Peinirli is a “boat shaped” kind of pizza which Greek immigrants from Black Sea area brought to Greece about 100 years ago. Of course after so many years and being so delicious it is now part of our food tradition. The main characteristic of the peinirli is the shape of it. It has to be “boat like”. The dough is like pizza dough which is rolled in an oval shape and formed to be like a boat by pinching the two ends together and uplifting the sides. By this way we create a perfect little “nest” for the filling. The original filling of a peinirli was kaseri cheese and pastourmas (a highly seasoned, air-dried cured beef). Today the options are more and the filling is up to anyone’s taste. The cheese may be gouda , edam, emmental, mozzarella or even feta. Ham, bacon, sausage, minced meat, tomato, pepper, olives are some of the ingredients you can add over the cheese and everything else you can imagine. A whole egg is one of the ingredients that traditionally were added on the top but I admit that is not one of my favorites.
A classic peinirli is twice as long as those I made today. I prefer them smaller for just practical reasons. I don’t have to cut it in half to be able to enjoy one of them and of course is easier to serve at a gathering with friends. There is however one disadvantage in a smaller peinirli. Less cheese filling. The choice is yours. Either way is so delicious!
Greek boat shaped pizza - Peinirli
- for the dough
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cups milk
- 30 gr fresh yeast
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- for the filling
- 200 gr kaseri cheese, grated
- 2-3 slices of bacon, cut into small pieces
- cherry tomatoes, sliced
- green bell pepper, sliced into small pieces
Sift the flour in a bowl, add the salt and mix.
Warm the milk not over 40° C.
Dilute the yeast and the sugar in the warm milk and set aside for a while until the yeast starts to activate.
Add the yeast mixture and the oil to the flour and knead until you get a smooth and soft dough.
Transfer the dough to a greased bowl, cover with a kitchen towel and let it rise for 30 minutes at a warm place.
Deflate the dough and knead again for 2 minutes.
Divide into 9 equal pieces and shape each to a ball.
Roll each piece to an oval shaped sheet about 12cm long.
With your fingers pinch the two ends together to create a boat-shaped piece of dough and elevate the sides of the 'boat' a little bit, so the filling will stay in.
If it is difficult to 'glue' the ends together you may use a little bit of water.
Once you have shaped all the pieces, it is time you start filling the peinirli.
Add a good amount of grated cheese at the bottom, pieces of bacon above and slices of tomato and pepper on the top.
Let the peinirli stand for 15 minutes.
Bake the peinirli in preheated oven at 180°C for 20 minutes.