Author Notes: I inhaled this man'oushe—a sort of spiced Lebanese flatbread—at Reem's stand at a street food festival in San Francisco this summer, and have been craving it since. Reem was kind enough to share the recipe with me so that we can make man'oushe at home—lucky us. —Caroline Lange
Makes: 4 flatbreads
cups warm water
teaspoon active dry yeast
cups bread flour (for a coarser whole weat texture, substitute up to 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour for bread flour)
teaspoons fine sea salt
tablespoon neutral oil (grapeseed, vegetable, canola, etc.)
cup olive oil
Sliced tomatoes (optional)
Sliced cucumbers (optional)
Mint leaves (optional)
Labneh, Greek yogurt, or mozzarella (optional)
- Make the dough: In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the water and yeast and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the water-yeast mixture and the olive oil. With a wooden spoon, stir until a sticky dough forms. If the dough is too wet, dust with more flour until you can easily hold the dough with your hands.
- Using your hands, knead the dough in the bowl until it holds together as a shaggy ball, then transfer to a lightly floured wooden board (or your countertop) and knead until the dough is smooth, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel, and set in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
- Gently punch down the dough and divide into 4 to 5 pieces. Working with one piece of dough at a time on a lightly floured wooden board (or your countertop), put the dough on the board and cup your hand over it. Push down gently on the dough and rotate your hand clockwise, tucking the dough under to form a tight ball. Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, then cover with plastic wrap or towel and let rest 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 500° F. Preheat the pizza stone or a sturdy cookie sheet topped with parchment. Meanwhile, combine the za’atar and olive oil in a small bowl.
- Gently flatten each ball of dough into a disk and dust with flour. Working with one piece at a time, roll the dough into a 10-inch circle with a thickness of about 1/8-inch.
- Transfer to a pizza peel that’s been lightly dusted with flour. Dimple the top of the dough (this will give the za’atar a place to pool), and top with 1 1/2 tablespoons of the za’atar-oil mixture, spreading evenly across the surface.
- Transfer to the pizza stone or baking sheet, and bake until the man’oushe is golden brown and cooked through, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the oven; if desired, dot with labne and top with fresh vegetables and herbs and roll into a flatbread sandwich, or leave plain and cut into four pieces. Man’oushe is best eaten hot, but it can be reheated under the broiler.