Middle Eastern ‘Maneesh’ flatbreads and the joys of za’atar..

IMG_7124Wednesday was the day of my monthly lunch club, there was 8 of us round the table, and this month my menu was:

Sourdough bread
Zaalouk with green peas
Dips & sauces

It was lovely to share my bread making and wonderful to see them all enjoying it; I was so proud of my loaves I almost couldn’t bear to slice them! I made one white loaf and one 50/50 wholemeal/white loaf and followed Selma’s instructions and proved the dough over 3 days and the flavour was truly enhanced 🙂

IMG_7174I’ll tell you more about the zaalouk and shakshuka in my next post, today I want to tell you about my Maneesh and the wonders of za’atar.

IMG_7159Za’atar is a Middle Eastern herb and spice mix containing thyme, sumac, sesame seeds and salt; it is usually mixed with olive oil and bread is dipped into it – or just dip a spoon into it and enjoy it like I do!!! In Lebanon they believe that za’atar is brain food so za’atar and olive oil is spread onto ‘Khobez’ flatbreads which are rolled up and eaten for breakfast or as a snack or given to children before school to boost their minds!

Maneesh are thin breads spread with za’atar and olive oil and baked, and are LOVELY!! These are traditional Maneesh, there are now all sorts of versions available of course. I made them this week for my lunch guests and made versions with za’atar only, some with Lebanese akkawi soft cheese, which I bought in the Middle Eastern supermarket last weekend, and some with a bit of both.

IMG_7175Basically, use any dough recipe, add a tablespoon extra of sugar, roll the dough thin, about 3mm thick, spread them with za’atar and bake them for 8-10 minutes; that’s how I made my little ones. You can also make Maneesh the size of a pizza and cut it into slices.

Za’atar is also very tasty stirred through vegetables and roasted, as I did earlier in the week with butternut squash and sweet potato..


IMG_7070Or of course, stirred into dips..

IMG_7126..this one contains roasted aubergine, yoghurt, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, za’atar and olive oil.

I hope you like the sound of za’atar and what I’ve done with it recently. I’m bringing these goodies to this week’s Fiesta Friday, now in its second year and thriving! This week we have two brand new co hosts, Sonal and Josette, do come along and join them and everyone else, and marvel at the amazing skill of so many home cooks and food bloggers. One day I will feel worthy of bringing my food to the same table as so much amazing food!

Happy Friday and have a great weekend xx


57 thoughts on “Middle Eastern ‘Maneesh’ flatbreads and the joys of za’atar..

  1. Safia

    Another fan of zataar here! I love the big Manaeesh from one of the excellent bakeries we have nearby. They do one that’s half cheese, half zataar – ideal for lunch on the run. Your homemade small ones look just as delicious mind you. Thanks for sharing them and your other uses of zataar.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. thebrookcook

    Wow! What a fortunate lunch club!! Your bread looks absolutely amazing- and then the za’atar…. Fabulous!! I wish I was closer to that Middle Eastern market- what fun! Thanks for bringing this deliciousness to share with us at Fiesta Friday this week! Enjoy the party 🙂 Josette

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Loretta

    You continue to amaze me with all the beautiful dishes you produce without meat :). Love middle eastern flavors, and I will say the lunch club no doubt polished up all those plates of goodness.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. carolinescookingblog

    These look great! I have been looking for za’atar recently as I have so many things I want to try it with but haven’t managed to find any, I will keep hunting as I love the sound of these little breads. They look great! And I wish I had a lunch club too 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Fiesta Friday #54 | The Novice Gardener

    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      Thank you honey 🙂
      I did refer briefly to how to make the Maneesh in the post…its basically just a slightly sweetened dough recipe, rolled out, cut into circles, the za’atar in olive oil spread over the top and baked x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. thevenerable1

    I’m not absolutely sure I really do like this one, Elaine: your saying “One day I will feel worthy of bringing my food to the same table as so much amazing food!” is enough to make me want to give you a Liverpool kiss ! Your food is wonderful, and so is your photography concerning it; I am already madly impressed ! (and I’m willing to bet I ain’t alone in that) 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  7. kellie anderson

    Impossibly delicious uses for my favourite spice mix (as you well know!). I have been lazy and just slapped it on bought bread, for warming through but I must not be so thoughtless with such a beautiful collection of of flavours. Reading this at nearly 4 am is killing me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Elaine @ foodbod Post author

      Hi, as with everything, there’s differing recipes/versions but if you go with equal amounts of sumac, dried thyme, dried oregano and roasted sesame seeds plus some salt to taste it should be good. Some have additional dried marjoram, some have extra sumac, some have extra thyme, some have ground cumin…I think you need to play around and see what you like 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Pingback: Literally No-knead Sourdough Bread with Rye, Oats and Spelt

Let me know what you think..

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s