Cold but delicious morning

It’s a cold morning here in Amman and I have been up since 5:30 a.m. I do enjoy this time while everyone is asleep and am having fun with my computer and sipping a hot cup of Java. As time passed by, I felt really hungry and started craving “Manaeesh” (savory Arabic pastries). The thought of going out to buy some did cross my mind but as I looked outside the window, it was very windy and the temperature around 4 degrees…brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!! So I decided to make my own and in no time (excluding the time that took the dough to rise) I made five steaming hot yummy loaves topped with five different toppings. I woke everyone up and we enjoyed a lovely breakfast with a hot cup of freshly brewed mint tea. Good morning everyone…

 Manaeesh dough
2 cups luck warm water
2 teaspoons dry active yeast
1 cups whole wheat flour
3 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoon olive oil

Place yeast in warm water along with sugar and cover till its foamy (around 5 minutes). Put mixture in the stand up mixer; add flour, salt and one table spoon of olive oil. Mix and knead for around 7-8 minutes. If you are doing this by hand, you will need to knead the dough for around 10 minutes. Brush a clean bowl with the other table spoon of olive oil, place the dough and cover. Let it rise for around ½ hour to 1 hour till it doubles in size.  
Punch the dough down and divide into as many pieces as you want. I wanted medium size loafs that could be divided into 4 pieces later, so I cut the dough into 5 pieces, shaped into balls and covered while working on one piece.
Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into a circle, place on a lightly oiled oven pan and top with the topping of your choice. I used the following toppings:

  • Za’atar (Middle Eastern Thyme Blend with Sumaq and sesame seeds) mixed with enough olive oil to get a runny but thick paste like mixture.
  • Za’atar and white cheese
  • White cheese and Mozzarella 
  • White cheese with Izha seeds (black sesame seeds)
  • White cheese and parsley
Have your oven hot and ready (200 degrees) and bake for around 10-15 minutes till its light golden brown and the dough is cooked through.

Note: Make sure when you crumble your white cheese to squeeze any extra water so it won’t affect the texture of your dough when baked.


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