Vegan Za’atar Bread (Manakeesh Za’atar): It is detox time

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Detox bread anyone?

I definitely need one, look at the last two blog posts and you will easily gather the amount of carb and sugar my body is harboring right now.

In normal times, bakers find happiness in baking, but in trying times, bakers find life in baking.

On my frontiers, baking during the pandemic has been always a sanity saver and sometimes a messy, yet meaningful activity to include the kids when I am not homeschooling.

Now, that movement restrictions in Singapore are loosened up, and my family is slowly resuming its outdoor social life, within limits, I realize how hard it becomes to zip my pair of jeans!

Food anxiety has taken its toll on what I mistakingly presumed a steady weight.

Now and more than ever, I terribly need a detox diet that is detached from deprivation and less likely to debilitate my immune system.

By experience, going vegan proved to be my ideal mental and body detox.

It is a radical diet change for an omnivore like me, yet its positive impact on my mood and health is worthy of all the concessions that come with it.

Generally, I find the hardest vegan meal to compose is breakfast, yet luckily my Middle Eastern food repertoire got me covered.

Foul Medames (stew or fava bean) or Manakeesh Zaatar can’t be a better substitute to my day starter of sunny side up.

This week’s recipe is the week Za’atar Manakeesh.  Manakeesh is a stovetop bread topped with Za’atar.

Za’atar that literally means oregano in English has another significance in Middle Eastern cuisine.

Za’atar is a spice mix of dried thyme, oregano, Majoram, sumac, toasted sesame seeds, salt, and pepper. There are also some other variations that include cumin and coriander.

Za’atar spice mix is packed with health benefits as it is rich in antioxidants. Historically, it was used as a medicine to treat infections and inflammations and geographically it originates in the Levant.

Unlike the regular za’atar bread made of all-purpose flour, this guilt-free version of zaatar is made of whole wheat flour and speckled with bran.

It is a quick stove bread that freezes well and tastes fresh, fragrant, and pungent enough each time you heat it before serving.

The dough is pretty easy to pull together and the za’atar mix is pretty available in Middle Eastern store.

I had the habit to make my own zaatar until I stumbled on Greenfields’ Za’atar that carries the best Za’atar in my book.  It is fragrant, moderately salted, zesty, tangy, empty of bitterness, and mildly strong. In my book, it is perfect.  BTW, this is not a paid ad neither a sponsored blog post.

I do hope that you try this filling, detox, stovetop bread that will improve your mood and health.  In case you do, don’t forget to hit like, drop a feedback line, and share the recipe link with others.


Vegan Whole Wheat Za’atar Bread (Manaeesh Za’atar)

 

Makes 6 medium disks of Za’atar Bread

INGREDIENTS

For the bread 

  • 2 cups whole wheat bread
  • 1/4 cup bran (optional)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3/4 to 1 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon  dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil and some extra for greasing

For the Za’atar Garnish 

  • I/2 cup of olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons of za’atar
  • salt and pepper

DIRECTIONS 

For the Bread

  1. Proof the yeast. Mix the yeast, the warm water and sugar in a mixing bowl, stir until are ingredients are combined. Cover with a plastic film or towel and let it proof for 15 minutes or until the mixture is foamy and frothy.
  2. Make the dough. Mix the dry ingredients: the flour and salt. In a large mixing bowl, add the yeat-water mixture to the dry ingredients, add the olive oil and keep kneading either by hand (or in a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook) until a soft dough come together.  The dough should spring back if you touch it.
  3. Let the dough rise. Place the dough in an oiled clean and deep bowl, cover it with a towel and let it rest in a warm place.
  4. Shape the Za’atar manakeesh. When the dough is almost double in size, divide the dough into equal pieces. Roll each into a smooth ball. drizzle some oil on top each, and let them rest for 20 to 30 minutes.  Roll out each ball into a dish of 1/4 -inch and spread over the za’atar olive oil mixture.
  5. On a hot stovetop griddle or an Iron cast pan, transfer the discs one by one or by two’s. It depends on how big is your pan. Once the surface of the bread starts to bubble, remove the bread.
  6. Serve the bread. This bread is better served hot along with a platter of cucumber, cherry tomatoes,  pickles, and cheese.

For the Za’atar-Olive oil Garnish

  1. Mix together 1/2 cup of olive oil and 4 tablespoons of za’atar. Salt and pepper. Spread a spoonful on each dough disk.

 

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Former diplomat | Travel & Food Writer | Stauch advocate of Culinary Diplomacy. Find more here: https://cheznermine.com/about/

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