This pizza-like, thin, round dish, topped with herbs and minced meat, also known as Armenian Pizza, Lahmajun and Lahmajoon, is very famous in Armenia, some Middle Eastern countries, as well as Canada and the United States. Like any other pizza-like recipe, it is certainly nice to have a brick oven to bake Lahmajun, but I can assure you, it is absolutely doable in a simple conventional oven. Do not get upset if something doesn’t go the way you wanted. You can always alter the recipe, according to your own need and taste.
* 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 & 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 black pepper, 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
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.
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.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, and preheat baking sheets, tiles, or a baking stone.
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.
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.
Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. The dough should still be soft enough to roll up.
Squeeze a little lemon juice over each of the hot lahmajuns, and serve immediately either flat or rolled up into cones.