September 21, 2016

Zaatar Manakish - Middle eastern flat bread

The fun part of staying in a place like Dubai is the possible avenues for trying out different cuisines and if you have a foodie in you the rest is history. I had a hidden foodie in me and marriage brought out the foodie. The reason being - I got married to a person who loves food, eats anything on his plate, who never wastes food and if he does trust me the food is beyond edible. Name any food program on television and he has watched it and if not, he will make sure he watches it . That got me addicted as well  - Food Network is the most popular channel at our place now:) So let us just say we bonded over food and food shows!!

Shibin used to get these flat breads for breakfast from Spinneys - sometimes with zaatar topping, sometimes with cheese or else a combination of both. It is only recently I learnt the name and I had the desire to make it myself. On the first try I got it a little crispier and the second time round I managed to get the texture right. 

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I have used zaatar as the topping - you could replace this with cheese, meat or as your creativity clicks. Here is the recipe - 

Ingredients
  1. All Purpose Flour - 2 and 1/2 cup
  2. Olive oil
  3. Dry Yeast - 1 tsp
  4. Warm water - 3/4 cup
  5. Sugar - 1 tsp
  6. Olive oil - 1/4  cup + more for greasing
  7. salt to taste
For the topping -
  1. Zaatar - 6 tbsp ( a spice and herb blend from the middle east)
  2. Olive oil - 12 tbsp
Method
  • Soak the yeast in half a cup of luke warm water along with sugar till it is frothy.
  • Take a bowl with the flour and add salt to this. Pour in the soaked dry yeast and knead the dough. Incorporate olive oil to further combine the dough till it becomes elastic. Knead for about 5 minutes.
  • Place the dough covered with cling film in bowl smeared with oil for an hour. Let it rise.
  • Preheat the oven at 180 degree centigrade.
  • After an hour, make 6 smaller balls out of the dough.
  • Flatten out using a roller and dust more flour to prevent this from sticking to your roller.
  • Brush the surface with olive oil and transfer to a baking pan.
  • Meanwhile, combine the zaatar and olive oil to form a paste.
  • Apply this onto the rolled out dough evenly.
  • Bake it for 6-7 minutes at 180 degree centigrade or until the bottom just begins to brown
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You may also note -
  1. Baking for about 7 minutes makes it soft and fluffy, if you need it crisp you could bake it for 9 minutes.
  2. For those who are curious about what zaatar is - it is a spice blend of thyme, toasted sesame seeds, ground sumac and salt.
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