Member recipe

Zaatar Bread - Manakish/ Manakeesh

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Cooking time

Prep: 3 hours Cook: 45 minutes

Skill level

A challenge


Serves 4

Arab bread with zaatar topping perfect for breakfast or as an appetizer.

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For Bread

  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 2½ cups of lukewarm water
  • 6 cups of white bread flour/ all-purpose flour
  • ¼ Teaspoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

For Zaatar Topping

  • ½ cup dried thyme
  • ½ cup sesame seeds


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in ½ cup of the warm water. Add the sugar and when it begins to froth, stir in the remaining water.

  2. Add 3 cups of flour slowly and stir it vigorously. Let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes till it froths.

  3. Stir in the salt and the 2 tbspns of the virgin olive oil and mix it well.

  4. Gradually add the remaining 3 cups of flour (you may need a little less or more flour)until you have a dough that makes a perfect ball. Keep kneading the dough continuously for a good 10-15 minutes till the dough becomes soft, very smooth and stops sticking to your fingers.

  5. Pour the remaining 1 tbspn of oil on this round soft dough to grease it evenly . Cover the doughball with clingfilm and leave for it to rise for 2-3 hours.

  6. Meanwhile you can take the zaatar topping ingredients (or a cup of zaatar mixture that can be easily found in any middle eastern store with the oil ) and mix it in a small bowl to make it an oily mixture.

  7. Once the dough has risen , you can roll the dough and divide into either small balls or 2-3 large balls ( we chose to make 2 big 12″ breads. If you wish to serve manakeesh as an appetizer for friends and family , you can make mini manakeesh breads served as small bites to eat.)

  8. Roll out the ball on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of about ¼ inch and roll it to as big/small as you wish. Take a fork and poke it all over the bread avoiding the dough to puff up while being baked .

  9. You can now preheat the oven to 250°C (450°F) for 15-20 minutes.

  10. Place a greaseproof paper on a round baking tray and gently pick the stretched round dough and place it on top of the greaseproof paper. Gently spread 1 spoon of the Zaatar mixture on the bread.

  11. Zaatar bread is ready to bake. Place it in the preheated oven and let it bake for 5-10 minutes or until you can see slight browning. Hot yumminess is ready to dive into. See it on my blog

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