Zahtar Bread (Mana’eesh)

Zahtar Bread is a style of Mana’eesh, a savory flatbread. Our version is spice-laden and, according to Kathleen, perfectly suited to bearing the weight of a dollop of Lebaneh. If you were to travel to Syria or Lebanon in search of this dish, you would find women stretching dough across a sage, an apparatus similar to an upside down wok with a flame underneath. This Zahtar Bread has been adapted for baking in an oven and requires the same Basic Dough that forms the base of our Meat Pies and Spinach and Lemon Pies.

a sage in action, photographed on our family trip to Syria and Lebanon



Roll Basic Dough into individual portions 1 ½ oz in size. Combine green Zahtar spice with olive oil at a 2-to-1 ratio in a mixing bowl until it forms a paste with the consistency of wet sand. Use your fingers to press balls of dough into flattened circles that are approximately ¼-inch thick. (Note: If dough is too thin, your Zahtar Bread will turn out crispy rather than pliable and airy.) Pinch 1 tablespoon of the Zahtar/olive oil mixture between your fingers and press into the top of the dough. Bake at 500 degrees    for 5-7 minutes, until the crust is golden. Serve warm.

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