MANAKISH

Also spelled manaqish or manakeesh in its plural form, man’ousheh or mankousheh in its singular form, this flat bread is from the Levantine cuisine (Lebanon, Syria, Palestine…). It is usually topped with zaatar : a mix of spices like sumac, sesame seeds, dried herbs and olive oil. But it can also be topped with cheese or ground meat.

Its origin comes from the ancient Phoenicia (2500 BC – 539 BC) where people would make stone wheels and crush wheat into flour in order to make bread. The dough was usually made by women and baked in the morning in communal oven. They would make smaller portions of dough, topped with eggs and cheese to give to the family for breakfast.

Nowadays, manakish are eaten from breakfast to dinner, going through snacks as well. They are baked on order, folded in 2 and wrapped in newspapers. A manakish cost around 1750 LBP which is worth around 1£.

Manakish

This is the perfect bread for appetizers or for a brunch. It’s also as easy to make as it is tasty.
TYPE: Bread
COUNTRY: Lebanon
YIELD: 4 manakish
KNEADING: 10 mins
FERMENTATION: 2 hrs 30 mins
BAKING: 5 mins
TOTAL TIME: 2 hrs 45 mins

INGREDIENTS

For the manakish mix

  • 250 g white bread flour
  • 140 g water at room temp.
  • 5 g salt
  • 10 g honey
  • 3 g fresh yeast or 1g dried yeast
  • 25 g liquid starter
  • 15 g olive oil

For the zaatar topping

  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 30 g olive oil
  • 1 zest of half a lemon

INSTRUCTIONS

For the manakish mix

  1. Mix everything together for 3min in 1st speed then 7min in 2nd speed.
  2. Let it rest for 1 hour.
  3. Divide the dough in 4 pieces.
  4. Ball them.
  5. Let it rest 30 min at room temperature then 1 hour in the fridge.
  6. On a floured bench, roll the dough very thinly.
  7. Brush generously the zaatar mix on top before baking.
  8. If you are the happy owner of a bread oven, stone oven or pizza oven, bake the dough at high temperature, between 280°C and 300°C, during 3 to 5 minutes.
  9. If you have a normal oven, put the heat to the highest temperature (which would be 250°C) and bake for around 8 minutes.
  10. Another cool way to bake it is on a tray on top of a fire, like a barbecue.
  11. To be eaten right after baking. Enjoy!

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