Manakeesh or man’ousheh is popular Levantine dough topped with za’atar, cheese, laban (yogurt drained to make a tangy, creamy cheese) or ground meat, or a mix of these like cheese and za’atar, laban with olives, meat and cheese similarly.
Similar to a pizza, it can be sliced or folded, and it can either be served for breakfast or lunch.
Za’atar is made from sun dried herbs. It is a mixture made with ground thyme, oregano etc. and added with sesame seeds and dried sumac, and often mixed with salt. It is commonly eaten with pita bread, as a dip mixed a good quantity of olive oil. Za’atar is used as a seasoning for meats and vegetables. It is can be sprinkled onto hummus.
Living in Abu Dhabi and if I did not write about an Arabic dish how is it possible. There are various Arabic dishes which are my favorite. One of it is za’atar Manakeesh or za’atar sandwich served with Arabic coffee or karak chai (Arabic tea).
Za’atar Manakish Recipe
- 3 cups Plain Flour ( can be unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour), plus more for dusting
- 2 1/4 tsp. Yeast, dry instant
- 1/2 tsp. Sugar
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 cup Warm Water
- 2 tbsp. Olive oil preferred can use any oil extra as required
- 1 cup Za’atar mix
- Combine the warm water, sugar, and yeast, and let it stand for about 10 minutes until foamy.
- Meanwhile, combine the flour and salt in a large bowl.
- Add the olive oil and work it in with your fingers.
- Add the yeast mixture to this and mix.
- Bring the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead
- Spread and fold format like pizza dough is kneaded, until smooth and elastic.
- Form it into a ball and place it in a lightly oiled bowl.
- Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise in a warm
- It will tale about an hour or more, until it doubles in size.
- Preheat oven to 200 degree Celsius.
- Knead the dough briefly and divide it into 8 balls.
- Meanwhile, combine the za’atar topping ingredients in a small bowl.
- On a lightly floured surface, flatten each ball of dough and roll it into a circle.
- Press each circle with your fingertips to make little indentations for the topping to rest in.
- Spread 1 tablespoon of za’atar topping over each round.
- Bake until lightly browned and crisp, about 8 minutes.
- Serve warm right away or else cool on racks.