Manakeesh(Zaatar Bread )

Having grown up in the Middle East, we have always had a great influence of Arabic cuisine in our household.

Manakeesh was always the “holiday breakfast” for all the road trips during the National Day and Eid Holidays. I have fond memories of Dad taking us to this Bakery called Fawaris  in Hamriya(Oman) and ordering Manakeesh  with Zaatar, Cheese or Meat toppings to go . Watching them bake fresh Manakeesh at this Bakery was a whole new level of foodgasm.

I always thought this would be a very complicated recipe but it isn’t. Just a few ingredients and an oven and we are good to go !


For bread:

  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 2½ cups of lukewarm water
  • ¼ Teaspoon sugar
  • 6 cups of white bread flour/ all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil

For the Zaatar topping

  • ½ cup dried thyme
  • ½ cup sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of powdered sumac (optional)
  • ¾ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

** You can also just pick up a packet of zaatar from any nearby store and use 1 cup of it instead**


  1. In a large bowl, dissolve the yeast in ½ cup of the warm water. Add the sugar and when it begins to froth, stir in the remaining water.
  2. Add 3 cups of flour slowly and stir it vigorously. Let the mixture rest for 10-15 minutes till it froths.
  3. Stir in the salt and the 2 tbspns of the virgin olive oil and mix it well.
  4. Gradually add the remaining 3 cups of flour (you may need a little less or more flour)until you have a dough that makes a perfect ball.
  5. Keep kneading the dough continuously for a good 10-15 minutes till the dough becomes soft, very smooth and stops sticking to your fingers.
  6. Pour the remaining 1 tbspn of oil on this round soft dough to grease it evenly .
  7. Cover the doughball with clingfilm and leave for it to rise for 2-3 hours.
  8. Meanwhile you can take the zaatar topping ingredients (or a cup of zaatar mixture ) and mix it in a small bowl to make it an oily mixture.
  9. Once the dough has risen , you can roll the dough and divide into either small balls or 2-3 large balls ( we chose to make 2 big 12″ breads. If you wish to serve manakeesh as an appetizer for friends and family , you can make mini manakeesh breads served as small bites to eat.)
  10. Roll out the ball on a floured surface with a floured rolling pin to a thickness of about ¼ inch and roll it to as big/small as you wish. Take a fork and poke it all over the bread avoiding the  dough to puff up while being baked .
  11. You can now preheat the oven to 250°C (450°F) for 15-20 minutes.
  12. Place a greaseproof  paper on a round baking tray and gently pick the stretched round dough and place it on top of the greaseproof paper.
  13. Gently spread 1 spoon of the Zaatar mixture on the bread.


  1.  Zaatar bread is ready to bake. Place it in the preheated oven and let it bake for 5-10 minutes or until you can see slight browning.
  2. Hot yumminess is ready to dive into.



One Comment Add yours

  1. Ayoodcooks says:

    Reblogged this on My World of Recipes and commented:

    Zaatar Bread


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