Some use a knife and fork, some use a spoon and some use chopsticks, but the best way by far to enjoy a dish, is if you can eat it with an edible spoon. This awesome Middle Eastern Flatbread is one of those edible eating utensils that make any other type of cutlery seem superfluous. Maneesh is a super easy, deliciously comforting flat bread topped with Za’atar (or other seeds and dried herbs you like) and is the perfect accompaniment to a mezze. Whether you’ve made some hummus, baba ganoush or a spicy harissa-yoghurt dip, everything will taste divine on this homemade bread.
I’m not an expert in the art of baking bread, but I can honestly say that this Maneesh recipe (adapted from baking God Paul Hollywood) is absolutely foolproof. The dough doesn’t need too long to proof, baking it into the oven requires only 15 minutes but transforms the house into a Middle Eastern Walhalla and eating it is even more gratifying. Soft in the middle, crunchy on the outside and the aroma of spice as the ultimate cherry on the cake. (Or in this case “the topping on the bread”)
So gather around some delicious dips, salted olives, refreshing salads, crumbly cheese and some friends to share it with, and start dunking your Maneesh!
You don’t even have to sit at a table. The only thing you need to start your dinner party are your fingers and your maneesh (and maybe possibly some napkins 😉 )
Ingredients (makes 4 flatbreads)
- 500gr strong white flour
- 10gr salt
- 25gr caster sugar
- 10gr instant yeast
- 20ml olive oil
- 360ml tepid water
For the topping:
- 2 tbsp za’atar
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 tbsp sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp dried thyme
- 1 tbsp oregano
- Mix together the flour, salt, sugar and yeast. Add the olive oil and 250ml of water. Mix the ingredients together with your fingers. Gradually add the remaining water until all the flour has come away from the sides of the bowl and you have a soft dough.
- Pour a little oil onto your work top. Place the dough on top and knead for 5-10 minutes. The dough will be wet in the beginning (that’s completely normal so don’t panic!) but will form a smooth dough once kneaded.
- Place into a clean oiled bowl, cover and leave to double in size. (This will take approx.. 1-2 hours.)
- Line 2 baking trays with baking parchment.
- Tip the dough onto an oiled work top. Knock the dough back until all the air is knocked out and the dough is smooth. Split the dough into four and roll into large circles/ squares/ whatever shape seems suitable.
- Mix the topping ingredients with a little olive oil until you have a thick paste and spread the topping over each of the breads.
- Place onto the lined baking trays and leave to rest for another 20 minutes. Meanwhile preheat the oven to 230°C.
- Bake in the oven for approx. 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.