Lachmajou

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes

    14

Appears in

Falling Cloudberries

By Tessa Kiros

Published 2004

  • About

This is very Middle-Eastern and versatile: like a small pizza, topped with a fairly dry lamb, onion and parsley mixture, baked and then splashed with lemon juice and chilli oil. You could also add a couple of chopped red chillies to the lamb sauté, although I prefer to let people add as much as they like — and my children have it without. This makes 14: you could serve two as a light lunch with a salad; one would do as an antipasto. Or serve them alongside some other Middle-Eastern meze. Ask your butcher to mince the lamb for you or you can do it in the blender. Some people simply mix together the topping ingredients and put this uncooked onto the rolled-out dough that is going to be baked in the oven anyway.

Ingredients

  • 25 g (1 oz) fresh yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 500 g (4 cups) bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 20 g (¾ oz) butter, melted

Topping

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 500 g (1 lb 2 oz) lean minced (ground) lamb
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 15 g (½ cup) chopped flat-leaf (italian) parsley
  • 120 g (4 oz) tinned tomatoes, chopped or puréed
  • juice of 1 lemon, to serve
  • chopped chillies in oil (see over), to serve

Method

Crumble the yeast into a bowl, sprinkle with the sugar and add 310 ml ( cups) of tepid water. Leave for 10–15 minutes until it begins to activate. Mix in the flour, salt and butter and, when it all comes together, turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead well, until the dough is smooth and elastic. Put it back into the bowl and cover with a tea towel, then a heavier towel. Leave in a warm place for about 1½ hours to rise — the dough should puff right up to the top of the bowl.

To make the topping, heat the olive oil in a saucepan and gently sauté the onion to soften it. Add the lamb, cinnamon and most of the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until any moisture from the lamb has evaporated and the meat is lightly golden, breaking up any clusters with a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat and stir in the tomato. Preheat your oven to 220°C (425°F/Gas 7).

Knock down the dough by punching out all the air to bring it back to its original size. Divide the dough into 14 balls, keeping them covered so they don’t dry out. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough balls to 1–2 mm thick and about 12–15 cm (5–6 inches) in diameter. Don’t worry if they’re not completely round: sometimes I make them oval or even a bit triangular. Arrange on lightly floured baking trays and scatter more than a heaped tablespoon of topping over each, leaving a thin border around the edge. Drizzle about a teaspoon of olive oil over each one and bake for a maximum of 10 minutes, or until the dough is just cooked but not dried out. Serve immediately, sprinkled with lemon juice, a little chopped chilli in oil and the rest of the chopped parsley. Cover any that you don’t eat with foil. They can be heated quickly in a hot oven or eaten at room temperature.