Zaatar Manakeesh

Herby Zaatar Manakeesh

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Zaatar Manakeesh are an all time brunch favourite of mine, I could eat this every morning without ever getting bored  but unfortunately they do take a little time to make, so these airy clouds of heaven are reserved for the weekends.


Don’t let the prep time put you off, while the dough inevitably takes some time to proof it’s an extremely simple recipe (and quite relaxing to work out the issues of the week on the dough!).

It has taken me a while to get the dough right, I tried a drier version at first which turned out to be a little dense and chewy. After a few more experiments, increasing the ratio of oil and water to flour, I arrived at this recipe. It’s fluffy and light and is a perfect counterpoint to the aromatic zaatar.

In the Middle East (particularly the Levant) zaatar can be found as a wild herb, closely related to thyme and oregano, which is eaten raw in salads or, as in this case, a spice blend where dried zaatar is mixed with sumac, toasted sesame seeds and salt.

Zaatar Manakeesh

Interestingly, fresh zaatar will not grow outside of the Middle East, people have tried to cultivate it elsewhere but it steadfastly refuses to thrive: a truly regional herb!

Helpful Hints

When making these manakeesh (topped flat breads in Arabic), be sure not to add too much oil to the zaatar mix; I’ve made this mistake myself and the result is heavier than you’d wish for breaking fast).

A pizza stone will help with the manakeesh to bake evenly and develop and good crust (and then you have an excuse to make pizzas!).

Herby Zaatar Manakeesh

These zaatar manakeesh are light, fluffy and truly moorish. Make them when you have friends over for brunch and you’ll have trouble getting rid of them.

  • Prep Time15 min
  • Cook Time10 min
  • Total Time25 min
  • Ready in1h 30min
  • Serving Size8
  • Cuisine
    • Middle Eastern
  • Course
  • Suitable for Diet
    • Vegetarian


The Dough

  • 750 g Bread Flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 450 ml Water
  • 1 tsp Instant yeast
  • 1 tsp Sugar
  • 50 ml Olive oil

The Topping

  • 4 tbsp Oilive Oil
  • 6 tbsp Zaatar


The Dough

  1. Place the flour and salt into a bowl or the mixing bowl of a stand mixer, and mix well.
  2. In another bowl place the remaining ingredients except the oil sand stir. Leave to sit for 10 minutes to allow the the yeast to activate.
  3. Once the yeast has activated leave pour the mixture over the flour and add the olive oil. kneed for about 10 minutes until you have a smooth elastic dough.
  4. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise for about an hour.
  5. Once the dough has risen dust a clean surface with some flour, turn the dough onto the surface and kneed slightly to remove most of the air.
  6. Cut the dough into 8 equal pieces and form each one into a small ball. (make sure to keep them covered with a damp cloth)
  7. Roll them out in circles about 0.5 cm thick


  1. Preheat the oven to full (and warm up the pizza stone on the lowest shelf if you are using one)
  2. Mix the zaatar and oil together and spread a thin even layer over the dough leaving about 0.5cm around the edge.
  3. Bake in the oven for about 7 – 10 minutes or until the edge are an even light brown.
  4. Place them on a cooling rack for about 5 minutes to cool and to avoid a soggy bottom.


This is an extra note from author. This can be any tip, suggestion or fact related to the recipe.

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