Sourdough Mannaeesh

"Mannaeesh is a Middle Eastern favorite. It is lightly leavened to produce a soft bread that puffs and forms a hollowed pouch into which all sorts of yummy things may be stuffed. This is fun to bake and fun to eat. From "World Sourdoughs From Antiquity" by Ed Wood."
photo by Bonnie G #2 photo by Bonnie G #2
photo by Bonnie G #2
photo by AKillian24 photo by AKillian24
Ready In:
3hrs 10mins
10 Puffs




  • Measure starter into large mixing bowl.
  • Add salt and sugar to the warm water and stir briefly to dissolve.
  • Add this mixture to the starter and mix well.
  • Add flour, 1 cup at a time, stirring until it is too stiff to mix by hand.
  • Turn onto a floured surface and knead in remaining flour until dough is satiny.
  • Divide into 10 equal balls.
  • Roll the balls into flat rounds about 1/4 inch thick.
  • Proof the rounds, covered, at 85 degrees F for 1 to 2 hours.
  • Mix the olive oil, thyme, marjoram, and sesame seeds together and spread some on the surface of each round.
  • Preheat the oven and the baking sheet to 450 degrees F and using a large spatula, slide the rounds onto the heated baking sheet one at a time.
  • Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the rounds puff up suddenly, forming a central cavity.
  • Cool on wire racks.
  • NOTE: This recipe can be halved and made in the bread machine on the dough cycle.
  • Shape and bake as above.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Made this using my San Francisco starter and as with all of your recipes was thrilled with the results. I followed your recipe exactly, right down to the timing and had no problems, the breads popped up as you said and had a nice pocket inside. The texture was right on, and the flavors, while I'm sure depends on your starter, mine had that tangy sourdough flavor, and the spices on top just seemed to be a perfect compliment. Donna M. Don't know if you still are around this site, but have to tell you, this one is a winner.
  2. I used my wonderful starter but this recipe did not puff like it is supposed to. I think it just wasn't that great. Also, the dough stuck to every surface it was on while proofing. If you are supposed to really heavily flour so it doesn't stick, or some other trick, then I think that should be included in the directions. It took a long time to do since there were 10 balls of dough. I think it would be more useable starting it at 1/2 the recipe. However, I won't be making this again. Glad it worked out for others.
  3. I think that I over-kneaded... I'm a terrible judge of dough, and wasn't sure if it was "satiny," so I kneaded until I started to get a "window pane," but that was definitely too much: they didn't puff much, except at the edges, and they were pretty chewy. However, they were delicious, especially with some salt sprinkled on with the herbs and sesame seeds! I will try this again, and knead less, and see what happens.
  4. Really nice. I rolled them like scones and we had them for breakfast. Thanks for sharing, i love when my sourdough works probably! I only used salt for seasoning but served with fresh tomato, coriander and basil.
  5. Tasted very good and easy to make. Only they didn't puff up as I thought they should. But that could be because of my elevation of about 7000 ft and maybe bec. of my sourdough starter (which I am feeding and using since 2 yrs.)Maybe I need a new starter. I will definatly try them again.


  1. I'll confess that I think there were some errors made on my part that really make this recipe seem worse than it was. 1) I used whole wheat flour, because I was out of bread flour. 2) I cooked 3 of these at a time instead of 1 at a time (didn't have enough baking sheets for this recipe) and didn't grease the pans before "proofing" them--big mistake, they were stuck! They have good texture, but they never really poofed up and made pockets, they are more like flatbread, which I'm thinking was because the wheat flour was too heavy. The thing about this recipe that would change for next time is that I would omit the Thyme and Marjoram and sub in garlic and basil instead. That's more a personal preference thing though, and not a fault with the recipe. Will keep trying til I get it right, thanks Donna M.!



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