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Manakish flat bread on a plate with other dishes behind it
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5 from 3 votes

Manakish (Lebanese Za'atar Bread)

Manakish or Manaeesh is a traditional Lebanese flatbread that's topped with a mixture of Za'atar and olive oil and baked until golden brown. 
Prep Time2 hrs 30 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Total Time2 hrs 42 mins
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Middle Eastern
Servings: 6 Manakish
Calories: 384kcal
Author: Hilda Sterner

Ingredients

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon dry active yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • cup extra virgin olive oil

Za'atar Topping

  • 3 tablespoons Za'atar blend
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

Prepare the Dough

  • Mix sugar and active dry yeast into a cup of warm water. Allow the yeast to activate until frothy. This can take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. (Tip: If the water does not froth it could be due to the yeast being expired, or the water is either too hot or too cold.)
  • Mix flour and salt in a large bowl. When the yeast is frothy, add it to the same bowl, along with the olive oil. 
  • Stir to combine the ingredients and then knead the dough for at least 5 minutes. You may use a stand mixer with a hook attachment if you prefer. 
  • When the dough is smooth and elastic, form it into a ball and place it inside a large oiled bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. Allow the dough to rise for 1-½ hours in a warm location.
  • Punch down the dough and knead for a few additional minutes. Divide the dough in half and then each half into thirds. Form each portion into a ball and place it on a floured surface or baking sheet. Cover the dough and allow to rise for an additional 30 minutes. 

Pre-heat oven to 450-degrees F.

    Za'atar Topping

    • Prepare the Za'atar from scratch or use a pre-made blend. Mix the Za'atar with olive oil.

    Form Za'atar Manakish

    • On a floured surface, form each portion into a circle about the same size as pita bread. Flatten the circle with your hand, or use a rolling pin. Use your fingers to make indentations into the top of the dough (similar to Focaccia bread).
      Tip: This step will not only help spread the dough but allow the zaatar paste to fill the indentations and stick to the dough.
    • Transfer onto a pizza stone or lightly oiled pan. Add a few tablespoons of the Za'atar paste onto each flatbread, leaving an inch border all around. 
    • Bake for approximately 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown along the edges. Serve with Lebneh, Hummus, or cheese and olives.

    Notes

    • If the dough is too sticky, sprinkle it with a small amount of flour as you continue to knead it until no longer sticky.
    • If the dough is too dry, add a small amount of warm water, a tablespoon at a time until you have a soft, smooth dough.
    • Depending on the size of the pan, you can bake up to 3 Manakish at a time.
    • If you won't be eating all six pieces, place each Manakish in a quart-sized Ziploc bag, and then store them all in a gallon-sized bag in the freezer.
    • Feta and halloumi cheese can also be added as a topping before baking. Black olives are also a great addition.
    • This bread recipe can also be used to make Laham Ajeen (Middle Eastern pizza).

    Nutrition

    Serving: 1piece | Calories: 384kcal | Carbohydrates: 39g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g