Greek Peinirli (or Peynirli / πεϊνιρλί) is a small boat-shaped pizza. Usually filled with cheese or a variety of toppings, it is easy to make and absolutely delicious! Fill with your favourite ingredients and enjoy.
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WHAT IS PEINIRLI?
Peinirli (πεϊνιρλί) is a traditional Greek recipe that was brought to Greece by the immigrants from the Black Sea almost 100 years ago. The name derives from the Turkish word peynirli, meaning ‘with cheese’.
This little pizza boat is actually more similar to Turkish pide and Georgian khachapuri. Unlike Italian pizza, it doesn’t usually contain any tomato sauce.
The cheese filling is usually kasseri (a semi-hard, salty Greek cheese) but these days you will find peinirli with all kinds of fillings and optional toppings such as bacon, meat or eggs.
This is my version of Peinirli, using pasta flour and Greek yogurt, which keeps the dough very light. Here’s what you will need:
- Flour: I prefer using pasta flour (also known as 00 flour) which is very finely milled and creates a lovely crisp base.
- Salt and a little sugar
- Instant yeast (also known as rapid rise)
- Olive oil and water
- Greek yogurt (I used Fage 5%)
HOW TO MAKE PEINIRLI
Full measurements and instructions can be found on the printable recipe card at the bottom of the page. Please take a look at the steps and video before attempting this recipe!
PREPARE THE DOUGH
Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl. Stir well.
Add the oil, water and yogurt and mix together with a dough hook or you can also use your stand mixer. The dough will be shaggy and a bit dry. Cover with a towel and leave for 10 minutes to rest.
Use your hands to gently knead the dough so that the ingredients are well incorporated. Cover with a towel and leave in a warm spot in your kitchen to rise until doubled.
ROLL OUT AND SHAPE THE PEINIRLI
Divide the dough into four portions, keeping any you are not using straight away covered. Roll out into an oval shape and sprinkle with cheese. Season with garlic powder and mixed herbs.
Add any remaining toppings (bacon and green peppers pictured below). Fold the edges inwards to encase the fillings, pressing down firmly so the dough sticks.
Pinch the edges of the dough to create the boat shape that Peinirli is known for. Brush the dough edges with egg wash.
Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden. Cool slightly before serving and enjoy as a snack, appetizer or light lunch.
- A word of caution! When these babies come out of the oven do not be tempted to bite into them until they have cooled down for a few minutes. The melted cheese hides a molten lava center and you might want to avoid 3rd degree burns! I speak from bitter experience.
- Adding an egg topping: bake the peinirli for around 10 minutes. Use a spoon to make an indent into the filling and add a raw egg in the middle of the bread. Return to the oven and bake for a further 3-5 minutes or until the egg whites have started to set. The egg will continue to cook as the bread cools.
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Peinirli – Greek Pizza Boats
For the dough
- 260 g (2 cups) pasta flour or bread flour
- 100 g (scant ½ cup) Greek yogurt
- 120 ml (½ cup) tepid water
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp active dry yeast
- 1 egg , lightly beaten to brush on
- 300 g (10 ½ oz) grated cheese a mix of shredded mozzarella and cheddar
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- drizzle olive oil
- pancetta, bacon, ham etc
- sliced peppers
- cherry tomatoes
Prepare the dough
- Combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast in a large mixing bowl.260 g (2 cups) pasta flour, 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp active dry yeast
- Add the yogurt, oil and water and mix together using a wooden spoon or a dough hook. You will have a shaggy dough. Leave it to rest for 10 minutes.100 g (scant ½ cup) Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp olive oil, 120 ml (½ cup) tepid water
- Oil your hands then mix the dough until all the ingredients are well incorporated. Heavy kneading is not required – just fold the dough together a few times in the bowl.
- Mist the dough with olive oil, cover with a clean tea towel and leave for an hour to rise until almost doubled.
Shape and bake
- Preheat the oven to 200°C | 400°F (or 15 degrees lower if using fan forced). Lightly flour your work surface and gently knead the dough to knock the air out. Roll into a long log shape then cut into four equal pieces.
- Flatten one of the pieces into a disk then roll out to an oval shape using a floured rolling pin.
- Sprinkle with the cheese, allowing a small border all around. Fol the edges inwards to encase the filling. Sprinkle with some of the garlic powder and herbs and drizzle with a little oil.
- Add any optional toppings and pinch the edges to create the boat shape. Brush the dough with egg wash.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the dough is golden and the cheese melted and bubbling. Leave to cool slightly before serving.