese (1/3) on top.
  • Shaping the pide
  • Start curling the sides toward inward and press with your fingers to make sure the dough stick to each other.
  • Bake at the highest setting of your oven for about 12 to 15 minutes or until the pide becomes light golden brown.
  • Once you take out the pide, brush the crust with butter. Do not melt the butter, instead use a fork like the one in the picture.
  • Slice the pide slightly with an angle into 2 inches (5 cm) strips. Cutting like this allows you to dip them it into your favorite sauce.
  • Making pizza from the same dough
  • Take 4 dough balls and knead them together into a large dough ball.
  • Dust the top and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  • Roll the dough into a round pizza.
  • Let it rest for 30 minutes. If you are using a pizza pan, then let it rest in the pan. Make sure to brush the pan with olive oil first.
  • Prepare the pizza sauce by mixing all the ingredients in a small bowl.
  • Brush the pizza sauce on the surface of the pizza. Leave about 1/2-inch (about 1.2 cm) space form the sides.
  • Add about 2/3 of the grated cheese on top.
  • Place all the other ingredients (sausage, bell pepper, olives, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms).
  • Add the rest of the grated cheese (1/3) on top.
  • Bake at the highest setting of your oven for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese on top becomes golden brown.


  • Make sure to keep the pide dough at room temperature at all times. You can store the dough balls in the refrigerator (tightly covered with plastic wrap or in a closed lid bowl) for 3-4 days.
Lahmacun kebab

What is the difference between lahmacun and pide?

Lahmacun has a round shape and its dough has no leavening agent like yeast. Pide, on the other hand, is leavened with yeast and has an oblong form with thick sides. You can stuff pide with almost any ingredient you like. Nevertheless, ground meat mixture is the only ingredient for original lahmacun. Moreover, its name lahmacun means ‘meat in dough’ literally. In recent years, some restaurants started to add cheese on it, but that is only an attempt for fusion food. I also make the vegetarian version at home with pecans instead of ground beef. However, the original meaty lahmacun has a long history and enjoyed in many different countries with different names (lahmajun, lahm bi’ajeen, etc.).


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