Manakish is a Mediterranean recipe that resembles Italian flatbread and is made with a straightforward dough recipe. You can find them ready-made in most Lebanese or generally Arabic restaurants or bakeries, but nothing beats the taste of fresh homemade Manakish! One of the most popular toppings for Manakish is an organic extra virgin olive oil and zaatar spread. Zaatar is a spice blend made of sumac, sesame seeds and thyme. Other variations of zaatar may include oregano, cumin or marjoram. Manakish are usually served for breakfast or lunch and can be baked with different toppings like cheese or minced meat with the same flatbread recipe.
You can serve zaatar manakish for breakfast with halloumi cheese, akawi cheese or labneh. Labneh is actually one of the best things to eat with zaatar since it has a very light flavour and texture that goes very well with it. It’s also nice to eat zaatar manakish with a hummus dip or vegetables on the side like cucumbers, olive, tomatoes and green onions. For breakfast or brunch, drink some tea with your manakish for a full flavourful manakish experience. Zaatar manakish can last for eight days in the fridge in an airtight container if you freeze them after they’re baked. Simply warm or toast the manakish when you’re ready to eat them.
Activate the yeast in warm water in a large bowl and allow 10 minutes for it to proof.
Add the sugar, salt and organic extra virgin olive oil to a bowl and mix well using a wooden spoon until combined. Wait for a couple of minutes then add the flour with the wet ingredients and mix with a spoon until the dough becomes more hardened and not easy to blend.
Transfer the mixture to a floured surface and knead the dough with your hand to form a ball-shaped dough.
Place the mixture back into the same organic extra virgin olive oil-coated bowl and cover with a towel or a plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to rise for 40-55 minutes.
Mix the zaatar with the organic extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl until it forms a spreadable and consistent mixture.
Preheat the oven to 450° F and place a baking sheet with parchment paper on the surface.
Divide the dough into 5-7 equal parts, based on the size you prefer. Spread the pieces into a round flat disc using your fingers, about 1.5-inch thickness.
Place 1 to 2 tablespoons of zaatar spread on each dough and use the back of the spoon to spread it evenly. Place the manakish on the prepared baking sheet and bake in the preheated oven for about 10 to 13 minutes, until the dough turns light golden in colour and puffs slightly.
Enjoy it warm with labneh and vegetables or freeze it for later use.