If you’re a foodie looking for something new to try, you can’t go wrong with zaatar manakeesh. This savory pastry, popular in Middle Eastern cuisine, is a must-try for anyone who loves bold flavors and hearty bread.
What is Zaatar Manakeesh?
Zaatar manakeesh is a popular Lebanese flatbread made with a blend of spices known as zaatar. The spice mix includes dried thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt, giving it a tangy, slightly sour flavor. The bread is typically topped with olive oil, which helps the zaatar mixture stick to the bread and gives it a crispy, golden crust.
The Origin of Zaatar Manakeesh
Zaatar manakeesh has been a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine for centuries. The origins of the dish are unclear, but it’s believed to have originated in Lebanon or Syria, where it’s still a popular street food.
How to Make Zaatar Manakeesh
Making zaatar manakeesh is surprisingly easy, even if you’re new to bread-making. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:
- 3 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of instant yeast
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 cup of warm water
- 3 tablespoons of zaatar
- In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.
- Add the olive oil and warm water and stir until a dough forms.
- Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic.
- Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rise for about an hour.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.
- In a small bowl, mix together the zaatar and olive oil.
- Spread the zaatar mixture evenly over the dough.
- Bake the manakeesh for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Zaatar manakeesh is delicious on its own, but it can also be served with a variety of toppings. Here are a few ideas:
- Labneh: a tangy Middle Eastern cheese that pairs well with the zaatar spice blend.
- Fresh vegetables: try adding sliced tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions for a fresh crunch.
- Hummus: another Middle Eastern staple that complements the flavors of the manakeesh.
Health Benefits of Zaatar Manakeesh
Zaatar manakeesh is a healthier alternative to other pastries, as it’s typically made with whole wheat flour and topped with olive oil instead of butter. The zaatar spice blend also has a number of health benefits, including:
- Rich in antioxidants: sumac, one of the main ingredients in zaatar, is a potent antioxidant that can help reduce inflammation in the body.
- May aid digestion: thyme, another key ingredient, has been shown to have digestive benefits and may help alleviate symptoms of indigestion.
- Contains healthy fats: olive oil, a common topping for manakeesh, is a heart-healthy fat that can help reduce inflammation and improve cholesterol levels.
Zaatar manakeesh is a delicious and nutritious Middle Eastern treat that’s easy to make at home. With its bold flavors and crispy crust, it’s sure to become a favorite in any household. Whether you enjoy it on its own or with toppings, this pastry is perfect for any occasion. Give it a try and discover the wonderful world of zaatar manakeesh.
What is zaatar?
Zaatar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made from a combination of dried thyme, sesame seeds, sumac, and salt.
Is zaatar manakeesh vegan?
Yes, zaatar manakeesh is typically vegan, as it’s made with flour, water, olive oil, and spices.
Can I freeze zaatar manakeesh?
Yes, you can freeze zaatar manakeesh for later consumption. Simply wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
What other dishes can I make with zaatar?
Zaatar can be used as a seasoning for meats, vegetables, and dips, or sprinkled on top of bread and pastries.
Where can I buy zaatar?
Zaatar can be found at Middle Eastern grocery stores, health food stores, and online retailers.
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In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, sugar, and yeast.
Add the olive oil and warm water and stir until a dough forms.
Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 10 minutes, until it’s smooth and elastic.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a towel, and let it rise for about an hour.
Preheat your oven to 400°F.
Roll out the dough on a floured surface until it’s about 1/4 inch thick.
In a small bowl, mix together the zaatar and olive oil.
Spread the zaatar mixture evenly over the dough.
Bake the manakeesh for 15-20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.