Zaatar manakish is a type of Lebanese flatbread that is one of the most beloved variations of manakish. It is typically made with a mixture of herbs, spices, and olive oil, making it a flavorful and healthy addition to any meal. In this blog post, I’ll share my easy-to-make za’atar manakish recipe that will help you recreate a delicious middle eastern flatbread!
Manakeesh is a popular middle eastern flatbread; the recipe is similar to pizza dough and sometimes called “Lebanese pizza”, topped with various toppings like za’atar, meat, or cheese that can be enjoyed anytime!
Reasons to Love Zaatar Manakish?
Za’atar manakish is a simple yet sensational Lebanese flatbread with a unique blend of spices and herbs. Here are some reasons why you’ll love this flavorful flatbread:
- Za’atar, the signature seasoning of manakish, is made from a variety of herbs and spices that are rich in vitamins and minerals. These include thyme, oregano, sumac, and sesame seeds, which provide the body with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and other health benefits.
- One thing that sets za’atar manakish apart from other flatbreads is its savory and aromatic flavor. The combination of the earthy za’atar seasoning and the light, fluffy dough creates a taste explosion that is satisfying and uplifting.
- Za’atar manakish is versatile and can be enjoyed at any time of day. Whether you have it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as a snack, it’s a filling and satisfying option that will keep you fueled throughout the day.
- Another great thing about za’atar manakish is that it’s easy to customize to your own tastes. Whether you prefer it with or without cheese or extra toppings like olives or tomatoes, you can play around with the recipe to create your own version of this classic flat bread.
What Is Manakish?
The origins of the manakish date back to ancient times, when flatbreads with different toppings were enjoyed in various cultures throughout the Middle East.
Manakish, also called manakeesh, manakeesh, or Lebanese pizza, originated in Lebanon, Syria, and other nearby countries, where it has become a staple food in households across the country.
In Lebanon, manakish is eaten for breakfast or as a snack at any time of day and served with fresh vegetables or a side of little dips such as hummus and a cup of tea, making it a versatile and popular food choice.
What is Za’atar?
Za’atar is a spice blend that is commonly used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It’s made from a combination of herbs, including thyme, marjoram, oregano, sesame seeds, and sumac. The exact composition of za’atar can vary depending on the region or cook, but it generally has a tangy, savory flavor and aroma. It’s used as a seasoning for meats, vegetables, and bread and is often mixed with olive oil to create a dipping sauce with pita bread or spread. Za’atar has become increasingly popular in international cuisine and is now a common ingredient in many kitchens worldwide.
Zaatar Manakish Recipe Ingredients
- Flour – I used all-purpose flour for this recipe. You can change it to whole wheat flour or gluten-free flour. (or use bread flour)
- Instant yeast – helps to rise the dough. The instant yeast is ready to be added to the flour mixture without waiting for it to be activated.
- Sugar – to help the yeast to activate.
- Oil – use a neutral oil like extra virgin olive oil, vegetable oil, or canola oil; it gives moisture to the dough.
- Salt – adds flavor to the dough.
- Water – lukewarm water binds the dough.
- Zaatar – is a blend of spices, usually found in most middle eastern stores.
How to Make Zaatar Manakish Recipe
Step one – Make the manakish Dough. In a large mixing bowl or a stand mixer fitted with a hook attachment, add the dry ingredients (flour, yeast, sugar, and salt). Mix, add warm water and oil, then knead very well for 10 minutes until a smooth and soft dough.
Step two – Rest the dough. Transfer the dough into a bowl brushed with oil and cover it with a slightly damp towel or plastic wrap. Leave the bowl aside at room temperature ( preferably in a warm place) for about an hour until the dough rises to double its volume.
Step three – Divide the dough. Preheat the oven. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces, roll it into round balls, and place them on a lightly floured surface. Cover with a slightly damp towel and set aside to rest for 15 more minutes.
Step four – Prepare the flatbread. Gently press a dough ball with your fingers or a rolling pin and shape it into a round ¼ inch thick. Then place it into a baking sheet and cover it while you continue the same process for the rest dough ball.
Step Five – Make the zaatar spread. Mix 1/3 cup of zaatar and 1/4 cup olive oil in a small bowl.
Step six – Bake and add topping. Spread the za’atar mixture in a circular motion evenly on the dough. Bake in the preheated oven until lightly golden brown from the bottom. Or add a cheese to make Cheese Manakish or even a mixture of both. Remove from the oven and cover the manakish with a slightly damp towel so they won’t dry up.
- If the dough is dry while kneading, add water, and if the dough is sticky, add more flour (that depends on the type of flour used).
- Don’t use hot water in the dough (it will kill the yeast), and Don’t use cold water (it won’t let the dough rise).
- Try to rest the dough in a dark place such as the oven or microwave; that will help the dough to rise faster.
- Cover the cooked manakish with a slightly damp towel to avoid drying up.
- Only add a little olive oil to the za’atar. Then the spread might leak.
Za’atar Manakish FAQs
What To Serve With Zaatra Manakish Recipe?
- Manakish have always enjoyed by themselves with a cup of tea.
- Little Dips: pair with homemade labneh (similar to sour cream), hummus, or baba ganoush for a complete Middle Eastern meal.
- Serve it with fresh vegetables such as sliced cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, etc.
What Is The Difference Between Active Dry Yeast And Instant Yeast?
Active dry yeast is mixed with warm water and sugar, and wait until it rises, then add it to the dough. While instant yeast is already active, combine it with the flour.
How To Store, Freeze, And Reheat Zaatar Manakish?
- Storing: store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for five days.
- Freezing: Freeze the manakish in a freezer bag for up to three months.
- Reheating: reheat the flatbreads in the microwave or the oven (250°F) until warm. If frozen, thaw in the refrigerator, then reheat.
What other Substitutions for the Dough Toppings?
- Make Cheese manakish; use Akawi cheese, feta cheese, or mozzarella and top it with sesame or nigella seeds.
- Make a combination of Cheese and zaatar mixture.
- Add seasoned raw ground Meat (lahm bi Ajin) to the dough and bake
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10 servings per container
- Amount Per ServingCalories253
- % Daily Value *
- Total Fat
- Saturated Fat 1.9g 5%
- Trans Fat 0g
- Cholesterol 0mg 0%
- Sodium 234.9mg 10%
- Potassium mg 0%
- Total Carbohydrate
- Dietary Fiber 1.3g 4%
- Sugars 1.4g
- Protein 4.4g 8%
* The % Daily Value tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.