Homemade Lahmacun Recipe

What is Lahmacun and Where is it From?

Flatbreads have been a popular thing throughout the Mediterranean for ages–from Italian pizza, to za’atar manaqish from the Levant, to Armenian lavash and Tunisian Mlewi, to this Lahmacun, known as an Armenian specialty that’s made it’s way to Turkey.

Lahmacun, pronounced “lahma’joun”, comes from the Arabic “lahma bi’ajeen,” which literally means “dough with meat.” Think of lahmacun as perfectly thin, crispier pizza (or flatbread), topped with a spiced minced meat mixture.

The key to making delicious lahmacun at home :

Making lahmacun at home is surprisingly easy! They may not look as perfect as the ones that the lahmacun bakeries make, but they can be just as tasty.

The main difference between the home cook and the professional lahmacun maker, is the oven. A proper lahmacun baker uses a scorchingly hot stone oven – wood fired if he’s a purist. Baked to perfection in a minute or two!

At home, you can achieve much of the same effect by using a pizza stone or baking stone. Also make sure to whack your oven as high as it can go.

If you don’t have a pizza stone or baking stone, you’ll still get a delicious lahmacun. But it’ll cook a little slower. This can make it a little drier than a lahmacun baked by professionals.

Second, make sure your dough is well kneaded and well rested before shaping. Since this is a very thin flatbread, it’s important that the dough can be stretched properly without tearing.

You should therefore knead the dough until it passes the gluten test. If you stretch the dough, you should be able to create a near transparent “window” before it tears. If the dough tears before this, keep kneading.

It’s important that you use a fatty meat. Lamb mince is naturally fatty. If using beef, or a mixture, make sure your beef mince isn’t lean. I’d argue it should be at least 15-20% fat.

Finally, make sure your topping is well minced and not too wet. It should be wet enough that you can easily spread an evenly thin layer on your flatbread. But it shouldn’t be too wet, or it’ll go soggy. If it’s looking a little on the wet side, drain it for a few minutes before using.

Storing & Reheating

In the fridge: Put the leftovers in an airtight container and store them in the fridge. They keep well for 3-4 days.

In the freezer: Wrap each with foil and keep in the freezer for 3 months.

To reheat in the oven: Preheat the oven at 400 F (200 C) and reheat lahmacun for 5 minutes. When reheating frozen lahmacun, keep them in the oven for 8-10 minutes.

To reheat in a pan: Heat a large pan with a lid over medium heat. Put your lahmacun in it and heat covered for about 5 minutes or until hot. If it is frozen, it will take longer.

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