Today, I have got another popular flatbread recipe for you. This Mediterranean Cheese & Za’atar Manakeesh is served for breakfast. It is simple to make, delicious, and excellent for kids’ lunches.
Manakeesh( Manakish) is a Mediterranean / middle-eastern flatbread topped with cheese, za’atar, or meat. This flatbread is had during breakfast. However, it also can be served as a light lunch or a snack.
I enjoy having cheese & za’atar manakeesh with some Labne, cucumber, olives, and sliced tomatoes for breakfast. It is a soft flatbread topped with some cheese(akawi/mozzarella) and za’atar spice and lovely with a cup of tea or coffee.
If you enjoy manakeesh, you will also like Fatayer: a popular middle eastern cheese pie recipe on the blog.
Click on the link to Find more Middle Eastern Recipes on the blog
During summer it is extremely hot here. But it doesn’t stop me from baking because summer and winter breaks are when I bake constantly. However, this time the weather is off. It’s draining my energy level, and I feel so tired quickly. Nevertheless, it’s been a while since I made Manakeesh, so I like baking a couple of batches of these and freezing them. These are wonderful for kids’ lunches. Since it’s summer vacation and back to school is in a few weeks, I thought of baking some and freezing them.
Ingredients to make Cheese & Za’atar Manakeesh
For The dough
Flour- Regular all-purpose flour is used in the recipe. If you prefer a chewier texture, you can use bread flour.
Yeast – The recipe calls for instant yeast. You can surely use active dry yeast. However, the dough will take longer to rise.
Sugar – I used 1 teaspoon. If you don’t like sugar, you can leave it out.
Salt – Salt helps with the bread structure and adds flavor.
Olive oil – I used extra virgin olive oil. You can replace it with regular olive oil or vegetable oil.
Water – since the weather is hot here, I used room temperature water. If you live in a cold place, you can use warm water(the temperature at 110°C ).
Depending on the flour and the weather conditions, you might need more or less water.
Toppings for Manakeesh
Za’atar is a spice mix made with dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds, and sumac, and some blends contain coriander and cumin. When you are buying za’atar, always buy a good quality one.
Cheese manakeesh: is traditionally topped with Akawi & Kashkaval cheese. However, Mozzarella & Feta cheese works well too. At times, I like topping it with a blend of mozzarella, cheddar & parmesan cheese.
You can garnish the flatbreads with sesame/ nigella seeds or chopped parsley.
Za’atar spice mix
Extra Virgin olive oil
shredded mozzarella cheese /Akawi cheese
Feta cheese crumbled
How to make Za’atar & Cheese Manakeesh
Mixing the dough and resting: is very important before you start shaping them. Resting helps to develop more flavor. You can make this dough ahead of time and rest it in the fridge for up to 2 days.
I like making mini manakeesh which is easier to put in a lunch box and a lovely size for tea, but you can make large or medium ones depending on your preferences.
You can roll the dough into a regular circle or crimp the edges if you like. I did both.
Add the topping once: you have placed the rolled dough discs on the sheet pan. Adding the topping before and transferring the topped flatbread to the sheet pan can be difficult. I learned it the hard way.
Just combine all the ingredients by hand or in a stand mixer.
Rest the dough for 1 hour or until double in size. Next, deflate the dough.
Divide the dough in half and then each half into 10 equal size balls.
Shape and place them covered, and rest them for 10 minutes.
Roll each ball of dough/ stretch with your fingertips into about 4-inch circles. Place the circles on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan.
Top it with Za’atar mix/cheese.
Bake at 374F/190C for 10 – 12 minutes or until slightly golden on the edges.
- For the dough
- 500g/ 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 7g / 2 1/4 teaspoon Instant Yeast
- 5g / 1 teaspoon Granulated sugar
- 5g / 1 teaspoon salt
- 60ml / 4 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil/ regular olive oil
- 375ml / 1 1/2 cups water
- For the Za'atar Topping
- 90g / 6 Tablespoons Za'atar spice mix
- 70ml / 5 Tablespoons olive oil
- For the Cheese Topping
- 180g / 1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 100g / 1/2 cup Feta cheese crumbled
- Add flour, yeast, and sugar to a large bowl and mix well.
- Now add the salt and mix.
- Next, pour in the water and olive oil.
- Just combine all the ingredients by hand or in a stand mixer.
- Coat the dough and the bowl with olive oil.
- Cover and let it rest in a warm place for 1 hour or until double in size.
- Meanwhile, prep the za'atar mix by adding za'atar and olive oil together and mix it. Preheat the oven to 374F/190C during the last 20 minutes of the proofing time.
- After the resting period, deflate the dough.
- Divide the dough in half and then each half into 10- equal size balls.
- Shape and place them in the same bowl cover, and rest them for 10 minutes.
- Roll each ball of dough/ stretch with your fingertips into about 4-inch circles. Place the circles on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan.
- Top it with Za'atar mix/cheese.
- Bake at 374F/190C for 10 - 12 minutes or until slightly golden on the edges.
- Serve warm with a cup of tea /coffee.
Freezer Instructions- Cool them completely, place the manakeesh in a freezer ziplock bag, and freeze them for 3 months.