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Friday, May 10, 2019

Man’oushe (Za’atar Flatbread) (Lebanese)

A flatbread laid on very thin and crispy, baked in a very hot oven, with its top really covered in olive oil and za'atar. Since I love za'atar enough to eat it raw or on toasted bread with olive oil, this is the upgraded version of my go-to snack, and it's a dream come true.
It's delicious enough to munch on it as it is, but it also makes for a great side for soups, dips, veggie stews and any other Lebanese or Middle Eastern food.
Recipe source: David Lebovitz

Last year: nothing.
Two years ago: nothing.
Three years ago: nothing.
Four years ago: Spaghetti Bolognese (Italian).
Five years ago: Crushed peas with smoky sesame (tahini) dressing.
Six years ago: Strawberry and white chocolate mousse cake (no bake).
Seven years ago: Carrot and feta rosti (fritters) with raita (Indian-style).
Eight years ago: Lemon panacota with orange caramel and vanilla panacota with strawberries (Italian)Pasta Primavera (Italian-American) and Lemon balm cream trout with baked asparagus.

Ingredients (for 6 flatbreads):
Flatbread Dough:
  • 1 cup (250ml) tepid water (slightly warmer than room temperature)
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups (350g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt

Za’atar Topping:
  • 1/4 cup (40g) za’atar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) extra-virgin olive oil

1. To make the dough, in a bowl of a stand mixer (if mixing by hand, use a large bowl), sprinkle the yeast over the water along with the sugar and let sit in a warm place until the yeast starts to bubble, about 10 minutes.

2. Stir in the olive oil, flour, and salt. If using a stand mixer, use the dough hook attachment. If mixing by hand, stir with a wood spoon or spatula until it becomes too thick to stir, then turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter. Knead the dough in the machine on medium-high speed, or by hand, until the dough forms a smooth ball, but is slightly sticky when you touch it with your finger. It’ll take about 5 minutes and will pull away from the sides of the mixer bowl. Cover the dough in the bowl with a kitchen towel, and let rise in a warm place until the dough doubles in volume, about 1 and a half hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 500ºF/260ºC and move the oven rack to the upper third of the oven. Otherwise, line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

4. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured working surface and divide the dough into six pieces. Roll each piece of dough into a small oval, rolling it just until each starts to resist. When each one does, set it aside on the countertop and begin rolling another. Continue to roll each of the six pieces of dough into ovals, stopping when the dough starts stretching back on itself.

5. When ready to bake, take the first oval of dough and roll it out to its final size, adding a bit more flour if necessary to keep it from sticking to the counter or rolling pin, turning it over a few times to ensure it’s not sticking. Roll it until it’s about 12-inch long by 4- or 5-inches wide (30cm by 10- to 12cm).

6. Spread the oval with a layer of the za’atar mixture, about 1 1/2 tablespoons per flatbread leaving, not quite reaching the edge so there’s space for a crust. Don’t worry about any bare spots when smearing on the za’atar: it doesn’t need to be perfect.

7. Lift the finished flatbread with your hands, or slide a pizza peel dusted with flour underneath, and transfer the flatbread on the baking steel or stone. Continue rolling and topping the rest of the flatbreads, baking each until the crust is golden brown, about 7 minutes.

Allow them to be cool enough to handle and transfer to a serving platter. Slice them up if you want, and serve warm or at room temperature. I personally prefer them warm, but they are commonly eaten cold, too.

It's done, dig in! :)

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