Manakish zaatar is a delicious Middle Eastern flatbread topped with zaatar spice. Learn how to make this delicious bread from scratch with just a few ingredients.
From Persian barbari and Turkish simit to pide and lavash, bread is a staple of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. This zaatar manakish is one of my favorites because the zaatar spice gives it such a unique flavor. I encourage everyone to try it!
Manakish, also known as manoushe, is a Middle Eastern flatbread made with a soft dough and topped with zaatar. Manakish zaatar has Palestinian originality and is commonly found in many Arabic countries such as Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.
This bread is perfect for breakfast, brunch, or as a midday snack. Many families throughout the Middle East make it on a daily basis.
What is zaatar?
Zaatar is a Middle Eastern spice of Palestinian origins. It's a combination of several spices including sumac (mostly common in Lebanese zaatar), thyme, oregano, sesame seeds, marjoram and salt. It has a complex earthy and herbal flavor.
Learn how to make zaatar at home on Bon Appetit.
Make the dough
In a large bowl mix flour, instant yeast, salt, water and olive oil. Once the dough comes together, knead well for almost 10 minutes. Rub a little bit of olive oil all over the dough, place it in the bowl and cover with a plastic wrap and a kitchen towel. Let it rise for 90 minutes.
Shape the dough
After 90 minutes, the dough should have doubled in size. Punch down the dough to release the extra air and knead it a little bit. Divide the dough into several small balls and roll them out to ½ inch thickness. Using your fingers, form a circle in the middle of the dough, one inch away from the edges of the flatbread.
Bake the bread
Brush each piece of dough lightly with olive oil and sprinkle a generous amount of zaatar on the dough disk. Place the disks in a baking sheet and bake manakish zaatar in the oven at 400F for 10 to 15 minutes until the edges are golden brown.
Manakish zaatar has a very versatile flavor profile. You can simply serve it on the side of most proteins or as part of a mezze platter. It also goes well with these recipes:
Notes and tips
- Make sure your yeast is not expired, or else it won't proof. In this manakish recipe I have used instant yeast which can be added directly to the dry ingredients. If you're using active dry yeast, proof it with warm water before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
- You can use half whole wheat and half all purpose flour.
- You can easily freeze zaatar manakish. After completely cooling off, layer each piece with parchment paper and wrap tightly in a plastic wrap. To thaw, place them on a baking sheet and turn the oven to 250F. Heat for twenty to thirty minutes until they're warm.
- The size of each piece of bread is up to you. I usually make them pretty small so we can have them as a to-go snack.
- 2 ½ cup all purpose flour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp instant yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 4 tbsp olive oil extra to brush on the bread
- ⅓ cup zaatar more if needed
- Mix all purpose flour, salt and instant yeast in a large bowl.
- Add warm water and olive oil to the flour mixture and mix well until it forms into a dough.
- Knead for some minutes until it's not very sticky anymore.
- Rub some olive oil on it and place it in a large bowl. Cover and let it rise for one hour and half.
- After 90 minutes, the dough must be doubled in size. Preheat the oven to 400F. Coat a baking sheet with some olive oil.
- Punch the dough to release the extra air and knead the dough for some minutes.
- Divide the dough into eight pieces. Roll out each piece to ½ inch thickness and make indentations around the disk.
- Brush some olive oil and then sprinkle zaatar on the disk.
- Bake in the oven for 10 minutes until it's lightly golden brown.
- Serve warm or at room temperature.
- Make sure your yeast is not expired otherwise it won't proof. In this manakish recipe I have used instant yeast which can be added directly to the dry ingredients. If you're using active dry yeast, proof it with warm water before adding it to the rest of the ingredients.
- You can use half whole wheat and half all purpose flour to make this middle eastern bread.
- You can easily freeze zaatar manakish. After they completely cool down, layer them with parchment papers and wrap tightly in a plastic wrap. To thaw, place them on a baking sheet and turn the oven to 250F. Heat for twenty to thirty minutes until they're warm.
- Manakish zaatar can be made in different sizes. I usually make them pretty small so we can have them as a to go snack.