Monday, February 03, 2020

Za'atar Bread

I recently read a novel about Palestinian refugees living in America, and a few generations of children (A Woman is No Man by Etaf Rum.) Near the end, the granddaughter of the original refugees learns to make her mother's recipe for za'atar from her grandfather. Za'atar seems to be able to refer to the spice blend - thyme, oregano, sumac, sesame seed - but also the flatbread/pita type bread with the spice blend mixed with olive oil that can be spread on top. The book seemed to refer to both, so I went search for a good recipe, and came across one that just makes four at a time, which seemed like a good fit. Instead of blending the spices, I used a preblended zatar (seems to be an alternate spelling) that I just happened to have on hand (thanks Pita House.)

Za'atar Bread
1.5 Cup (8.5 oz / 240g) All Purpose Flour
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Tsp Sugar
1 Tsp Yeast
1 Tbsp Sesame Seeds
1 Tbsp Dried Oregano
1 Tbsp Dried Basil
1 Tbsp Sumac
1/2 Tsp Salt


1- Heat 1/2 cup water to 110º F, 43º C for the dough.



1- Combine sugar and yeast in a large bowl.
2- Add 1/2 cup warm water, stir and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
3- In a separate bowl, mix flour and 1/2 tsp salt.
 4- Pour in 1 tbsp olive oil.
5- Gradually, Stir in the yeast mixture.
6- Knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes. Note: Add more water if needed.
7- Cover the bowl with a lid or plastic bag and allow to rest for an hour at room temperature.


8- Combine dried oregano, basil, sumac and sesame seeds.
9- Add 1/4 cup of olive oil and stir thoroughly.


10- Divide the dough in four and roll out into a thin round shape on a well floured working surface. 11- Top the dough with a thin layer of the topping.
12- Add a pinch of salt (Optional).
13- Preheat oven to 400º F (204º C), Place a flatbread pan and while preheating the oven.
14- Bake the bread for 8 minutes or as desired.

Notes from JennyBakes:

I added extra toasted sesame seeds and the recommended salt, and I would definitely do that again. I heated a flat cookie sheet in the oven when the oven preheated, and mine were small enough that I baked all four at once. (The video of the recipe shows them as a bit bigger than that.)

I ate one with my leftover carrot soup, a great combo.