Manaqish, manaeesh or manakeesh or in singular form man'ousheh or #mankousheh (Arabic: مناقيش) is a popular Levantine food consisting of dough topped with Zataar, cheese or ground meat.
The word manaqish is the plural of the Arabic word manqūshah from the root verb naqasha 'to sculpt, carve out, meaning that after the dough has been rolled flat, it is pressed by the fingertips to create little dips for the topping to lie in. Traditionally, women would bake dough in a communal oven in the morning, to provide their family with their daily bread needs, and would prepare smaller portions of dough with different toppings for breakfast at this time - Wikipedia
Growing up in Damascus, these were a staple in my lunch bag when I went to school. I would often pick some up on the way to school from the local bakery in Bab-Touma and have it for breakfast. Manaeesh Zataar were our version of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and almost everyone had a manoosheh at school. Zataar is a mix of different spices like ground thyme, oregano, marjoram, toasted sesame seeds, sumac and salt.
“Parents would often tell us that the sesame seeds made us smarter! ”
I will be showing you in this blog how to make the most authentic Syrian Manaeesh Zataar from scratch step by step:
Here is what you need:
For the dough:
3 cups of flour
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup of vegetable oil.
1 tablespoon Yeast
1 teaspoon of sugar.
1 teaspoon of salt.
For the Filling:
Zataar Spice Mix
Add salt to flour and sift flour into a deep, wide bowl. In the mixer bowl, add the yeast, sugar and warm water together. Mix well. And let it sit aside for 10 mins so the yeast can activate. Add vegetable oil. Turn your mixer on and gradually pour the flour until a soft dough ball is obtained. Kneed for about 8 mins. Place dough in a bowl and cover with a plastic bag and leave in a warm place for at least 1 hour or more to ferment and rise.
Cut the dough into balls of medium size, and then spread the balls using the rolling pin until they take a round shape. Let them rest for 5 mins. That will help with making the gorgeous bubbles in the dough when baked.
Mix Zataar with olive and spread on each flat dough piece. Bake in oven on a pizza stone at 500° for 3 mins. Enjoy!
Enjoy with a cup of tea and top with cucumbers, tomato, labneh and mint!
I hope you enjoy this recipe and please give me your feedback by commenting below.
I would love to hear if you made this recipe
Photo Credit: Kinda Arzon Photography www.kindarzon.com