Manakish, also known as manaqish, manaeesh or manakeesh is a popular Levantine food consisiting of dough topped with Za’atar Spice ( a mix of dried thyme, oregano, or a combination and mixed with toasted sesame seeds, salt and sumac), cheese, or ground meat. The bread is similar to pizza and can be served for breakfast or lunch. Manaqish means to sculpt or to carve out, meaning that after the dough has been rolled flat, it is pressed by the fingertips to create little dips for the topping to lie in. Traditionally women would bake dough in a communal oven in the morning to provide their family with their daily bread needs. Manakish is popular in most Levant Countries, especially Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. (Source Internet)
As mentioned earlier the bread is topped with Za’atar. I love this bread when I saw on google, the beautiful pictures were just wow, but I was not getting Za’atar spice, so I decided to make this on my own. The key ingredient here was Sumac in the spice which was again a bit difficult but I managed to get it.
Sumac is deep red in colour and is one of about 35 species of flowering plants in the genus Rhus and related genera. The dried and powdered fruits of Rhus coriaria are used as a spice in Middle Eastern and South Asian Cuisine. (Source Internet)
The Za’atar spice added a distinct taste and texture to the bread. Due to the addition of black pepper the bread turned a bit spicy as well as tangy. We paired this with Homemade baked falafel (Recipe coming soon) and Roasted Red Pepper Harrisa sauce (Recipe coming soon) and in all we had a complete meal and were craving for more. This bread can be eaten without any accompaniment in breakfast or just as a side.
I know I have added too many pictures in this post, but just wanted to share.
Recipes in this series of A-Z International FlatBreads
B- Boxty – Irish Potato FlatBread
F-Farinata Genovese : Ligurian Chickpea Flatbread
Gözleme (Turkish Flatbread with Potato, Spinach, Mint and Feta Cheese)
H- Harcha (Moroccan FlatBread)
I – Injera (Ethiopian FlatBread)
K-Knäckebröd – Swedish Multi-Seed Crispbread
L- Lachuch (Yemenite FlatBread)
Manakish Za'atar (Lebanese Flatbread)
For the Bread
- 2 Cups All Purpose Flour/Plain Flour/ Maida
- 3 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1/2 tsp Sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp Active Dry Yeast
- 3/4 tsp Salt (or to taste)
- 1/2-1 Cup Lukewarm Water (Do not add extra hot water, it will kill the yeast)
- 1/4 Cup Za'atar Spice
For the Za'atar Spice (Makes about 1/4 cup)
- 1/2 tbsp Dried Oregano (or 1 tbsp fresh chopped Oregano)
- 1 tbsp Sumac
- 1 tbsp Ground Cumin (Jeera Powder)
- 1 tbsp Sesame Seeds
- 1 tsp Salt
- 3/4-1 tsp Freshly ground black pepper
To make the dough
- Add Lukewarm water in a bowl. Add sugar and yeast in it and let it bloom for 10 minutes.
- Your yeast should bloom, if not please discard and start again, or else your dough will not puff up.
- In a large bowl, add the flour, salt,2 tablespoon of olive oil and bloomed yeast mixture.
- Using a stand mixer or your hand knead the dough well until it forms a soft round ball and is springy to touch.
- Coat the dough with some oil and place it in the bowl.
- Cover and let it rest in a warm surface until double in size. About 1 hour +
- Mix all the ingredients mentioned for Za'atar spice and store it in an air tight container, if making in advance.
Assemble and Bake the Bread
- Add the remaining 1 tbsp olive oil in the Za'atar Spice and mix everything well.
- Divide the dough into equal portions. (I was able to make 5 equal size breads from this)
- Roll each into 1/4 inch thickness disc.
- Gently spread the Olive oil mixed Za'atar spice on top of each disc. It should stick to the dough.
- Let them rest for 15-20 minutes so that they puff up. Just look how beautifully have they puffed up.
- In the meanwhile preheat the oven to 180 C.
- Once preheated bake them for 8-10 minutes. I baked at 180 C for 8 minutes and then increased the heat to 200 and baked for another 2 minutes, until lightly brown.
- Ideally breads like this are best baked at 200 C, but my oven gets hot very quickly, so I tend to increase the heat only later. You are a better judge of your oven so please check.
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Saturday 20th of October 2018
I have read so much about Manakish and zatar spice that want to make it at the earliest, but the problem lies with zaatar spice. Though you have given the recipe of zaatar spice, still no idea of sumac. I'll have to look for some alternatives to enjoy this flavorful bread
Tuesday 16th of October 2018
I love Zaatar and I can imagine how delicious this brad would taste.The whole platter looks very inviting.
Tuesday 16th of October 2018
I made the Za'atar flatbread for Z and loved the spice mix. My boys did not like it as much, but I guess it is an acquired taste and will take a few try to get used to it. That will be a marvelous brunch.
Tuesday 16th of October 2018
Bread look so awesme and perfect.. addition of zaatar spices makes more flavorful.
Tuesday 9th of October 2018
I love the zaatar flavour over this bread and the texture has turned out great!..