My version of flatbread is dairy and egg free so it is suitable for anyone on a plant-based or vegan diet. It looks difficult but don't be afraid this is super easy to make at home and enjoy piping hot bread fresh out of the oven. In my video I mention that you could use either white flour or  wholemeal flour. I have made it both ways using strong bread flour or wholemeal flour and both taste delicious. I prefer to hand press my dough so they bake slightly fluffy. In Lebanon, manakish (also known as manakeesh and manaqish; singular manousheh) are rolled to be flat and are often eaten for breakfast and may be topped with the zaatar herb spices and eaten with cheese, or meat. Also if you roll it out for a flatter pocket style bread and used as a sandwich and delicious either on its own or stuffed it with a yummy salad.

Ingredients

  • 236ml (1 cup) lukewarm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 x 7g (2 tsp) of active dry yeast
  • 360g (3 cups) strong bread flour (can swap out for regular plain flour)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing

Za'atar  Spice topping

  • 3 tsp ground sumac
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • drizzle extra virgin olive oil

Method

  1. Combine the water, sugar, and yeast, and let it stand for about 10 minutes until foamy.
  2. Then combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. If using a stand mixer.  add the yeast and water mixture, and stir on low to start then a medium speed until to form a soft dough. If using your hands make a well in the centre of your flour and add in the wet ingredients and slowly combine. You will then need to knead this for about 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface until smooth.
  3. Place your round dough ball in a  lightly oiled/floured bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and leave the dough to rise in a warm, draft-free place for about 1.5 hours until it doubles in size.
  4. Preheat oven to 200˚c. Place a baking stone or baking sheet in the oven as it heats.
  5. Once risen, divide your dough it into 6-8 balls. Place the balls on a lightly floured baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap, and let stand for about 40 minutes.
  6. While you are waiting combine the za'atar topping ingredients in a small bowl.
  7. After 40 minutes flatten each ball of dough on a lightly floured surface, and press or roll it into an oval or circle. Rolling will create a better pocket opening.
  8. Press each flat bread with your fingertips to make little indentations for the topping to rest in. Drizzle some olive oil, and sprinkle 1 heaped teaspoon of Za'atar topping over each round, leaving a small border around the edges.
  9. Bake for 8 minutes until lightly browned and crisp
  10. Depending on the size of your oven and baking stone or baking sheet(s), you may need to do several batches. Cut into strips or serve warm with your meal.