Za’atar manaqish is a very popular traditional Lebanese pita bread spiced with a special ground dried thyme seasoning (Za’atar). My mom, who is a very good cook, gave me this recipe. It stores well, works great as a quick breakfast, brunch, or appetizer, and is one of my kid’s favorite snacks. I always have some stored in the freezer as a back up in case there is a fuss over dinner. My kids call it Pizza!
Making the za’atar manaqish dough is not hard to do, but takes some time to prepare. After making the dough, you have to shape the dough into small balls, roll each ball flat, and then press on each one by your fingertips to sculpt little dips for the topping to sit in. Then you add the za’atar topping and bake. Za’atar topping is a combination of two ingredients: Za’atar seasoning and extra virgin olive oil blended together.
- For Dough
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 1 cup warm milk ( I heat in microwave for a few seconds)
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp active dry yeast (one package active dry yeast)
- 3 tbsp warm water
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
For Za’atar Topping
- 1/2 cup za’atar seasoning
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
To make the dough:
- In a small bowl, combine warm water, sugar and yeast. Set aside for 10 minutes to foam.
- In a large mixing bowl with lid, combine flour, salt, warm milk and vegetable oil. Work the mixture with your hands.
- Pour in the yeast mixture. continue hand mixing until soft dough forms. I mix until dough feels elastic, smooth, and no longer sticks to my hands (If after mixing, the dough is still too sticky for you, you can sprinkle just a tiny bit of flour).
- Shape the whole dough into a big ball.
- Pour 1 tbsp olive oil on ball-shaped dough and spread.
- Cover the dough with a piece of seal plastic wrap and close with lid.
- Wrap container with a large blanket and leave to rise for about 4 hours.
- Briefly knead your amazing home made dough and form into 12 small balls.
- Arrange on lightly floured surface and sprinkle some flour on top too.
- cover again with a piece of plastic wrap and leave to rise for another 30 minutes.
To make the za’atar manaqish:
- mix together the za’atar seasoning and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Preheat the oven to 400 ° F.
- Spray baking tray with cooking oil and set near you.
- Form the za’atar manaqish by flattening the dough balls into small circles about 5 inches in diameter with your fingertips.
- Press on each one by your fingertips to sculpt little dips for the topping to sit in.
- Add about 1 tbsp za’atar topping in the middle of each flattened circle, leave a very narrow border around.
- Arrange manaqish circles on the sprayed baking tray (Line manaqish up, leave 1 inch between each one).
- Bake at 400° F heated-oven for 7 to 8 minutes or until the dough is slightly browned on bottom and edges.
- Remove from heat and set aside for a few minutes to cool down and allow topping to dry and settle into dough.
- Serve za’atar manaqish warm or at room temperature with some cucumbers and tomatoes.
If you make this, leave a comment 🙂 and check out this other popular Lebanese spinach pies recipe !