Turkish pide is a type of Turkish bread featuring boat-shaped flatbreads stuffed with fillings like spinach, mozzarella, mushrooms, and sundried tomatoes. Nicknamed Turkish pizza, this flavor-intense snack, lunch, or dinner is one for the books!
What is Turkish bread?
Turkish bread is an overarching term to describe many different types of bread in Turkey. From Turkish pide and bazlama to ramazan pidesi, bread is at the center of Turkish culture. Due to the heavy use of the word “pide,” there can sometimes be confusion about what it actually is.
What is Turkish pide?
There are two types of Turkish pide (pronounced pee-day). One is a round, pillowy, focaccia-looking flatbread, and the other is an oval-shaped, semi-enclosed, pizza-esque flatbread.
Today, we’re making the infamous oval-shaped Turkish bread! Normally, it comes loaded with toppings like cheese, spinach, vegetables, and meats, which is why many people refer to it as Turkish pizza.
Although pide is traditionally cooked in a stone oven, I wanted to show you just how easy it is to make in a standard kitchen at home.
Is pide vegan?
This particular Turkish bread typically encompasses ingredients like lamb, sausage, eggs, and Kasseri cheese. But, I was easily able to make a plant-based version by opting for vegan mozzarella, mushrooms, butternut squash, and sun-dried tomatoes.
I’m happy to report that it’s not only easy to prepare a vegan Turkish pide, but it’s also incredibly flavorful and delicious!
Ingredients & Substitutions
- All-purpose flour: Use all-purpose flour for a perfectly tender and chewy texture. You can also use bread flour, but you don’t want pastry flour for Turkish bread. If you need it to be gluten-free, use a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend (with varied results).
- Water: Make sure your water is lukewarm — not boiling hot and not cold. The ideal temperature to activate yeast is 112-113 degrees F.
- Yogurt: Similar to naan, vegan yogurt relaxes the gluten bonds, making a tender and fluffy bread texture. If you don’t have vegan yogurt, replace it with vegan buttermilk (1 scant cup of soy milk plus 1 tablespoon of vinegar or lemon juice).
- Active dry yeast: I use active dry yeast for this bread, and it’s activated in the sugar-water mixture. However, you can also use rapid-rise or instant yeast. I often find both of these types better when activated in water anyways.
- Sugar: To activate the yeast. I use cane sugar, but you can use any granulated sugar or agave.
- Salt: For flavor enhancement.
- Extra-virgin olive oil: Adds a rich flavor to the dough. If you don’t have extra-virgin olive oil, replace it with avocado oil.
Fillings & Garnishes
- Vegan mozzarella: To emulate Kasseri cheese, I used vegan mozzarella. It has a very similar mild, fresh flavor. Plus, it melts well. If you don’t have mozzarella, use any meltable vegan cheese you can find.
- Spinach: Spinach forms the base of all three flavors of pide in this recipe. For the best flavor and texture, use fresh spinach.
- Butternut squash: I love the combination of hearty spinach and sweet butternut squash. You can use fresh or frozen butternut squash, or substitute it with sweet potato cubes.
- Shiitake mushrooms: For the second pide topping, add sautéed shiitake mushrooms. You can also use cremini or portobello mushrooms instead.
- Sun-dried tomatoes: For bursts of tangy, juicy, and zesty flavors on the third pide. My favorite sun-dried tomatoes are packed in oil, but you can use the dried version as well.
- Avocado oil: To sauté the toppings in. If you don’t have avocado oil, use more olive oil.
- Cumin: Imparts hearty, savory, and slightly citrusy elements. You can also try coriander or garam masala.
- Vegan feta cheese: Crumble your favorite brand of dairy-free feta cheese over top for the perfect umami addition.
- Herbs: Add any combination of oregano, Italian parsley, cilantro, or basil will add a bright, vibrant finish.
How to make Turkish bread
Prep the dough
- Whisk the sugar, yeast, and warm water in a medium-large size mixing bowl. Let it bloom for 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture froths and bubbles. If it isn’t foaming after 10 minutes, your yeast is dead. Don’t continue with the recipe until you have fresh yeast.
- Next, add flour, vegan yogurt, salt, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Knead the dough together using a silicon spatula or wooden spoon.When you start to see the dough come together, add another tablespoon of olive oil and continue kneading a little more until the dough is combined with the oil.
- Pick up the dough, gently forming it into a ball shape. Rub the remaining olive oil on the inside walls of the mixing bowl, then place the dough back into the mixing bowl. Cover it with plastic wrap and a towel or a lid, and place the bowl in a warm place for an hour.
- Note: Make sure your mixing bowl is large enough since the dough will double in size when it rises. Otherwise, this is a good time to transfer it to another bowl.
Cook the fillings
- Heat some oil in a medium-sized pan. Add spinach and sauté until it is wilted and shrinks in volume. Stir in cumin powder and 1 teaspoon salt, then remove from the pan.
- Heat a little more oil in the same pan, and sauté the mushrooms with a little salt. Once the mushrooms are properly cooked, remove them from the pan as well.
- Cook the butternut squash cubes in the same pan with a little oil and a pinch of salt. Once they are lightly golden, remove them from the heat.
Shape the dough
- Sprinkle dry flour on your work surface, then gently place the dough on it and divide it into 4 or 6 even portions with a knife or vegetable scraper.
- Make balls out of the portions, and sprinkle them with dry flour. Cover the balls with plastic wrap to avoid the dough from drying, and set aside for 10 minutes before you start the next step.
- Preheat your oven to 450°F, and line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour a clean surface, take each ball and gently pat it down with your hand to flatten it. Briefly use a rolling pin to even it out into long ovals. Once the dough is rolled out into ovals, place them on the lined baking sheet 2-3 at a time.
- Fill the middle of the dough with grated vegan mozzarella, sautéed spinach, and another filling of your choice (butternut squash, mushrooms, or sun-dried tomatoes). Make sure to leave a 1-inch border on the sides empty.
- Twist the ends of the dough (use a little water to help it stick, if needed) then fold the edges in and slightly over the filling to form a canoe-like shape. If needed, press down the filling to help the edges come above it.
- Brush the outer dough with olive oil, then bake it for 15 to 20 minutes. You’ll know it’s done when the sides are turning slightly golden.
- Remove the pides from the oven, and garnish them with vegan feta cheese, dried oregano, or some fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro. Slice it up before plating.
How do you eat Turkish pide?
Eating pide is just similar to eating pizza. In fact, Turkish pide is often called Turkish pizza! Instead of triangle slices, cut your pide into strips (kind of like breadsticks).
Pick it up, and eat it with your hands as you would a slice of pizza. Just make sure you have some napkins at the ready!
Storage & Reheating
Pide is best eaten hot out of the oven, but like a good pizza, it can also be enjoyed the next day. Follow these storage tips to keep everything fresh:
- Fridge: Once cooled, store this Turkish bread in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just make sure it’s in an airtight container.
- Freezer: Transfer it to a freezer-safe bag or container, and pide will last for up to 3 months. Thaw it in the fridge overnight before you’re ready to eat it again.
- Reheating: Reheat Turkish pide in the oven for 10 minutes at 250 degrees F, or until warm in the center. Alternatively, you can warm it up in an air fryer to achieve its original crispiness. The air fryer will take about 5 minutes at 250 degrees F.
- Fillings: Feel free to try any other toppings you would like to fit your preference. Some good choices would be vegan chorizo, vegan ground beef, pulled jackfruit, or tofu crumbles.
- Herbs: Try incorporating different herbs and spices like red pepper flakes, sumac, cinnamon, coriander, thyme, or mint.
- Gluten-free: I have tested the recipe with Arrowhead Mill's all purpose gluten free flour, and it came out great. You can, also, try making it with a 1:1 gluten-free flour blend if you have a gluten intolerance.
- Air fried: Make mini Turkish pides to fit in your air fryer. They’ll be done in less time than a traditional oven!
- Test your yeast: To make sure your yeast is in good working order, activate it in the warm water and sugar mixture. Technically, you don’t have to activate rapid or instant yeast in water if you’re using them. However, it’s better to find out before starting the recipe rather than at the very end!
- Use lukewarm water: You don’t want the water to be scorching hot because it will kill the yeast. But, you don’t want it to be cold since it will take forever for the yeast to activate, meaning you’ll end up with dense Turkish bread.
- Spacing: Depending on how many portions you are making, a regular size baking sheet can only hold 2 to 3 pides. For example, when the dough is divided into 4 portions, a regular size baking sheet holds 2 thick pides. When the dough is divided into 6 portions, a regular size baking sheet holds 3 portions.
If you enjoyed making (and eating) this Turkish bread recipe, check out my most popular bread and pizza recipes like these:
- Bazlama: A quick and easy Turkish bread made with everyday ingredients.
- Vegan pizza: Easy gourmet pizza made with plant-based ingredients.
- Semolina bread: Crispy, golden bread with a soft and tender crumb.
- Vietnamese pizza: Rice paper “dough” topped with Just Egg, green onions, and pulled jackfruit.
Turkish Bread (Turkish Pide)
- 2 cups All-purpose Flour
- ½ cup water lukewarm
- ½ cup plain yogurt vegan
- ¼ ounce rapid active dry yeast
- 3 teaspoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3½ tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- 1 cup vegan mozzarella cheese shredded
- 4 cups spinach
- ¼ cup butternut squash cubed, frozen or fresh
- ½ cup shiitake mushrooms
- ¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 3 teaspoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon cumin powder
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt
- vegan feta cheese
- dried oregano
- fresh herbs (oregano, Italian parsley, cilantro or basil)
Prepping the dough:
- Whisk sugar, yeast and water in a medium-large size mixing bowl. Let it sit for 15 till the mixture froths and bubbles.
- Add flour, vegan yogurt, salt and only 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Knead together using a silicon spatula or wooden spoon.
- When you start to see the dough come together, add another tablespoon of olive oil and continue kneading a little more till the dough is combined with the oil.
- Pick up the dough and gently form into a ball shape. Rub the remaining olive oil on the inside walls of the mixing bowl. Gently place the dough back into the the mixing bowl cover it with plastic wrap and towel or a lid. Place the the bowl in a warm place for an hour.Note: Make sure your mixing bowl is large enough because the dough will double in size when it rises. Otherwise this is a good time to transfer to another bowl.
- Sprinkle dry flour on your work surface. Gently place the dough on it and divide it into 4 or 6 even portions using a knife or vegetable scrapper.
- Make balls out of the portions and sprinkle them with dry flour. Cover the the balls with plastic wrap to avoid the the dough from drying. Set aside for 10 minutes before you start the next step.
- Preheat your oven at 450°F. Line your baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly flour a clean surface, take each ball and gently pat it down with your hand to flatten it. Briefly use a rolling pin to even it out into long ovals.
- Once the oval shaped dough are stretched out, place them on the lined baking sheet. Note: Depending on how many portions you are making, a regular size baking sheet can only hold 2 to 3 pides. For example, when the dough is divided into 4 portions, a regular size baking sheet only holds 2 thick pides. When the dough is divided into 6 portions, then regular size baking sheet only holds 3 portions. So either you use multiple baking sheets to bake all pides, or you use the same sheet one at a time.
- Fill the middle on the dough with a filling of your choice; leaving about 1 inch border on the sides empty.
- Twist the ends of the dough and then fold the edges in and slightly over the filling to form canoe-like shape. If needed, press down the filling to help the edges come above the filling.
- Brush the outer dough with an egg with olive oil. Place it in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until slightly golden along the sides.
- Garnish with feta cheese, dried oregano, or some fresh herbs (parley or cilantro) and slice it up before plating.
Filling (this recipe makes for 4 pides)
- Grate the cheese and evenly divide the cheese in the middle of each rolled out dough.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a small to medium size pan. Add spinach and sauté till it is wilted and shrinks in volume. Stir in cumin powder and 1 teaspoon salt. Evenly divide the portions of the cooked spinach and layer over the cheese.
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the same pan, and sauté mushrooms with ¼ teaspoon salt. Once the mushrooms properly cooked, then layer them over the spinach for 2 of the pides (quantity depends on the the number pides).
- Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the same pan, and add the butternut squash cubes with pinch of salt. Pan fry till each side is lightly golden and then layer over the spinach on 1 pide.
- Sun-dried tomatoes do not need to be cooked. You can layer them over the spinach on 1 pide.