This trio of peinirli-Greek pizza boats are making waves in classic bacon, oyster mushroom and colorful pancetta & bell pepper. They are excellent as appetizer, quick snack or a full on meal paired with a green salad.
What is peinirli?
Peinirli or Greek pizza boat is a long open pie in the shape of a boat containing cheese and butter. In the traditional recipe the cheese used is kasseri cheese and the deli meat is pastourmas or pastirma. It is an appetizer of Turkish origin and by extension, Greek.
Peinirli is such a fun food to eat. It is similar to a pizza without the red sauce but with lots of butter instead. It can be an excellent appetizer, a quick snack or a proper meal paired with a nice salad. It’s so easy to make! You can use store-bought pizza dough if you don’t have the time or energy to make your own.
There are countless modern versions of peinirli. A classic traditional peinirli has lots of kasseri cheese, bacon and a fried egg on top.
You can create your own with a roasted veggies filling, or leftover meat sauce from the night before with some cheese, or a simple cheddar and tomato version.
These are my three favorites:
- The classic version with bacon and gruyère.
- An oyster mushroom.
- The red, yellow, orange bell pepper & pancetta cubetti.
They all have the same gruyère and cream cheese filling, I just play around with the extras.
This is easy peinirli
For this recipe, I take the easy route of pre-made pizza dough. There is nothing wrong with using store bought pizza dough. With already made dough peinirli will come out great and can be ready in 30 min tops. You can’t beat that, you can have it on a weeknight! Kids will love the idea of a pizza boat and you can sneak-in the filling all the veggies they won’t eat otherwise.
I encourage you to be creative regarding peinirli fillings. I love the traditional kind but I also like to play! The gruyère-cream cheese filling is my favorite but I would not hesitate to use grated sharp cheddar, tomatoes and bacon. YUM! Weeknight food should be easy, fun, delicious and uncomplicated.
You can also make your own dough for peinirli.
This recipe makes 5 pieces.
You will need:
- 1.5 cups water in room temperature
- 2 tsp active dry yeast (one packet)
- 1 pinch sugar
- 2.5 cups bread flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp olive oil
Add the water, yeast and sugar in a bowl. Whisk and wait a minute or two for the yeast to activate. Add the flour and salt in a food processor. Add the water. Beat for 5-8 minutes until the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Transfer dough to a bowl that has been brushed with 1 tsp of olive oil. Cover with plastic wrap or a kitchen towel and set aside for 1 – 1 ½ hours, until it doubles in size.
This recipe is enough for 5 pieces of peinirli. Use cling film to wrap the ones you are not using and refrigerate or freeze for later.
For this recipe I am using store bought pizza dough.
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Heat a teaspoon of olive oil and lightly sauté the sliced bell peppers for about 1-2 min. (Image 1) Remove bell peppers from pan and set aside on a plate until needed.
In the same pan heat another teaspoon of olive oil and sauté the oyster mushrooms until they are crispy but still soft, about 5 min. (Image 2) Remove mushrooms from pan and set aside on a plate until needed.
In a bowl, combine the gruyère, cream cheese and freshly ground pepper.
Dust a clean surface with flour. Divide the pizza dough into 3 pieces. Roll out each piece into a small oval shape. Place them on a rimmed baking sheet.
Take about 1 tablespoon of butter, divide into smaller pieces and sprinkle them on one piece of dough. Repeat same process for the other two pieces. Spread the cheese mixture over each oval shaped dough, dividing it evenly. (Image 3)
Add the the bacon in one dough, the sautéed bell peppers slices and pancetta cubetti in the second and the sautéed mushrooms on the third. (Image 4)
Create the peinirli-pizza boats by raising the edges of the dough and folding it inwards to form a border. Overlap borders and press to seal the “boat”. (Image 5) Brush the dough border with melted butter (Image 6)
Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate pan 180° half way so that they all cook evenly.
When ready, remove from oven, cut and serve.
- Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves, fresh ground pepper or red chili pepper flakes all over the bacon peinirli.
- Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar crema on the mushroom peinirli. Balsamic goes well with the earthy mushrooms.
- Sprinkle fresh thyme leaves and freshly ground pepper on the bell peppers peinirli.
Check all the pantry items a Greek kitchen wouldn’t go without.
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- Rimmed baking sheet
- 2 lb pizza dough
- 3 tablespoons butter cut in small pieces
Cheese filling – makes 3 peinirli
- 1½ cups gruyere grated
- 1/2 cup cream cheese soften
For the bacon filling
- 2-3 slices bacon cut in pieces
- 1½ cup oyster mushrooms roughly chopped.
- 1 tsp olive oil extra virgin
Bell peppers filling
- 1 tsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 red, orange or yellow bell peppers thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp pancetta cubetti
- 2 tablespoons butter melted
- freshly ground pepper optional
- fresh thyme leaves optional
- balsamic vinegar crema optional
- freshly ground pepper optional
- sea salt optional
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
Make the fillings
- Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in a large pan and lightly sauté the sliced bell peppers, about 2 min. Remove bell peppers from pan to a plate and set aside for later.
- In the same pan heat another teaspoon of olive oil and sauté the oyster mushrooms until they are crispy but still soft, about 5 min. Remove mushrooms from pan to a plate and set aside for later.
Prepare the dough
- Dust some flour on a rimmed baking sheet.
- Divide the dough into 3 pieces and shape each piece into a ball. Roll out a ball of dough into an oval shape. Dust with some flour a rimmed baking sheet. Add all three on the baking sheet.
Fill the boats!
- In a bowl, combine the gruyere, cream cheese and freshly ground pepper.
- Divide with your hands 1 tablespoon of butter into 3-4 pieces and sprinkle them over one oval shape dough. Repeat the same for the rest of the oval shapes. Use 1 tablespoon of butter for each oval shaped dough.
- Spread the cheese mixture over each dough, dividing it evenly. Add the mushrooms in one dough, the bacon in the second and the peppers and pancetta cubetti on the third.
- Create the pizza boats by raising the edges of the dough and folding it inwards to form a border. Overlap borders and press to seal the "boat" at the edges. Brush the dough border with melted butter.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, making sure to switch the pan’s position half way so that they all cook evenly.
- When ready, remove from oven, cut and serve.
- For the bacon peinirli.Sprinkle with some fresh thyme, fresh ground pepper or red chili pepper flakes and serve.
- For the mushroom peinirli.Serve with some fresh ground pepper. You an also add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar crema. It goes well with the earthy meaty mushrooms.
- For the peppers peinirli.Sprinkle with some fresh thyme and ground pepper and serve.