Pide, oval flat breads with various toppings, is a popular and healthy “fast food” in Turkey. There are pide shops called Pideci that only bake these flat breads and serve them all day long. Pide is made with a wide variety of toppings from vegetables or with meats such as sucuk (Turkish spicy sausage) and pastirma, Turkish dried cured beef.
Preheat the oven and prepare the baking sheets: Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Bloom the yeast: Warm the water to between 90°-110°F. It should just be slightly warm to the touch but not hot. In a small bowl, combine the instant yeast, sugar and warm water. Mix gently with a spoon and set aside for 5 to 8 minutes, until the mixture is frothy.
Combine the flour and salt: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt. Make a well in the middle and pour in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the yeast mixture. Using a wooden spoon or rubber spatula draw the flour in from the sides and work the mixture into a sticky, shaggy dough.
Knead the dough: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for 3-4 minutes, until you reach a smooth dough. The dough gets sticky as you knead, pour the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the dough, and sprinkles with an additional 2 tablespoons of flour (or a little more, if it still feels wet) to help shape into a soft, smooth dough.
Let the dough rise: Drizzle a little olive oil in a large bowl and spread it around with your hands. Place the dough in the bowl, turn to coat and cover with cling film or plastic wrap. Leave it in a warm place for 1 hour until it doubles in size.
Make the topping: For the topping; heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a wide heavy pan and stir in the onions, garlic, sliced pepper, and mushrooms. Sauté for 10 minutes over medium heat, or until the peppers are softened, the mushrooms have shrunk, and the onions are translucent. Turn the heat off and stir in the spinach, crumbled feta cheese and aleppo pepper until well combined. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and let the mixture cool down.
Shape the dough: Once the dough has risen, place the dough on a lightly floured surface and knead it for 1-2 minutes. It will compress a little bit. Shape into a smooth ball. Divide the ball evenly into two pieces and roll each piece into a ball. On a lightly floured surface, stretch the dough balls into 2 oval shapes of about 8 x16-inches. This takes a little patience because the dough will want to bounce back, but keep working it and it will stretch. You can use a rolling pin, or hold the oval of dough between your fingers and thumbs moving around the outside edge and let gravity stretch and pull the dough downward as you turn it.
Fill, fold and pinch: Place 1 oval flat bread dough on the prepared baking sheet. Spread half of the filling over the flat bread, leaving a 1-inch border around the outside. Fold the sides in toward the filling to act as a border to keep the filling intact. You still want to see the filling. Squeeze the oval dough at each end to make it pointy.
Then place the remaining oval-shaped dough on a baking sheet and repeat.
Brush with egg wash and bake: In a small bowl add the egg and 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Beat it together then brush the edges of both pide with this mixture. Bake for 23-25 minutes, until the pides are golden brown and crispy at the edges. Cut into slices and serve warm. As we say in Turkey, “Afiyet Olsun (may you be healthy and happy with this food).”