Sfiha (Flatbread with Ground Beef and Tahini Topping)

  • Serves

    makes 10 Pizzas

Drawing the tines of a fork over the savory topping of these flatbreads creates ridges that caramelize as they bake. This recipe first appeared in our December 2013 issue along with Nancy Harmon Jenkins' article Heart of Palestine.


For the Topping

  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 fresh small red Thai chile, roughly chopped
  • 1 large plum tomato, seeded and roughly chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 small yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 12 lb. ground beef
  • 14 cup tahini
  • 14 cup tomato paste
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander

For the Dough

  • 1 12 cups flour, plus more
  • 12 cup fine semolina
  • 1 12 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 12 tsp. kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • 34 cup water, heated to 115°
  • 13 cup olive oil, plus more
  • 34 tsp. sugar
  • 13 cup olive oil, plus more


Step 1

Make the topping: Purée garlic, chile, tomato, bell pepper, onion, salt, and pepper in a blender until smooth. Transfer to a bowl; stir in ground beef, tahini, tomato paste, cumin, and coriander. Cover with plastic wrap; chill 2 hours or up to overnight.

Step 2

Make the dough: Whisk flour, semolina, and salt in a bowl. Combine water, yeast, and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook; let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Add oil; mix until combined. With the motor running, slowly add flour mixture; mix until dough forms. Increase speed to medium-high; knead dough until smooth, 4–6 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap; set in a warm place until doubled in size, 1–1½ hours.

Step 3

Divide dough into ten 2" balls. Transfer to a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover with plastic wrap; set in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

Step 4

Heat oven to 425°. On a lightly floured surface, roll balls into 5" rounds, about ⅛" thick. Transfer to lightly greased baking sheets; using a fork, prick rounds all over. Spread 2 tbsp. topping over each round, leaving a ¼" border; draw tines of fork across topping to make ridges. Drizzle with oil; bake until topping is slightly caramelized and edges of crust are golden, about 30 minutes.

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