The Middle East's Pizza Heritage
The Man’oushe (mana'esh or manakish, for plural) is a cherished national pie of Levant countries including Lebanon, Syria, Palestine. Much like the Pizza pie of Italian heritage, Mana'esh is ubiquities in Middle Eastern countries and loved by children and adults alike, and during just about any part of the day. While created with only three mainstay ingredients (dough, olive oil, and Za'atar), yet it invites vast culinary creativity and pride in homes and corner bakeries. Again, like Pizza making, dough recipes vary abundantly, so do tomato sauce recipes, and perhaps to a lesser extent, the cheese. It is similar with Mana'esh. In this recipe, we leave the dough recipe to a professional baker (but stress it must be pizza dough) at your choice of grocery store for convenience. Also your choice of a flavorful extra virgin olive oil. However, when it comes to the za'atar, we can only recommend our very own..bought here or on Amazon.
There are too many za'atar cheats on the market with various spice as substitutes to the mainstay za'atar herb ingredient or citric acid as substitute for true sumac. Also many include known fillers like wheat or unknown fillers like ground straw (no kidding).. As we discuss in the What is Zaatar page, and because there are no universal standards on what constitutes “Zaatar” it is essential to select a high quality and flavorful zaatar spice blend.
To get on with the recipe, below we have a text and picture version but also, here is a 45 second video clip of this same Manaesh recipe. We hope you try and enjoy it!
Zaatar Mana'esh Bread Ingredients
1 lb ready pizza dough (white or whole wheat)
6 - 8 tablespoons Zaatar
8 -9 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1- heat the oven to 500 degree and place a baking sheet or pizza stone in the lower middle position.
2- mix the Zaatar with olive oil
3- divide the pizza dough to four ball and work with each one to form a circle of 8 to 10 inches diameter.
4- spread 2 to 3 tablespoons of Zaatar mix over the pizza dough then place the dough on the heated baking sheet or pizza stone.
5- bake in the oven for 5 to 7 minute
6- add slice of cucumber or your favorite vegetable and enjoy it with cup of tea.