The Most Loved Breakfast in Lebanon!
O Loyal Friend of Lebanese Students,
Their Mind You Empower,
Their Palate You Delight.
We love You At All Time and Age!
Zaatar: A Lebanese Forever Love
We love Zaatar in all its recipes! I mentioned previously that Lebanese students, from an early age, are geared on Zaatar during exams to sharpen their memories.
And since exams are too regular in the demanding Lebanese education system of tri-lingual curriculum, with some decisive governmental exams throughout the 13 years of schooling, Zaatar is a regular friend of our students until past university.
Spread on bread and wrapped, or baked on dough, it is the Zaatar that accompanied us on our way to the exams… and through our adult life. Today, in the homeland, it is no different than my years of education.
Man’oush, Ladies and Gentlemen, is Lebanese
Whatever the claims going around, Man’oush is a very Lebanese pronunciation of the Arabic adjective “Manqoush”, which means “is carved”.
As I previously explained, the Lebanese spoken language skips the phonetic Q and K in the center of the words and often at the end.
You may say, Man’ousheh or Man’oush. Both masculine and feminine terms are right. Just don’t enter a bakery and ask for Manqoush, in its written form! It would sound funny, and no one would understand you.
Having crossed the borders, the Man’oush Zaatar is now widely available in Canada, especially in areas where the concentration of Lebanese students are significant, like in the Student Ghetto of the Concordia University of Montreal, for instance.
Standing at the intersection of the University, you can spot at least six places selling Man’oush!
There is something almost magical in the mixture of our Zaatar herbs… And when it is baked on dough, here comes the delicious Man’oush!
How to Best Enjoy The Man’oush Zaatar
The Man’oush Zaatar is enjoyed to its full deliciousness when eaten hot or very warm.
You may eat it as is, rolled as a sandwich, or cut like the pizza and served in a platter. We also love it with fresh mint and tomatoes in the wrapping. Some add cucumber, and olives.
Some have been adding shredded lettuce in this part of the world. I do not recommend it at all as it takes away most of the Zaatar flavor.
My personal Man’oush Zaatar?
Shredded cheese sprinkled on the Zaatar as soon as it comes out hot from the oven for the cheese to melt. I then add tomato slices and fresh mint, wrap it and enjoy it.
It might appear time consuming, which is normal when making a dough and allowing it to rise.
Baking the Man’oush takes barely 10 minutes each. You have the flexibility to roll each into 4 smaller, and bake them together.
The great news is that the Man’oush Zaatar can be stored in the freezer for a long time, and microwaved or reheated in the oven when needed.
Check out the amazing health benefits of our Zaatar Mixture with its nine great components: The magical power-health mixture of our Zaatar herbs and spices.
Enjoy and Spread the Love! Sharing is always appreciated! 🙂
Homemade Manoush Zaatar
For The Dough
- 2 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour unbleached
- 1 cup Cake Flour
- 1 tsp Yeast
- 1 tbsp Sugar
- 2 tsps Salt
- 1/2 cup Water lukewarm
- 1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
For The Spread
- 1 1/2 cups Zaatar
- 1 tsp Sesame Seeds
- 2 tbps Summac
- 1 1/2 cups Olive Oil extra virgin
Preparing the Dough: Phase 1
1- Combine yeast and sugar, stir in slowly half the lukewarm water cup, combining well, and set aside for 15 minutes for the yeast to foam.
2- Combine flours and salt in the food processor bowl, add the yeast mixture and the oil, and run the food processor while pouring slowly the other half of the warm water. Run for 1 more minute.
3- Lightly oil a bowl, place in the dough, and turn it inside to be entirely coated with the oil.
4- Wrap the bowl with plastic-film then with a kitchen towel, and set aside in a warm place, for 90 minutes to 2 hours, for the dough to rest and rise.
Preparing the Dough: Phase 2
1- Sprinkle flour a work area of your kitchen counter.
2- Remove the dough, and divide it into 4 balls, placing them on the counter.
3- Sprinkle on some flour, and spread to coat them with your hand.
4- Cover again with plastic wrap and towel, and leave them to rise for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, ready your oven:
Readying Your Oven
1- Remove the oven racks.
2- Place an oven tray, overturned, in the oven bottom.
3- Lay a baking sheet on the tray.
4- Heat the oven to 400°F for about 25 minutes. (Convection oven= 425°F.)
Rolling & Flattening the Dough
1- Spread some flour on your counter, and work on one ball at a time: Flatten it with your palm into a round circle, roll it while turning it, and sprinkling flour when needed.
2- Move it on a floured baking sheet, roll it again in all direction. The aim is to get a well rounded dough of 1/4 inch thick.
Spreading the Zaatar
1- In a small bowl, prepare the spread by mixing its ingredients: zaatar, summac, and sesame seeds first then stirring in the olive oil until all dry ingredients are well soaked.
2- Press the tips of your fingers on the dough, then scoop on 3 tsp of the Zaatar mixture, and spread evenly and up to 1/2 inch from the the edges.
1- Hold the baking sheet carefully and place the dough on the oven tray to bake for 7-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.
2- Meanwhile, prepare the remaining three balls of dough.
3- Remove the Man'oush from the oven and into a baking rack.
4- Repeat the baking process for the other 3 Man'oush on-the-making.
The Man'oush Zaatar is enjoyed to its full deliciousness when eaten hot or very warm.
You may eat it rolled as a sandwich with or without add-on* or cut like the pizza and served in a platter.
* Add-on: You may enhance your experience by adding slices of tomatoes and fresh mint leaves.