Zaater Cheese Manakeesh (also known as manaqish and manakish; singular manousheh)is a common traditional breakfast in the Middle Eastern countries. This breakfast is enjoyed not only by the native people but also the expatriates. Basically it is a flatbread with Zaatar mix and olive oil topping. There are various other options for the topping such Labnah or spinach. It is very easy to make except for the rising time needed. Zaatar is a mix of thyme, sesame and sumac powder (red berry powder having a subtle lemony flavour) which is mixed with olive oil and spread on the Manakeesh.
Yield / Serves
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Refined flour (maida) 350 grams equivalent to 2 & 1/2 cups
Active dry yeast 1 teaspoon
Sugar 1 teaspoon
Salt 1 teaspoon
Lukewarm water 250ml
Extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon
More maida for dusting
FOR ZAATAR MIX: Dried thyme 2 teaspoon, ground sumac 1 teaspoon, toasted sesame seeds 1 tablespoon, olive oil 4 -5 tablespoons
OR use ready zaatar mix if available about 40 grams and mix with olive oil
CHEESE: Grated Akkawi cheese around 1 cup. You can also use halloumi cheese, cheddar or mozzarella which ever is available locally.
In a bowl combine yeast, sugar and lukewarm water. Cover and keep aside for 10 minutes
In another wide mixing bowl take refined flour, salt and oil.
Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture and mix to form a dough
Turn out the dough onto a floured surface and knead for 5 minutes until the dough is elastic and smooth.
Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with damp cloth or cling/wrap film. Leave it for 1 and 1/2 hour until dough doubles in size.
When the dough has doubled, take it on a work surface and punch down to remove the air.
Divide the dough into equal parts and shape into balls.
Again cover these balls for 20 to 30 minutes for a second rise.
On a floured surface flatten each ball with a rolling pin to approximately 6" diameter discs.
Place the discs on a baking tray.
Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius
Combine Zaatar mix and olive oil to make the topping.
Spread zaatar-oil mix on one half and cheese on the other half of each flattened disc leaving 1/2" border all around.
Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes until golden.
Serve hot (Yields about 10 Manakeesh)
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