Za'atar Bread Rolls (Manaiesh Bi Za'atar)

Total Time
1hr 10mins
Prep 1 hr
Cook 10 mins

From the cookbook Mediterranean Dishes by Diane Seed. Za'atar (or zahtar) is easy to make and several good recipes are found on this site. I have used an automatic bread machine to prepare the dough. This yields a light textured bread.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. MANUAL: Dissolve the yeast in 3 tablespoons tepid water. Next add the egg, 4 tablespoons olive oil and the sugar. In large bowl combine the flour and salt. Gradually stir in the yeast mixture and add the tepid water, enough to make a dough ball. On a floured surface, knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic. Put dough in an oversized bag and allow to rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes. *Proceed with recipe where indicated.
  2. BREAD MACHINE: Add all ingredients to the bread machine according to manufacturer's instructions EXCEPT for the za'atar and add ONLY 4 tablespoons of the olive oil. Once dough is done, remove from bread pan and place dough in an oversized plastic bag in a bowl. Allow to proof in a warm area for about 45 minutes.
  3. *Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  4. Divide the dough into six pieces. On a floured cutting board shape each piece of dough to form an oblong.
  5. Arrange the oblongs on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic (cling) wrap and leave for 15 minutes.
  6. In a small bowl combine the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the za'atar. Brush the mixture evenly over each bread loaf, pressing gently into the dough making "dimple" patterns with your fingers.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes. While waiting for bread to bake, belly dance.
  8. Serve warm.
Most Helpful

This bread is fantastic! I used the manual method and the directions were easy to follow and produced wonderful results. The bread came out soft and light and we just loved the za'atar topping. Thanks for sharing a keeper! Made for the Best of 2011 event, recommended by awalde

loof February 01, 2012

I made this yesterday using the machine to do the mixing and kneading. We had friends for dinner and she had said that she would like to try something simple to see if she liked Middle East flavors. She loved this bread and is ready to try something "more daring". Thanks CG, I now have a budding convert to the fabulous flavors of NA/ME cuisine. :D

Annacia January 30, 2014

I love it! The rolls are delightfully light and tender, and the za'atar is a good accompaniment. I used 2 tablespoons honey instead of sugar, out of personal preference. I needed about 3 tablespoons extra flour, maybe because of the honey. The recipe yielded 6 rolls of about 145 grams each. Thank you very much for sharing this recipe with us. While I like the za'atar, I'm also thinking of different toppings for these excellent rolls.

mianbao January 18, 2014