Mannaeesh recipe

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These are delicious puffy flat breads from the Lebanon laden with za’atar, a gorgeous mix of sesame seeds and aromatic herbs – mint, marjoram and thyme. We like to make our own as we have a garden full of herbs that need using but you can use ready-made za’atar – that’s fine too! Use the Mannaeesh for dunking in great olive oil and dukkah, in dips or eating with salads and soups. The yoghurt gives a lovely softness to the crumb as well as a slight tang to the taste. Literally everything stops the day we bake these as they are so good they get ripped into while they are still hot!

  • Yield: 3 mannaeesh

Ingredients

For the Bread
  • 1 lb 2 oz (500 g) 4 cups 00 flour
  • ¼ oz 1½ tsp (10 g) fine sea salt
  • ⅛ oz 1¼ tsp (5 g) fast acting yeast
  • 3 ½ fl oz ½ cup (100 ml) yoghurt
  • 7 fl oz ⅞ cup (200 ml) warm water
  • 1 fl oz 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive oil
For the Za’atar
  • 1 tbsp each finely chopped fresh mint, marjoram, thyme and sesame seeds
  • 1 level tsp ground sumac
  • 1 level tsp fine sea salt
  • 1½ fl oz 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
How to Make It
  1. In a large bowl, mix together all the ingredients for the bread. Form into a soft dough and knead well on a tabletop until smooth and elastic.
  2. Put the dough in a large, clean bowl, cover and leave to rise until doubled in size.
  3. Mix all the za’atar ingredients together.
  4. Split the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll out into discs 12.5 cm/5” in diameter.
  5. Leave the discs covered with a clean tea towel on a floured work surface for 20 minutes to puff back up.
  6. Put the dough circles on a well floured peel and use a dough scraper or a butter knife to create a lattice on the top of the dough. Divide the za’atar equally between the dough circles and sprinkle over the surface, pressing down gently so the seeds don’t ping off.
  7. Use the peel to put them in a hot oven and bake for 5-6 minutes until the bread is cooked through but still soft and white
  8. Cool on a wire rack and serve as soon as you can.
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