Zaatar Pita Bread | Manakish Za’atar Bread

Yayyyy!!! We are in the last recipe of this baking marathon. For Z, I am going to share popular pita bread from Lebanon – it’s the Zaatar bread or Zaktar bread. It is also known by the name manakish zaatar. It’s flat bread topped with Zaatar spice mix. To simply put, it’s the Middle Eastern delicacy similar to pizza/focaccia.

As always, for this marathon also, I picked Z recipe without any trouble. Last time it was zucchini pakoras, and this time it’s the zaatar bread. It’s is one of the easy flatbread to prepare, and this can be served with any Indian gravies. The base bread is yet yeast based one prepared with all-purpose flour.

So what’s it Zaatar?

It is a balanced mix of herbs and spices like thyme, oregano, sumac and toasted sesame seeds. So now what is sumac? Sumac is a dried red berry native to the Middle East which is dried and ground into coarse powder. The ground sumac is a versatile powder which used extensively in Middle Eastern cooking. :-) Traditionally Zaatar is blended with olive oil and used as a bread topping. As I found Zaatar spice mix online, I did not look out for sumac. But if you can source sumac, you can prepare you own zaatar mix by adding the same amount of dried thyme, sumac, dried oregano and toasted sesame seeds. Some recipes call for dried basil too.

Please find my recipes from the past two marathons.

  • Day 26| 2015 –Masala Peanuts
  • Day 26 | 2016 –Zucchini Pakoras
  • Day 26 | 2017 – Z | Zaatar Bread 

Here is the simple Zaatar bread recipe,

   

Ingredients:

For Yeast Proofing:

  • Sugar – 1/4 tsp
  • Yeast – 1.25 tsp
  • Water – 1/2 cup

For the Bread:

  • All purpose flour – 1.5 cups
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp + 2 tsps

For the topping:

Steps:

Yeast Proofing:

  • In a bowl add the Luke warm water, sugar and yeast and mix
  • Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Preparing the Dough:

  • In a wide bowl add the sifted flour, salt, and olive oil and combine them.
  • Now slowly add the yeast mix and combine to form a dough.
  • Knead the dough for 10 minutes.

  • Transfer this mixture to a wide bowl greased with oil and cover it with a cling wrap and set aside until the dough has doubled in size. It took me about 1.5 hours this time.

Preparing the topping:

  • Mix the za’atar spice with ¼ cup of olive oil and set aside.

Preparing the bread:

  • After the dough has risen, divide it into four equal portions
  • Knead the dough on a dusted surface and roll out into a thin round shape.

Baking:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the pizza stone drizzled with semolina or cornmeal while preheating.
  • Now press fingertips all over the rolled bread forming indentations
  • Spread the prepared topping over the bread leaving the edges.
  • Carefully place this on the pizza stone and bake for 8 minutes.

Let it cool and serve with hummus or with your favorite curry. Err; this bread tastes great without any sides. Thanks to the Zaatar topping.

Notes:

  • You can bake this in the regular cookie tray. I used my pizza stone.
  • Instead of regular yeast, instant yeast can be utilized and instant yeast can be added directly to the dough and no proofing required.
  • Adjust the zaatar spice mix as per your preference.
  • Temperature plays a significant role in dough rise. So the rising time varies.

Zaatar Pita Bread | Manakish Za'atar Bread
Yields 4
A popular yeast-based flat bread topped with Zaatar spice.
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Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
1 hr 38 min
Prep Time
1 hr 30 min
Cook Time
8 min
Total Time
1 hr 38 min
For Yeast Proofing
  1. Sugar - 1/4 tsp
  2. Yeast - 1.25 tsp
  3. Water - 1/2 cup
For the Bread
  1. All purpose flour - 1.5 cups
  2. Salt - 1/2 tsp
  3. Olive oil - 1 tbsp + 2 tsps
For the topping
  1. Zaatar spice mix - 1/4 cup
  2. Olive oil - 1/4 cup
Yeast Proofing
  1. In a bowl add the Luke warm water, sugar and yeast and mix
  2. Let it sit for 10 minutes.
Preparing the Dough
  1. In a wide bowl add the sifted flour, salt, and olive oil and combine them.
  2. Now slowly add the yeast mix and combine to form a dough.
  3. Knead the dough for 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer this mixture to a wide bowl greased with oil and cover it with a cling wrap and set aside until the dough has doubled in size. It took me about 1.5 hours this time.
Preparing the topping
  1. Mix the za'atar spice with ¼ cup of olive oil and set aside.
Preparing the bread
  1. After the dough has risen, divide it into four equal portions
  2. Knead the dough on a dusted surface and roll out into a thin round shape.
Baking
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Place the pizza stone drizzled with semolina or cornmeal while preheating.
  2. Now press fingertips all over the rolled bread forming indentations
  3. Spread the prepared topping over the bread leaving the edges.
  4. Carefully place this on the pizza stone and bake for 8 minutes.
  5. Let it cool and serve with hummus or with your favorite curry. Err; this bread tastes great without any sides. Thanks to the Zaatar topping.
Notes
  1. You can bake this in the regular cookie tray. I used my pizza stone.
  2. Instead of regular yeast, instant yeast can be utilized and instant yeast can be added directly to the dough and no proofing required.
  3. Adjust the zaatar spice mix as per your preference.
  4. Temperature plays a significant role in dough rise. So the rising time varies.
Vidhya’s Vegetarian Kitchen http://www.vidhyashomecooking.com/

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