I realize it’s been a minute since I last posted so I’m bringing you my second most favorite Middle Eastern treat to make up for it: Manakeesh bil Za’atar or Flatbread with Za’atar! It’s also called Man’oushe.
I can’t even begin to tell you the number of times I’ve enjoyed this delicious flatbread with za’atar as well as cheese. Just imagine it fresh off a grill- the flatbread soft and golden, the tantalizing scent of za’atar herby and seductive. It’s impossible to resist!
One of my favorite memories is hanging around the cafeteria at school with my friends and biting into this warm flatbread. It would be served folded in half- like a wrap- and the best part would be at the center where most of the filling was.
If I close my eyes, I can just catch a whiff of its mouthwatering scent. Delicious!
Now the flatbread is pretty simple to pull together. I followed David Lebovitz’s recipe flatbread recipe- it comes out perfect every time! When the dough comes together it is still slightly sticky.
It’s probably so much easier if you’ve got a baking stone but since I don’t have one at the moment, it took a couple tries and different methods to figure out what worked best for me. Then I tried it out a couple more times to make sure I was bringing you guys the best recipe I could.
Sometimes when you alter a recipe, it comes out great but when you make it with the change again, it just doesn’t seem right. Does that happen to you guys? After so much time in the kitchen, I’ve found that I should write down every little change I make. Chances are, with the number of recipes that get tried out, you just might not remember.
If you are an Arabic cuisine nut like me, then you will definitely enjoy this quick recipe that’s great as a snack or breakfast. It’s flavorful, fresh and gives you that perfect zing of herbs paired with olive oil. If that combination doesn’t transport you to times of tents and camels, sand dunes and the beating of darbukahs (Arabic Drums), I’m not sure what will.
If you try out this recipe, please let me know! Tag me on Instagram (_littlemiracles_). Feel free to leave a comment below; let me know what you think! I love to hear from you all! Follow me on Instagram: @_littlemiracles_ or just click on the Follow Me! button on the top right hand of the page to get an email every time there’s a post!♥
- 1/2 cup water at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
- 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp olive oil
- 1 cup+2 tbsp all purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp kosher salt
- 2+ tbsp fresh zaatar
- Olive oil to brush
Stir sugar into water. Sprinkle yeast over sugar water mix and let stand in a draft free place for 5 minutes until the yeast has bloomed.
Stir in olive oil, flour and salt and mix with a dough hook attached to a stand/hand mixer or with a wooden spoon if doing by hand. Mix until it comes together and no more loose flour remains.
Knead on high or by hand to form a smooth ball- dough will be sticky. It should pull away from the bowl.
Cover and let rise in a warm, draft free area for 45-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 260ºC/500ºF. If you have a baking stone, place in the oven or use an inverted baking sheet for about 40 minutes.
Divide dough into 3 equal portions. Generously flour a clean surface and roll out first portion until it begins to pull back into itself. Set aside and roll out next portions.
Leave to rest for 15-20 minutes, the roll out all three portions to final size. I usually place one portion on a piece or parchment paper just a bit bigger then the final size before rolling since this makes it easier to transfer straight onto the tray heated up in the oven- a very hand tip shared by David Lebovitz.
Brush rolled out flatbreads with olive oil- just in the centres where you will add the toppings. Sprinkle zaatar/cheese on top.
Pop into oven directly onto the baking tray/stone and bake for 7-12 minutes. If garnished with cheese, cover with aluminium foil halfway to prevent the cheese from burning. Remove from oven when golden brown. Use a pizza slicer to cut and serve fresh and warm.
Flatbread recipe adapted from David Lebovitz’s Za’atar Flatbread.