Za’atar Flatbread

Za'atar Bread

Za’atar Flatbread (Mana’eesh bi Za’atar)

Makes 12 6” flatbreads

When I have breakfast with Marie, an Armenian friend who was born and raised in Beirut, she always serves Mana’eesh, olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, and cheese. Breakfast at Marie’s was my first introduction to za’atar; it’s been a part of my repertoire. To make it from scratch, I use my Palestinian friend Salwa’s recipe for pita bread, and top it with Za’atar Herb Blend and olive oil. Although Marie serves this for breakfast, we eat it for a snack, for lunch, or as part of an appetizer spread. If you’re cooking for a small family, like I do, use half the dough for Mana’eesh and the second half for Za’atar pizza (see recipe below).

Dough:

2 1/2 cups lukewarm water
1 Tbsp. yeast (1 packet)
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. salt
6 – 7 cups all-purpose or bread flour

Topping:

1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup Za’atar Herb Blend (see recipe here)

Make the Dough: Place the water in a large bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the water, sprinkle the sugar on top and let sit for 10 minutes, or until the yeast begins to foam. Mix in the salt and half the flour. Add the rest of the flour one cup at a time, just until the dough holds together. Knead the dough well (either by hand or in a standing mixer), adding flour as necessary until the dough is smooth and shiny. You may need more or less flour than called for in the recipe.

Put the kneaded dough in an oiled bowl to rise, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a dish towel, and put it in a warm spot. Let the dough rise for 1 hour, or until it has doubled in size.Preheat the oven to 500°F.

Divide the dough into 12 pieces and pat each piece into a 6” round flatbread. Place the flatbreads on baking sheets with rims; 6 dough rounds fit on a half-sheet pan. Use your fingers to dimple the tops of each flatbread. Let the flatbreads rest for 20 minutes.Make the

Topping: Mix together the olive oil and Za’atar Herb Blend.

Assemble and Bake the Flatbreads: Dimple the flatbreads one more time. Divide the topping between the flatbreads, about 1 Tbsp. each, and spread it evenly over the flatbreads’ tops. Bake the flatbreads, one baking sheet at a time, for 8-10 minutes, or until the flatbreads are golden. Serve immediately.

Note: Mana’eesh can be made ahead and rewarmed just before serving. To rewarm, stack the Mana’eesh, topping side to topping side, and wrap in aluminum foil. Put in a 300°F oven for 5-10 minutes, or until they are warmed through.

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