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Vegan Turkish Flatbread with Eggplant & Tomatoes

Vegan Turkish Flatbread with Eggplant & Tomatoes

The hallmark of this Turkish flatbread is its signature canoe shape filled with eggplant, red bell pepper, and tomatoes.  

Serves: 6
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Accenting the vegetables in this recipe from The Complete Plant Based Cookbook with smoky paprika, spicy red pepper flakes, and a healthy amount of mint brings out the traditional Turkish flavors.

What you need:

For the dough:
3 cups bread flour
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon instant or rapid-rise yeast
1⅓ cups ice water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1½ teaspoons salt

For the toppings:
1 (28-ounce) can whole peeled tomatoes
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 (1-pound) eggplant, cut into ½-inch pieces
½ red bell pepper, chopped
½ teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
6 tablespoons minced fresh mint, divided
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted

What you do:

  1. For the dough, into a food processor, pulse flour, sugar, and yeast. With processor ­running, slowly add ice water and process until dough is just combined and no dry flour remains, about 10 seconds. Let rest for 10 minutes. 
  2. To dough, add oil and salt and process until dough forms a sticky ball that clears sides of bowl, 30 to 60 seconds. Transfer to lightly oiled counter and knead by hand to form smooth, round ball, about 30 seconds. In a lightly greased large bowl, place dough, seam side down, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 24 hours. 
  3. For the toppings, in a food processor, pulse tomatoes with juices, until coarsely ground. In a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until shimmering. Add eggplant, bell pepper, and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and beginning to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in garlic, pepper flakes, and paprika and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. 
  4. Add tomatoes, bring to simmer, and cook, stirring ­occasionally, until mixture is very thick, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in ¼ cup mint, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let cool completely before using. 
  5. One hour before baking, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position, set baking stone on rack, and heat oven to 500 degrees. 
  6. Press down on dough to deflate. Transfer to clean counter and divide in half, then cut each half into thirds and cover with greased plastic. Working with 1 piece of dough at a time (keeping remaining pieces covered), shape dough into smooth balls. Space balls at least 3 inches apart on counter, cover loosely with greased plastic, and let rest for 1 hour. 
  7. Cut 6 16 x 6-inch pieces of parchment paper. Generously coat 1 dough ball with flour and place on well-floured counter. Press and roll into a 14 x 6-inch oval. Arrange oval on parchment rectangle and reshape as needed (if dough resists stretching, let relax for 10 to 20 minutes before trying to stretch again). Repeat with remaining dough balls. 
  8. Brush each dough oval with 1 teaspoon oil, then top each with ½ cup eggplant mixture, leaving ¾-inch border around edges. Fold long edges of dough over filling to form canoe shape and pinch ends together to seal. Brush outer edges of each pide with 1 teaspoon oil and transfer shaped pides (still on parchment rectangles) to pizza peel. 
  9. Slide each parchment rectangle with pide onto baking stone, spacing at least 1 inch apart. Bake until crust is golden brown and edges are crisp, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to wire rack, discard parchment, and let cool for 5 ­minutes. Sprinkle cooled flatbreads with 1 tablespoon mint and 2 tablespoons pine nuts, slice, and serve.  

Photo credit: America’s Test Kitchen

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