About this recipe:Having grown up in the Middle East, we have always had a great influence of Arab cuisine in our household.
Manakeesh was always the “holiday breakfast” for all the road trips during the National Day and Eid Holidays. I have fond memories of Dad taking us to this Bakery called Fawaris in Hamriya(Oman) and ordering Manakeesh with Zaatar, Cheese or Meat toppings to go . Watching them bake fresh Manakeesh at this Bakery was a whole new level of foodgasm.
I always thought this would be a very complicated recipe BUT it isnt. Few ingredients and an oven and we are good to go !
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In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in ½ cup of the warm water. Add the sugar and when it begins to froth, stir in the remaining water.
Add 3 cups of flour slowly and stir it vigorously. Let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes till it froths.
Stir in the salt and the 2 tbspns of the virgin olive oil and mix it well.
Gradually add the remaining 3 cups of flour (you may need a little less or more flour)until you have a dough that makes a perfect ball.
Keep kneading the dough continuously for a good 10-15 minutes till the dough becomes soft, very smooth and stops sticking to your fingers.
Pour the remaining 1 tbspn of oil on this round soft dough to grease it evenly .
Cover the doughball with clingfilm and leave for it to rise for 2-3 hours.
Meanwhile you can take the zaatar topping ingredients (or a cup of zaatar mixture ) and mix it in a small bowl to make it an oily mixture.
Once the dough has risen , you can roll the dough and divide into either small balls or 2-3 large balls ( we chose to make 2 big 12″ breads. If you wish to serve manakeesh as an appetizer for friends and family , you can make mini manakeesh breads served as small bites to eat.)
Roll out the ball on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of about ¼ inch and roll it to as big/small as you wish. Take a fork and poke it all over the bread avoiding the dough to puff up while being baked .
You can now preheat the oven to 250°C (450°F) for 15-20 minutes.
Place a greaseproof paper on a round baking tray and gently pick the stretched round dough and place it on top of the greaseproof paper.
Gently spread 1 spoon of the Zaatar mixture on the bread.
Zaatar bread is ready to bake. Place it in the preheated oven and let it bake for 5-10 minutes or until you can see slight browning.
Hot yumminess is ready to dive into.