A Must in Arabia

Who does not know the famous Zaatar Manaqish, or what many would call ‘Zaatar Pizza’? If you don’t, my friend, you have been missing out!! Hurry, buy zaatar, mix it with amazing olive oil and make these breads and see the world of flavour and aroma that you open up! Unforgettable and absolutely unique!

These baked bread disks topped with Zaatar and Olive oil fill the whole place with the earthy, pungent aroma of Zaatar. The warm dough is soft and slightly chewy, with an unmatched piquant flavour that is often times mixed with the flavour of mint-infused tea that is the local choice of drink to go with this glorious food. Another classic pairing is a bite of tomato along with the bite of this Manaqish, and some prefer cucumbers. Whichever you choose, and in this case, even if it’s the purists’ choice this experience is one of the best on this earth!

 

 

Ingredients

Serves: 4-6 Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

For the dough

1 1/2 cups organic bread flour

1/2 cup DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup lukewarm water*

1 tsp sugar

1/2 tsp Bakers’ yeast

For Zaatar Mix

1/2 cup DS Organic Zaatar Mix

2 tbsp DS Organic Sumac

1/2 cup DS Premium Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2 tbsp water**

In a small bowl, mix all the zaatar mix ingredients together and set aside to infuse until ready to use.

TIP – ** a zaatar manaqish secret I share with you: the use of the water in the zaatar mix here is essential because we do not want the oil to be frying the dough and zaatar as it bakes in the oven, the water stops it from doing that and instead allows everything to cook nicely together.

 

Start making the dough. In a small bowl mix together the sugar, yeast and lukewarm water. and set aside to bloom.

Tip – *hot water kills yeast, therefore, always when using yeast the liquid ingredients have to be lukewarm for it to do its function. Lukewarm means if you insert your finger in the liquid you will not feel any difference in the temperature from you own. Not warmer, not colder. On the other hand, cold water slows down the function of yeast, and chilled water may even freeze that function. Keep this in mind whenever baking using yeast.

In a large wide bowl, mix together the flour and salt. Add the olive oil and rub with the flour until you reach a consistency very similar to bread crumbs. Add the yeast mixture and mix, then gradually start adding the lukewarm water and kneading until you achieve a soft dough. Shape the dough into a bowl and cover in the bowl, then leave to rest for one hour in a warm place, or until it doubles in size.

In the meantime preheat the oven to high. If you have a pizza stone place it in the oven to heat up, this improves the baking quality tremendously allowing all to cook evenly. If you do not own one, no worries just bake as you usually do.

Once the dough has finished resting, transfer from the bowl onto a lightly floured surface. Knead gently a few times then divide into orange-sized balls and line them on a tray. Cover with a cotton cloth and leave to proof for 15 minutes.

Once done, either spread the dough by hand into disks or, roll with a rolling pin into thin disks (about 1/2 cm thick). Generously spread the zaatar mix on top leaving the edges clear. Then bake each, individually over the pizza stone or, lined in a tray in the oven for 10-15 minutes or until the bottoms are slightly browned.

Remove and line on the serving plate, open-faced or folded, and serve with hot mint-infused tea and some sliced vegetables.

This is an amazing breakfast item, can also be served in brunches and gatherings. It is an excellent picnic option, lunchbox option and garden afternoon tea. Remember you can make this in any size/shape you desire. Be creative, make these, invite your friends, have the kids play around you and enjoy a cup of tea, a good chat and connect face to face instead of only in messages and on social media. Real friendships and connections are still vital for our well being and just like we choose organic flour for better health we must also include real connections for better health. Sitting together and sharing a physical place is much closer than sharing a screen.

Both parts of our lives, I am connecting with you guys through this online space and social media, but I do the events to meet you in person too because no matter how many likes I press, no matter how many messages I send, it is nothing like meeting people in person. You can never know me, nor I you, if we don’t ever meet, regardless what you/I watch, see, hear, interact…

Be good for now, and come back for more.

 

 

This recipe is from the repertoire of over 280 recipes in my book Plated Heirlooms. The book contains recipes from all sections of the Palestinian cuisine, starting with Mooneh (pantry recipes) to dessert and everything in between. Plated Heirlooms is a documentation of recipes and cuisine rationale as well as the compiled story of the cuisine.

All Plated Heirlooms recipes come with background information and thorough descriptions that in the end tie up with the rest of the book’s narrative to explain to you the formation and makings of Palestinian cuisine.

You can order “Plated Heirlooms” here and we will ship it to you anywhere in the world.

 

 

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