Manakeesh bi Za’atar (Za’atar Bread)

Za’atar is a popular Middle Eastern spice blend. Palestinians say that children should eat bread with olive oil and za’atar for breakfast before an exam; it is said to make the body strong and the mind alert for the day ahead.


1 C whole-wheat flour
1 C all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 – 3/4 C warm water

1/4 Cup Za’atar Spice Blend (or make your own, using the recipe below)

1 Tbsp ground Sumac
1/2 Tbsp Thyme Leaf
1/2 Tbsp Mediterranean Oregano
1/2 Tbsp Marjoram
1/2 Tbsp toasted Sesame Seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted OR Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Combine the flours and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and pour in 1/2 cup of the warm water.
Stir with a sturdy fork, adding more water, a little at a time, until the dough becomes a sticky mass.
Turn dough onto an unfloured surface and knead for about 10 minutes.
Cover the dough with a clean, dry cloth (like a tea towel), and allow to rest for half an hour.
(If making your own Za’atar) Combine the sumac, thyme, oregano, marjoram, sesame seeds and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Divide the dough into 6 or 8 equal sections; roll each section into a little ball.
Flour your work surface with a sprinkle of additional flour, if needed, and flatten each dough ball with a heavy rolling pin until it is no thicker than a dime.
Heat a griddle (or heavy cast-iron skillet) over medium-high heat and brush with a small amount of butter or unflavored olive oil.
One at a time, put the rolled-out flatbread on the oiled, heated griddle, and brush the top of the bread with a small amount of butter or oil.
When the dough begins to puff, after a minute or two, flip the flatbread.
After another minute or two, as the flipped flatbread begins to puff again, lightly oil the top side.
Remove the flatbread from the griddle and lightly dust with 1/2 Tbsp of the za’atar (spice mixture) while the butter or olive oil is still hot.

Serve immediately.