I love the simplicity, authenticity and deliciousness of this flavorful Manakeesh – Lebanese Zaatar Bread, also known here in Europe as Lebanese Pizza. It’s fairly easy to make your own batter to reward yourself with a warm, hearty Manakeesh for breakfast. This one is one of Lebanon’s traditional recipes, which can also be found in neighboring countries. There are a thousand and one names for this typical bread with Lebanese spices: Manak, Manaïch, Man’ouché, Man’ich and so on…
What is Zaatar?
The Lebanese zaatar spice plays a central role in this bread recipe. Because it gives the flatbread its full, spicy taste.
Zaatar is a Middle Eastern spice blend made primarily from thyme, sumac, and sesame. Of course, every family or region has its own recipe, so in other parts of the Middle East you can also find cumin, oregano and marjoram in the zaatar spice mixes. You can make zaatar yourself, but you can also easily find it in Arabic supermarkets or health food stores.
When the dough rises, you can shape it into a large loaf, or divide it into 4 to 6 equal parts. This then makes a single serving that you can then share with the whole family for breakfast or lunch. If you are perhaps expecting guests and planning a small buffet, you can also cut the dough into smaller pieces and serve manakeesh as a snack or appetizer. It’s easier and much quicker to make larger ones that you can then slice up like a pizza.
Once you have the dough on the baking sheet, you can prepare the zaatar mixture at your leisure. Here it is up to you whether you mix the zaatar with the olive oil beforehand or first brush the bread with olive oil and then sprinkle the zaatar mixture on top. The only important thing is that you spread it evenly in the middle of the dough and leave the edges free.
Then bake them in the preheated oven until golden on the edges and lightly. They will puff up and spread slightly as they cook (keep this in mind if you’re baking multiple small Manakeesh at once). The result is a flavorful and crunchy zaatar bread that’s packed with warm spices and amazing flavor. Enjoy it hot or cold, although lukewarm is best.
What to eat with Manakeesh – Lebanese Zaatar Bread
Now that you’ve baked this delicious Lebanese Golden Crust Manakeesh, how should you serve it?
It’s typically eaten for breakfast or brunch, topped with halloumi (which can be baked on top of the bread), akkawi (semi-hard, brined cheese made from cow’s, goat’s, or sheep’s milk), and most famously, labneh (Lebanese cream cheese).
We enjoy it as part of a hearty breakfast with lots of fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, spring onions and olives, along with cheese. Everything is diced and spread on the bread.
Recipes similar to Manakeesh – Lebanese Zaatar Bread and Zaatar Spice:
- Make your own Zaatar spice mix
- Iranian Nan-E Barbari Recipe
- vegan spelled rolls
- more bread and roll recipes
Manakeesh – Lebanese Zaatar Bread
- 1 pack dry yeast*
- 180 ml lukewarm water
- 4 tbsp. native olive oil*
- 250 G flour
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp kosher salt*
- 2 tbsp. native olive oil* for the baking sheet
- 2 tbsp. native olive oil*
- 4 tbsp. zaatar* Make zaatar yourself click here
- Mix the yeast and sugar with the warm water in a bowl and leave for a few minutes until small bubbles form.
- Now mix in 4 tablespoons of olive oil, flour and salt and knead into a smooth dough.
- Cover the dough and let it rise in a bowl greased with a little oil for about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C.
- Grease a baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and place the dough in the middle.
- Flatten in a circle with your fingers and make small indentations in the dough with your fingertips.
- Brush dough with 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle zaatar on top.
- Bake the flatbread for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the desired degree of browning, until light to golden brown.