Lahem Bil Ajine (lebanese Lamb Pizza)

Lahem Bil Ajine (lebanese Lamb Pizza)

Ingredients

  • 300 milliliters / 1/2 pint lukewarm water
  • 20 grams / 4 oz fresh yeast or 15 g / 1/2 oz dried yeast
  • 450 grams / 1 lb plain flour
  • 5 milliliters / 1 tsp salt
  • 22 - 30 ml / 1 1/2 - 2 tbsp olive oil
  • olive oil (for coating)
  • 30 milliliters / 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 450 grams / 1 lb Spanish or mild onions, finely chopped
  • 450 grams / 1 lb minced lamb
  • 400 grams / 14 oz tin chopped chilli tomatoes, well drained
  • 75 milliliters / 3 fl oz tomato paste
  • 5 milliliters / 1 tsp Lebanese spice
  • 5 milliliters / 1 tsp brown sugar
  • salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 15 milliliters / 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 15 milliliters / 1 tbsp finely chopped parsley

Instructions

In a bowl, stir together half the water and the yeast. Leave to rest for 15 minutes, or until mixture begins to foam. In another bowl, sieve together the flour and the salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in the oil, then the yeast mixture. Using your hands, pull the flour into the liquid and begin to work into a dough. Add the remaining lukewarm water little by little to incorporate fully. When all the water has been added and the dough sticks together, remove from the bowl. On a lightly floured surface knead the dough well, for about 15 minutes, until it becomes shiny and elastic. Pat the dough into a ball. Pour a little oil in the bowl, place the dough in it and turn the ball to coat it. Remove the ball to a warm place and cover with a damp cloth. Leave for about 2 1/2 hours, until it has doubled in size. To make the filling, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onions. Saute until limp and lightly coloured. In a bowl, combine the meat, well-drained tomatoes, tomato paste, spice, sugar, salt and pepper to taste, and the herbs. Add the cooked onions and mix the ingredients using the hands. With dampened hands, break off pieces of the dough and form into 25 balls. Press each ball between the hands, flattening into a small disc, and place on an oiled baking tray. Divide the topping between the pizza bases, spreading evenly. Bake in a preheated 220 C / 425 F / Gas Mark 7 oven, for about 10 minutes, until a little puffy and lightly coloured. Remove from the oven and serve immediately. The lahem can be refrigerated or frozen and reheated in the oven when needed. Makes about 25 bite-sized pizzas.

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