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Ana Sortun’s Lahmajoun
2¼ hours (1 hour active)
An aficionado of the food and cooking of the Mediterranean, Ana Sortun, cookbook author and award-winning chef at Oleana, Sarma and Sofra, all in the Boston area, has a deep knowledge of Turkish cuisine. She taught us her way of making lahmajoun, a Turkish flatbread topped with ground meat (typically lamb, though beef works, too) seasoned with tomatoes, bell pepper and spices. Though lahmajoun often is very thin, hers are thicker and more substantial, with a soft yet chewy crust; the generous topping melds with the dough during baking. Sortun prefers to hand-chop the ingredients for the topping, combining them on the cutting board and running a knife over them until they’re well integrated; this method yields a rustic texture. If, however, you favor speed, the topping can be made in a food processor; see the instructions below. The common way to eat lahmajoun is to squeeze on some juice from a lemon wedge and roll up the flatbread. This recipe makes smallish lahmajoun with thicker-than-typical crusts, so feel free to cut them for serving or simply fold them in half for easier eating, but be sure to offer lemon wedges on the side.
For the dough:
grams (2¼ cups) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting