Turkish pide and its numerous varieties are one of the many tasty members of the world-famous Turkish cuisine. There are many different kinds of this delicious flavor. So much so that, the history of this yummy pastry goes hundreds of years back over the Turks’ period in Anatolia. But, we will come to that later.
We also have to mention that there is a strong tie between pide and Muslim people’s religious celebration Ramadan feast. Any time we see a bunch of people waiting in line in front of a bakery during Ramadan, we understand that they expect to have Turkish pide. Moreover, whenever we smell the delicious smell of pride around, it shows that Ramadan is here.
Anyways, pide has much more meaning than that. Besides, being only a type of bread, pide is an essential component in Turkish restaurants in any corner of a city. So, below, you will find some important facts that you need to know about this yummy culinary item.
What Needs to Be Known About Turkish Pide?
Just as you can consume pide as a normal bread after processing dough, you can also have different kinds of it. Pide with cheese, ground meat, vegetables, anything you name it. It is delicious, nutritious, and relatively cheap. Turkish pide is so common in Turkey that you can even find it in a random street vendor.
Now let’s elaborate on the topic a little more…
- Pide is a type of bread: Turkish pide is a type of bread that is common not only in Turkish cuisine but also in Middle Eastern cuisine.
- It has many different kinds: Pide (also known as Pita), which is a bread-like food, is frequently consumed in daily life. Although we are most familiar with Ramadan pita, there are actually many different types of pita. Some of them are Kayseri’s pita with meat and tahini; Kastamonu’s pita, Black Sea’s open or closed pitas, Konya’s pita with ground meat, Aegean’s famous pitas and many more…
- People from other countries know it as “Pita”: In foreign countries, the closest bread to this delicious bread type is pita. Although it has different pronunciations such as pita, pita, pitta, the sovereignty of pita has spread over wide geography stretching from India to the Adriatic.
The History of Turkish Pide
- Pita culture in Istanbul dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries: Bread making in history dates back 8,000 years and differs according to culture. But as for pita culture, it began to develop in Istanbul in the 15th and 16th centuries. From historical records, we have known that bread-making had a very important place in Egypt in ancient times. With the export of excess bread from Egypt to Greece, the Greeks also learned how to make bread. Bread-making passed to Rome after Greece. And thus, the bread culture spread to Europe over time.
- The name pita comes from “fodula“, a type of bread: After the Turks came to Anatolia, they started to produce different types of bread under the influence of the settled culture. We also know that during the Ottoman period, people used to bake pita and bread in a section called the has oven in Topkapı Palace.
- It is similar to “matnakash”, a type of bread unique to Armenia: Matnakaş differs from pide by the absence of sesame and black cumin. You can also spread eggs on our Ramadan pita.
Pide from the Ottoman Empire to the Today’s Anatolia
- We know that people used to have their iftar meal late for the sake of buying pita in the Ottoman period. We know that in the Ottoman period, people queued up in front of the bakeries to make special pita bread, even though they had to open their iftar late. So much so that, pita lovers would buy fresh eggs, black cumin, and sesame seeds on their way. Then, they used to take the ingredients to the bakeries to make their pita. The reason for this was to see the preparation of the pita with their own eyes.
- In some parts of Anatolia, people call it “tırnaklı”. Well, in some parts of Anatolia, baker’s masters shape the dough by nailing it with their fingertips while making the pita. However, this is not the same as pita. You can mostly find it in kebab shops today and called as “tırnaklı”. (a proper translation would be ‘nailed’).
- Before it is put into the oven, a liquid called “remedy” (şifa in Turkish) is applied to it by the bakers. Şifa is a mixture. You can obtain it by boiling the mixture of flour and water spread on the pita. If the egg is spread on the pita, you shouldn’t apply the remedy. The reason for spreading the remedy on the pita is that the pita does not come out dry.
Turkish Pide Recipe: How to Make Turkish Pide Dough?
Pide Dough Ingredient
Flour: You need to weigh according to the amount of pita that you want to produce.
Salt: You need to use salt as about 0.5% of the flour amount.
Yeast: About 0.3% of the flour amount is what you need for the yeast.
The process from the preparation of the dough to the production of the pita and serving it to the consumer requires mastery and skill. Except for the weight measurement of the pita dough, every process is hand-made.
The pitas, which are placed in the wood oven with special wooden shovels, are cooked in the oven for 3-6 minutes depending on the fire intensity of the oak wood. Placing the pita in the oven according to the position of the fire affects its taste and consistency.
The Most Common Turkish Pide Types
There are numerous pide types in Turkey. Pide with cheese, ground meat, meat in small chunks, vegetables, or mixed. However, the most common and popular types of pide are pide with ground meat, meat in small chunks, mixed, and tahini. Turkish chicken pide is also another popular type. And by the way, don’t mix pide with Turkish pizza!
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