Easy cheats manakeesh zaatar
Manakeesh is a staple snack in the Levantine household, it is our equivalent of the Italian pizza. We adore it and consume it freshly baked -with various toppings of zaatar, labneh, cheese or meat - and eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Wherever you travel in the middle east you find all bakeries preparing it fresh as it is a cheap snack on the go.
I have so many fond memories of eating this piping hot from a bakery in the old city of Damascus near the bzourieh spice market, I wonder if it still exists!
The traditional dough recipe calls for yeast and requires baking in the oven, this is my express cheat recipe as I don’t need to wait for the dough to proof, Ideal for quick snack ready for my children in under 20 minutes. I have opted to brown the sides with a blow torch as it lends the manakeeh the same flavour baking does. But this is optional.
I love it folded with a filling of sliced tomato, cucumber and fresh mint as it provides me with the crunch, the fibre and one of the five a day portions of vegetables or fruit.
Try experimenting with different toppings and even sweet ones like a chocolate spread.
Yield: 7 mediums
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Start to finish: 50 minutes
For the dough:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup of water warm
1 teaspoon salt
• Place all the dough ingredients in a bowl mix and once a ball has formed tip it on the work surface and knead it for 8 to 10 minutes until soft.
• Cover in plastic and let it rest for 10 minutes (optional)
• Cut the dough into several balls with a size of your choice and with a rolling pin roll it flat to a thickness of 2 to 3 mm.
• Heat the tava or a non-stick fry pan on medium heat and brush with olive oil then place the flattened disc on the tava and brush the surface with olive oil and sprinkle with zaatar.
• Cover to trap the heat inside and cook for about 2 minutes until the bottom has some brown marks about 2 minutes or so and the surface is cooked.
• With a blow torch, you can brown the sides which will give the same flavour as baking it in the oven. This is optional.
• Place some sliced tomato, cucumber and mint, fold and enjoy.
• This is my cheat dough as it does not need to rest as there is no yeast.
• If you are in a rush, you will still have successful results without resting it for 10 minutes.
• You must roll it thin for it to cook well.
• You can put any topping you like.
• You must cover it.
• This is best consumed fresh.
Per Serving: 287 Calories; 11g Fat (34.5% calories from fat); 6g Protein; 41g Carbohydrate; 1g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 375mg Sodium.