After a Persian cuisine craze last year, I am still craving for more Middle Eastern cuisines. I had fallen in love with the ingredients they used just as much as how I missed having wonderful aroma in my kitchen. The thought of making this flatbread came when I wanna make use of my leftover sumac. "Instead of buying a ready made za'atar, why not use my sumac to make my own, and why do I need za'atar? Yes! Manakish!" I was talking to myself in monologue. Lol!
Bread is our 1st food. Until to this day, we are still eating bread, especially flatbread, in all shapes and forms all across the globe. It is fascinating! Munching down a flatbread, we can taste different kinds of ingredients from different countries and cultures. Especially the wonderful aroma that's coming out of the oven. I feel like I am walking down the streets of a Middle Eastern country.
I serve my manakish with a simple salad on the side. I couldn't find any fresh cucumber and mint in my local grocery store, so I replace them with shredded carrot and finely chopped coriander, respectively. I wanna keep this 100% vegan. I used a vegan feta cheese, which is a tofu based cheese and sprinkle all over my manakish. This is a fairly easy dish to make and I hope you will give this recipe a try and have your kitchen filled with amazing aroma.
(Make 4 manakish)
Lukewarm Water, 1/2 Cup
Active Instant Yeast, 1 + 1/8 TSP
Granulated Sugar, 1/2 TSP
Unbleached All Purpose Flour, 192g
Sea Salt, 1/2 TSP
Olive Oil, 2 TBSP + More For Greasing
Sumac, 1/8 Cup
Dried Thyme, 1.5 TBSP
Dried Oregano, 1.5 TBSP
Black Sesame Seeds, 1/4 TBSP
White Sesame Seeds, 3/4 TBSP
Sea Salt, Pinch
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 1/4 Cup
Red Radish Thinly Sliced, 4
Carrot Shredded, A Handful
Coriander Finely Minced, A Handful
Cherry Tomatoes Quatered, 6
Extra Virgin Olive Oil, A Drizzle
Sea Salt, Pinch
Black Pepper, Pinch
Fresh Lemon Juice, 1
Vegan Feta Cheese, A Few Pinches
Prepare the dough.
In a bowl, add water, yeast and sugar.
*The water has to be lukewarm If it is too warm, it will kill the yeast.*
Stir to dissolve the yeast and sugar.
Set aside for 10 mins.
In another large bowl, add flour and salt.
Stir to combine well.
Create a well in the middle.
By now the yeast should become foamy.
Gradually, pour the yeast mixture into the well while still mixing with your other hand or spatula.
Add in the olive oil.
Combine the mixture well until it becomes a dough. You can do this by hand or a spatula.
Once it becomes a dough, knead the dough inside the bowl until all the nooks and crannies of flour is kneaded into the dough, about 3 to 4 mins.
Transfer the dough onto a working surface and continue kneading for another 5 to 6 mins.
The dough should be soft, smooth and tacky, but not sticky. It should pass the "window-pane" test.
If the dough is too dry, add in water, 1 TBSP at a time. If the dough is too sticky, add in flour, 1 TBSP at a time.
Form the dough into a ball.
Lightly grease the dough ball with olive oil and transfer back into the bowl.
Cover with cling film and set aside for 2 hrs or until doubled in size.
While the dough is raising, prepare za'atar.
In a bowl, combine all the ingredients together.
Mix until well combined.
Prepare the salad.
In a bowl, toss everything together, except the vegan feta cheese.
Toss until well combined.
Set aside in the fridge until ready to use.
Prepare the manakish.
After it has doubled in size, divide into 4 equal dough balls with a weighing scale.
Cover with a damp lint free kitchen towel, lightly grease the dough balls with olive oil and set aside to rise for 30 mins for the 2nd raise.
Preheat oven to 205 degree celsius or 400 fahrenheit.
Lightly grease a baking tray with olive oil.
Lay parchment paper over the tray.
Transfer a dough ball onto the tray.
Using fingers to press the dough ball and form a 5" round disc.
Don't need to be a perfect circle.
Lastly press the disc with fingers to form dimples.
Spread 1 heaped TBSP of za'atar over the dough leaving a 1/8 inch border along the edge.
Repeat the process for the remaining dough balls.
Do not crowd the baking tray.
Bake the manakish in batches if have to.
Wack into the oven ad bake for about 15 to 20 mins or until is golden brown and crisp brown at the bottom.
The za'atar should be still liquidy.
Remove from oven and set aside on a wire cooling rack to cool down to allow the za'atar to soak into the dough, for about 15 mins.
Serve with salad on the side.
Sprinkle pinches of vegan feta cheese over the top.