Lahm b-‘Ajeen : Arabian Counterpart of Italian Pizza

Ingredients:

2 tablespoons of Dry baker’s yeast
1 tablespoon of Sugar
1/2 cup of Water, warm, for yeast
2.25 pounds of Bread flour
1/2 cup of Olive oil
3 cups of Water, warm
12 ounces of Onions, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of Olive oil
6 ounces of Tomato paste
2 pounds of Beef meat
1.5 ounces of Parsley, chopped
9 ounces of Tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of Bottled pomegranate juice
2 teaspoons of Garam Masala
3 teaspoons of Whole salt
1/2 teaspoon of Black pepper
1/2 teaspoon of Allspice
1/2 teaspoon of Chili powder

Directions:

1) Dissolve yeast and sugar in ½ cup warm water, set aside for 5 minutes.

2) Put flour and salt in a big bowl. Make a well in the middle, and pour yeast mixture along with oil and water. With a wooden spoon, incorporate liquids into flour in a circular movement. With slightly oiled hands, knead dough for about 5 minutes. The final dough should be of medium consistency. Oil dough on both sides and set it aside, covered, in a warm draft-free place for 45 minutes or until well risen.

3) Sauté onion in oil, about 5 minutes (just enough to soften it), and then stir in tomato paste until it emits a nice aroma, about a minute. Set aside until it cools down to room temperature. Then mix in the meat, parsley, pomegranate molasses, salt, black pepper, allspice, and chili powder.

4) Now, it’s shape and bake time: Position one of the oven shelves at the lowest level if oven is electric, and put on it a pizza stone or an inverted baking sheet. If oven is gas, remove the lowest shelf, and place the pizza stone right on the oven floor. Position the second shelf at the highest level, and preheat oven 420°F.

5) As soon as dough rises, punch it down and divide it into 20 pieces, which you shape into neat balls by tucking in the sides with slightly oiled hands. Place portions on a lightly-oiled surface.

6) Since the dough does not need to rise again, you can start shaping and baking right away. Lightly cover work surface and rolling pin with olive oil, and roll out a dough portion into a disc about 7 inches in diameter (or rectangle), about ⅛ inch thick. Place the flattened dough on a piece of parchment paper, a little bigger than the dough disc. Spread about ¼ cup of the meat mix on it. It should cover the surface in a thin layer, leaving a slight border uncovered. Lightly brush uncovered border with olive oil. (If parchment paper is not available, use greased baking sheets).

7) Immediately, and with the help of a small bread peel (or a solid piece of cardboard or wood or anything similar). Slide the disc into the hot stone or the inverted baking sheet. Dough is not supposed to puff like pita bread, and it will take about 8 minutes to bake. You can bake 2 or 3 at a time depending on oven or pizza stone size. While this batch is baking, start working on the other batches. You might transfer half-baked ones to the upper shelf, and put some new ones on lower shelf to expedite the procedure.

8) As soon as you take the baked ones out of the oven, stack them with the parchment paper, in a big paper bag, lined with a kitchen towel or paper napkins, and partially close the bag. Or use a large container. The parchment paper will prevent the topping from sticking to the bottom of the piece above it.

Source: World Recipes

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