Recipe courtesy of Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger


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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 30 min
  • Prep: 2 hr
  • Cook: 30 min
  • Yield: 2 to 3 large lahmacuns
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3/4 teaspoon dried yeast

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 1/2 cups lukewarm water

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

Olive oil for bowl and brushing dough


1 tablespoon butter

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces ground lamb or chuck

1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon kirmizi biber, or combination sweet paprika and cayenne pepper

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint

1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Juice of 1 lemon

Cheese Filling Alternative:

2 1/2 cups white Turkish cheese or feta cheese, crumbled

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Combine the yeast and sugar with a little of the warm water, and set aside until mixture is frothy. Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl, and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture, along with the remaining warm water. Using your hands, work the mixture into a dough, adding more water if necessary. Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until pliable and springy, about 5 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, turning to coat, cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
  2. Punch down risen dough and knead on a lightly floured surface. Roll into a log and cut into 2 to 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball, place on floured surface and let rest 30 minutes under a towel.
  3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, and preheat baking sheets, tiles, or a baking stone.
  4. Prepare the filling: Melt the butter in a skillet, add the onion and saute until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and saute another minute. Transfer onion mixture to a large bowl, add remaining ingredients, and mix thoroughly with your fingertips. If mixture seems too dry, add a teaspoon of water.
  5. Place a ball of dough on a floured surface and roll into a round, flat circle, about 1/8-inch thick. Place the round on the oiled, preheated baking sheets or tiles. Brush the top with olive oil and spread with a thin, even layer of the meat filling, leaving a 1/2-inch border around the edge. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
  6. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The dough should still be soft enough to roll up.
  7. Squeeze a little lemon juice over each of the hot lahmacuns, and serve immediately either flat or rolled up into cones.
  8. For the alternative filling: Mix all the filling ingredients in a bowl and blend thoroughly. Spread a thin layer on each circle of dough. Proceed with recipe, but bake for only 6 to 8 minutes.