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This meat-topped flatbread is the Levant’s answer to pizza
Milk Street Bowtie Lahmajoun

Lahmajoun

Appears in May-June 2020

2¼ hours 40 minutes active

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Lahmajoun

Free

Lahmajoun (also spelled lahmacun) is a meat-topped flatbread common in the Levant, as well as in Turkey and Armenia. Arugula and a drizzle of yogurt are unusual finishes for lahmajoun, but they add fresh, peppery flavor and a creamy coolness that complement the spiced meat topping. For convenience, the dough can be made a day in advance. After dividing the dough in half and forming each piece into a round, place each portion in a quart-size zip-close bag that's been misted with cooking spray, seal well and refrigerate overnight. Allow the dough to come to room temperature before shaping.

2

12-inch flatbreads

Tip

Don’t undermix the dough in the food processor; it needs a full minute of processing to build structure and strength. The dough may be warm to the touch when done; this is normal. But when processing the meat mixture, don’t overdo it or the protein may get tough. Pulse only three or four times, just until combined.

2¼ hours

40 minutes active

241 grams (1¾ cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting
1½ teaspoons instant yeast
¾ teaspoon table salt
¾ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon honey
1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
¼ cup chopped drained roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1½ teaspoons ground cumin
¾ teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
8 ounces 80 percent lean ground beef or ground lamb
¼ cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
Semolina flour, for dusting the pizza peel
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups (1 ounce) lightly packed baby arugula
For the dough:
  • 241

    grams (1¾ cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting

  • teaspoons instant yeast

  • ¾

    teaspoon table salt

  • ¾

    cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • 1

    tablespoon honey

For shaping and topping:
  • 1

    small yellow onion, roughly chopped

  • ¼

    cup chopped drained roasted red peppers

  • 2

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2

    teaspoons smoked paprika

  • teaspoons ground cumin

  • ¾
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 8

    ounces 80 percent lean ground beef or ground lamb

  • ¼

    cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • Semolina flour, for dusting the pizza peel

  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 2

    cups (1 ounce) lightly packed baby arugula

Directions
  1. 01
    To make the dough, in a food processor, combine the flour, yeast and salt; process until combined, about 5 seconds. Add the yogurt, honey and ¼ cup water. Process until the mixture forms a ball, about 30 seconds; the dough should be tacky to the touch and should stick slightly to the sides of the bowl. If it feels too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process until incorporated. Continue to process until the dough is shiny and elastic, about 1 minute.
    See Demo
    lahmajoun-flatbread-step-1
  2. 02
    Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter. Flour your hands and knead a few times to form a smooth ball. Divide the dough in half and form each half into a taut ball by rolling it against the counter in a circular motion under a cupped hand. Space the balls about 6 inches apart on a lightly floured counter, then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in volume, 1 to 1½ hours.
    See Demo
    lahmajoun-flatbread-step-3
  3. 03
    Meanwhile, to make the topping, in a food processor, pulse the onion until finely chopped, about 5 pulses. Add the roasted peppers, tomato paste, paprika, cumin, pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper. Process until smooth, about 10 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the beef and pulse just until incorporated, 3 or 4 pulses. Transfer to a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and 1 tablespoon water, adding more water as needed to thin to drizzling consistency. Cover both bowls and refrigerate until needed.
  4. 04
    About 1 hour before shaping the dough, heat the oven to 500°F with a baking steel or stone on the upper-middle rack. Working one at a time, gently stretch each dough ball on a lightly floured counter to an oval approximately 6 inches wide and 12 inches long.
    See Demo
    lahmajoun-flatbread-step-4
  5. 05
    Dust a baking peel, inverted baking sheet or rimless cookie sheet with semolina. Transfer one shaped dough to the peel and, if needed, reshape into an oval. Brush the entire surface with 1 tablespoon of oil. Using a spatula, spread half the meat mixture on the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edge. Slide the dough onto the the baking steel and bake until well browned, 9 to 12 minutes.
    See Demo
    lahmajoun-flatbread-step-5
  6. 06
    Using the peel, transfer the flatbread to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough, oil and meat mixture. After the second flatbread has cooled on the rack for a couple minutes, top both with the arugula. Drizzle with yogurt, then serve.
Tip: Don’t undermix the dough in the food processor; it needs a full minute of processing to build structure and strength. The dough may be warm to the touch when done; this is normal. But when processing the meat mixture, don’t overdo it or the protein may get tough. Pulse only three or four times, just until combined.
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Lahmajoun

Get Ready to Cook

2

12-inch flatbreads

2¼ hours

40 minutes active

Tip

Don’t undermix the dough in the food processor; it needs a full minute of processing to build structure and strength. The dough may be warm to the touch when done; this is normal. But when processing the meat mixture, don’t overdo it or the protein may get tough. Pulse only three or four times, just until combined.

For the dough:
  • 241

    grams (1¾ cups) bread flour, plus more for dusting

  • teaspoons instant yeast

  • ¾

    teaspoon table salt

  • ¾

    cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • 1

    tablespoon honey

For shaping and topping:
  • 1

    small yellow onion, roughly chopped

  • ¼

    cup chopped drained roasted red peppers

  • 2

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2

    teaspoons smoked paprika

  • teaspoons ground cumin

  • ¾
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper

  • 8

    ounces 80 percent lean ground beef or ground lamb

  • ¼

    cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

  • Semolina flour, for dusting the pizza peel

  • 2

    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 2

    cups (1 ounce) lightly packed baby arugula

Step 1 of 6

Prepare Dough

241
grams (1¾ cups) bread flour
teaspoons instant yeast
¾
teaspoon table salt
¾
cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt
1
tablespoon honey

To make the dough, in a food processor, combine the flour, yeast and salt; process until combined, about 5 seconds. Add the yogurt, honey and ¼ cup water.


Process until the mixture forms a ball, about 30 seconds; the dough should be tacky to the touch and should stick slightly to the sides of the bowl.


If it feels too dry, add more water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and process until incorporated. Continue to process until the dough is shiny and elastic, about 1 minute.

Step 2 of 6

Divide Dough

Bread flour, for dusting

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured counter. Flour your hands and knead a few times to form a smooth ball.


Divide the dough in half and form each half into a taut ball by rolling it against the counter in a circular motion under a cupped hand.


Space the balls about 6 inches apart on a lightly floured counter, then cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled in volume, 1 to 1½ hours.

Step 3 of 6

Prepare Meat Topping

1
small yellow onion, roughly chopped
¼
cup chopped drained roasted red peppers
2
tablespoons tomato paste
2
teaspoons smoked paprika
teaspoons ground cumin
¾
teaspoon red pepper flakes
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
8
ounces 80 percent lean ground beef or ground lamb
¼
cup plain whole-milk Greek yogurt

Meanwhile, to make the topping, in a food processor, pulse the onion until finely chopped, about 5 pulses. Add the roasted peppers, tomato paste, paprika, cumin, pepper flakes, ½ teaspoon salt, and 1 teaspoon black pepper.


Process until smooth, about 10 seconds, scraping the bowl as needed. Add the beef and pulse just until incorporated, 3 or 4 pulses.


Transfer to a medium bowl. In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt and 1 tablespoon water, adding more water as needed to thin to drizzling consistency. Cover both bowls and refrigerate until needed.

Step 4 of 6

Shape Flatbreads

Bread flour, for dusting

About 1 hour before shaping the dough, heat the oven to 500°F with a baking steel or stone on the upper-middle rack. Working one at a time, gently stretch each dough ball on a lightly floured counter to an oval approximately 6 inches wide and 12 inches long.

Step 5 of 6

Bake Flatbreads

Semolina flour, for dusting the pizza peel
1
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Dust a baking peel, inverted baking sheet or rimless cookie sheet with semolina. Transfer one shaped dough to the peel and, if needed, reshape into an oval. Brush the entire surface with 1 tablespoon of oil.


Using a spatula, spread half the meat mixture on the dough, leaving a ½-inch border around the edge. Slide the dough onto the the baking steel and bake until well browned, 9 to 12 minutes.

Step 6 of 6

Finish and Serve

1
tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2
cups (1 ounce) lightly packed baby arugula

Using the peel, transfer the flatbread to a wire rack. Repeat with the remaining dough, oil and meat mixture. After the second flatbread has cooled on the rack for a couple minutes, top both with the arugula. Drizzle with yogurt, then serve.

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