Manouche, also known as Manakish, is a popular Levantine bread topped with a thyme mixture (Za’atar), cheese, or ground meat. It is similar to a pizza and it can be sliced or folded. It is often served for breakfast, which makes this bread perfect for the Middle Eastern breakfast I had to prepare for this month’s Daring Cooks challenge. I have eaten amazing Za’atar Manouche here in Sydney, thanks to the fantastic Lebanese bakeries we have around here and I have always wanted to replicate it at home. It is delicious and the Za’atar and extra virgin olive oil mix on the top give it a hearty flavour. Try it at home, I am sure you will love it. It goes very well with all Middle Eastern dips like Hummus, Labneh, Muhammara and Ful Medames. Enjoy!
Za’atar Manouche - a popular Levantine bread topped with a thyme mixture (Za’atar).
- 375 gms - 3 cups all-purpose or bread flour
- 60 ml - 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 140 ml - 3/4 cup of water or a bit more, as needed, lukewarm
- 40 ml – 2 ½ tbsp milk
- 4 gms - 1 ½ tsp yeast
- ½ tbsp sugar or honey
- 3 tbsp Lebanese za’atar
- 60 ml – ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Mix the lukewarm water, honey (or sugar) and yeast together and keep it aside for 10 minutes to activate.
Place the flour, salt, yeast mixture, extra virgin olive oil and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a hook attachment. Knead until the dough is compact and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, flip it to coat it with oil and cover it. Set it in a warm spot to proof for 1 hour.
When ready to bake, divide the dough in 3 and roll it into 3 flat breads. Place them in 3 greased 23 cm – 9 inch cake pans (with 2.5 cm - 1 inch sides).
Bake in a very hot oven (230°C – 450°F) until the bread is puffed up and golden. 5 minutes before the bread is done, mix the za’atar with the extra virgin olive oil, and spread it on the manouche.
Put it back in the oven for the remainng 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
The cooking time depends on your oven and how hot it gets. I slightly overcooked mine and it became a bit brittle. Ideally, you want the manouche to be crisp but soft enough to roll it if you want to.