Manaquis Bil-Za'tar -- Thyme Bread (Lebanon -- Middle East)

Total Time
1hr 20mins
Prep 55 mins
Cook 25 mins

This recipe combo was found more or less intact in the 2002 cookbook, Mediterranean Street Food. Preparation time does not include time needed for dough to rise.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. FOR THE DOUGH: In a small container stir together yeast & 1/4 cup warm water, then set asde for 5-10 minutes.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour & salt, then make a well in the center & pour in the oil.
  3. Work in the oil with your fingertips until completely absorbed, then add the yeast water & knead with your hands for several minutes.
  4. Gradually add another 1/4 cup warm water & knead until dough is smooth & elastic, then form into a ball, cover with a damp cloth & leave in a warm place for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. FOR THE TOPPING: In a skillet over medium heat, combine thyme, sumac & sesame seeds, stirring continuously until the aroma rises & the mixture is slightly toasted. Salt to taste & set aside to cool slightly.
  6. In a small bowl, mix together all the topping ingredients.
  7. Divide the dough into 4 equal portions & roll each into a ball.
  8. Dip the first ball of dough in flour on all sides, then shake off the excess before rolling it into a thin disk about 1/8-inch thick.
  9. Make a few dimples across the flat dough, pressing hard with the tips of your fingers (done to stop oil in the topping from running out during cooking), then spread a quarter of the topping over the disk of dough.
  10. Place a nonstick skillet over medium heat & cook the dough in the skillet, topping side up, for 3-5 minutes or until bottom is crisp & lightly golden.
  11. Repeat the procedure to make the rest of the breads.
  12. Serve hot or warm, either plain or with some yogurt or . . .
Most Helpful

The flavour of the topping is great. I changed ours to be gluten free so I can't speak of the bread part since it didn't turn out perfect. I used the basic idea with the addition of an Arabian white cheese chopped fine in the topping. I used previously made za'atar, the olive oil and onion. DD1 (4 years old) and I loved it. DH didn't try because I had wrapped the bread in a clean tea towel and not a BREAD(?) towel to stay soft!!! (Gluten free bread may get hard easily)

UmmBinat February 19, 2012