There is one bread responsible for Sofra Bakery‘s existence, and it’s called manoushe (or sometimes man’aeesh). Za’atar is a spice mixture made from sesame seeds, thyme, dried sumac, and salt. Sofra baker, Maura Kilpatrick’s favorite way to eat the yeasted flatbread is to fill it with pickles and herbs, fold it over itself like a taco, and chomp through the alternating spicy and tart layers while walking down the street. Get the lowdown on 5 types of Eastern Mediterranean Flatbreads, here!
- 1 cup warm water, plus more as needed
- 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
- 2 tablespoons (36 grams) honey
- 3 cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons (9 grams) kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ to ¾ cup (100 to 150 grams) extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ to ¾ cup za’atar
- Kosher salt
- Combine the water, yeast, and honey in the bowl of a stand mixer and whisk by hand. Set aside until foamy, 5 minutes.
- Add the flour, salt, and olive oil. Using the dough hook, knead on low speed until a smooth dough is formed, 5 minutes. If the dough is a little stiff, you may need to add an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons water.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and, using your hands, knead into a smooth ball. Place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
- Divide the dough into six equal pieces. Lightly flour a work surface and place the balls of dough on the work surface to rest. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 45 minutes.
- Lightly flour a work surface. Brush a baking sheet with 2 tablespoons olive oil.
- Roll each ball into a 5- to 6-inch circle and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush each dough circle with olive oil, sprinkle with a generous tablespoon of za’atar, and drizzle with a tablespoon of olive oil. Lightly salt each za’atar bread.
- Cover with plastic wrap and set aside to rise for 20 to 30 minutes. The dough should spring back when you touch it with your finger.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Bake the breads until they just start to brown around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. These are best served warm.
Recipe excerpted from the Sofra Bakery cookbook, Soframiz: Vibrant Middle Eastern Recipes from Sofra Bakery & Cafe (Ten Speed Press, 2016).