Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe for lahmacun is one version of the classic Lebanese pizza popular throughout the Middle East. It’s a quick recipe to make and a favourite with kids and adults.
- 250 g beef mince
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped (180 g net)
- 1¼ tsp salt
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1½ tsp ground allspice
- ½ tsp red chilli flakes
- 25 g flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- 1½ tbsp pomegranate molasses
- 1 tbsp sumac
- 2¼ tbsp tahini
- 25 g pine nuts
- 1½ tbsp lemon juice
- 250 g plain or strong (00) white flour, plus extra to dust
- 1 tbsp milk powder
- 1½ tsp salt
- 2 tsp fast-action dried yeast
- 1½ tsp caster sugar
- 60 ml (¼ cup) sunflower oil
- 1 medium egg
- 100 ml lukewarm water
- olive oil, for brushing
- 1 Lebanese cucumber, cut into 1 cm dice
- 2 small tomatoes, cut into 1 cm dice
- 10 radishes, thinly sliced
- ½ red onion, thinly sliced
- 10 g parsley, roughly chopped
- 3 tsp lemon juice
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Proving time 1 hour 15 minutes
This recipe makes 12 snack-sized or 4 large pizzas.
To make the dough, place the flour, milk powder, salt, yeast and sugar in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Make a well in the centre. Add the sunflower oil and egg, then stir while adding the water. When the dough comes together, remove from the bowl and lightly knead on a floured work surface for 3 minutes, or until smooth, elastic and uniform. Dust a bowl lightly with flour, place the dough inside, brush with olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and stand somewhere warm for 1 hour, until dough is almost doubled.
Place all topping ingredients, except tahini, pine nuts and lemon juice, in a large bowl. Mix well with your hands and refrigerate.
Preheat the oven to 210°C and line two large baking trays with baking paper.
Divide the risen dough into 12 x 40 g balls, and roll each into a 2 mm–thick, 15 cm round. Lightly brush each with olive oil on both sides and place on baking trays. Cover and stand to rise for 15 minutes.
To make the salad, mix together the vegetables then add the parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Stir gently and set aside.
Spread the tahini onto each pizza base. Divide filling between bases and spread evenly so it covers the whole base. Scatter over the pine nuts and place in the oven for 12–15 minutes, or until just cooked. Pastry should be just baked, not over-baked; the topping can be slightly pink inside and the pastry golden when you look underneath. Remove from the oven, spoon the salad on top, if using, and finish with a drizzle of lemon juice.