Discover the joy of making Manakeesh with Za’atar in your own kitchen – it’s easier than you think! Get ready for an aromatic culinary journey that’s perfect for any meal.
Once a month, a delightful ritual takes place in my kitchen. I prepare a batch of Za’atar Manakeesh recipe, a Middle Eastern flatbread that’s a true love letter to bread enthusiasts. I treasure this manakeesh, freezing them for the perfect breakfast pairing with fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, a dollop of labneh, and, of course, creamy hummus. It’s a classic breakfast that never fails to bring a smile to my face.
What is Manakeesh?
Manakeesh, also known as manakish, is a popular Middle Eastern street food. It’s an open-faced flatbread made from a simple dough, baked until golden brown and slightly crispy. Sometimes, it’s rolled up for easy eating. You can find manakish in corner bakeries throughout the Middle East. This blog recipe will help you make delicious Manakeesh recipes at home.
What is Za’atar?
Za’atar is a versatile spice blend frequently used in Middle Eastern cuisine. It typically consists of thyme, dried oregano, sumac, and sesame seeds. Variations of Za’atar blends offer unique flavors. It’s often paired with olive oil to create a fragrant mixture. Za’atar can be enjoyed with various dishes, including the traditional Jordanian breakfast spread of eggs, halloumi cheese, pita bread, and olives.
Mastering the Dough
Creating the ideal Za’atar Manakeesh begins with mastering the dough. Here are some valuable tips to ensure your dough for Manakeesh recipe turns out just right:
1. Precise Measurements: Accurate measurements of flour, water, yeast, and other ingredients are critical. Use measuring cups and spoons to ensure consistency.
2. Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality all-purpose flour and fresh yeast. Fresh ingredients yield better results.
3. Lukewarm Water: The water temperature for yeast activation should be around 110°F (43°C). Use a kitchen thermometer to gauge the temperature accurately. Water that’s too hot can kill the yeast, while water that’s too cold won’t activate it effectively.
4. Gradual Mixing: When combining the flour, salt, and olive oil, mix slowly at first to prevent the flour from flying out of the bowl. Gradually increase the mixing speed as the dough comes together.
5. Kneading Technique: During the kneading process, avoid overworking the dough. Knead until it forms a smooth, elastic ball. Over-kneading can make the dough tough.
6. Proper Rising: Allow the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place. The first rise is crucial for developing flavor and structure. When doubling in size, the dough is ready.
7. Punch Down Gently: After the first rise, punch down the dough gently to release air bubbles. This step ensures a more uniform texture in the final product.
8. Resting Periods: Short resting periods between rises and before shaping the dough allow the gluten to relax, making it easier to work with and preventing shrinkage during baking.
9. Uniform Portions: Aim for uniform sizes when dividing the dough into balls for individual Manakeesh. This ensures even cooking.
10. Dimpling Technique: While shaping the dough into rounds, use your fingertips to create small holes and dimples on the surface. This enhances the Manakeesh’s appearance and helps the Za’atar topping adhere.
11. Quality Olive Oil: Use extra virgin olive oil for the dough and the Za’atar topping, preferably a high-quality variety. It contributes to the dough’s flavor and texture.
12. Preheating the Oven: Ensure your oven is fully preheated to the specified temperature before placing the Manakeesh inside. A properly heated oven ensures even baking.
By paying close attention to these tips and techniques, you’ll have the key to crafting outstanding Za’atar Manakeesh with a perfectly soft and flavorful dough that will impress anyone lucky to taste it.
Variations of Manakeesh recipe
Manakeesh recipe is incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in various forms, making it suitable for any time of day. This Middle Eastern flatbread offers a delightful canvas for a wide array of toppings, similar to pizza. Whether you’re preparing it for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a gathering, here are some delicious variations and topping ideas to explore:
- Za’atar Manakeesh: This classic version features a generous topping of Za’atar spice blend mixed with olive oil, creating a savory and aromatic treat.
- Cheese Manakeesh: Top your flatbread with a blend of cheeses, such as Akkawi or Halloumi, for a creamy and indulgent experience.
- Meat Lover’s Manakeesh: Sautéed ground meat with flavorful spices, onions, and tomatoes creates a hearty and satisfying option.
- Vegetarian Delight: Load up your Manakish with a colorful assortment of fresh vegetables, such as bell peppers, olives, and onions, for a healthy and vibrant twist.
- Egg and Cheese Combo: Scrambled eggs and a layer of cheese make for a filling and satisfying breakfast or brunch option.
- Spicy Sujuk Manakeesh: Sujuk, a flavorful and slightly spicy sausage, pairs wonderfully with the flatbread for a zesty kick.
- Sweet Manakeesh: Try drizzling honey over your Manakish or sprinkling it with cinnamon and sugar for a sweet treat.
- Nutella and Banana: Spread Nutella and top with banana slices for a delightful dessert-like variation.
The beauty of this Manakeesh recipelies in its adaptability, allowing you to cater to your tastes and preferences. Whether you prefer savory, cheesy, or sweet, there’s a Manakish variation for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Tell Me How I’m Doing?
If you’ve tried this delicious Manakeesh with Za’atar recipe, we’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below with your thoughts, variations, or any tips you’d like to share. Your feedback is invaluable to us.