Foolproof Homemade Manakeesh Recipe

by nasabeter
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Home Made Manakeesh

I lived my entire life in places were a Manakeesh bakery was maximum 5 mins walk away. Not to mention we literally had one downstairs in our building during my college years in Lebanon. Well it’s a blessing I only got to value after moving here to Calgary where I can’t find any nearby Manakeesh shop. So as any authentic Lebanese soul I had to work my way to perfect this recipe at home. And after so many trials, failures included, I can confidently say this recipe yield a perfect results at home. Unlike the so many recipes you would find online or shared by relatives but it would only work in a bakery and totally not catered for home ovens.

What is Manakeesh?

For all those who never tried Manakeesh, you can consider it as “a middle eastern round shaped flat bread”. It’s baked with your desired topping then folded and served right out of the oven. The most common toppings are Zaatar (thyme blend with olive oil) and cheese. Yet contemporary middle eastern creativity found its way to this authentic food and literally have customized it with every possible savory and sweet topping: meat, labneh, salmon, falafel, shawerma, Nutella, Halva, eggs, cold cuts….. And the list never ends!

Well I personally like to stick to the authentic flavors. Or to be honest, I believe that’s my very nostalgic self always wanting to bring back the memories of passing by the little bakery next to my school, watching how they make it and enjoying every bite of it on my way to school. I literally can’t think of a any food that could be more nostalgic than this. In Lebanon, we have Manakeesh almost everyday. And you will find a Manakeesh bakery in almost every single street. Even when I lived the last decade in GCC, you can find at least 1 bakery in every neighborhood and we would eat it at least once a week.

Authentic Lebanese Manakeesh Bakery
Photo Credit: sydneycider1 on youtube

I’m trying hard to get my thoughts off the nostalgia and wanting to tell you tons of stories about it. So let’s get into the recipe directly before you get bored!

Making the dough

So as mentioned earlier this dough is perfect for home use oven which makes it different than the original recipes used in authentic bakeries. One other thing I want to mention, those ingredients yield 2 medium sized Manakeesh only. Well we’re a little family of 2 and I always try to enjoy food with over consuming calories. I also believe the world need more recipes tailored for little households so we don’t keep ending up with tons of leftovers.

First, bring together 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1/2 cup of milk at room temperature, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp instant dry yeast. Mix well using a wooden spatula.

Transfer the mixture to a lightly floured surface and start kneading by hand. Now you need to know that consistency might be affected by the type of flour. So while kneading, if your dough was sticky, add 1 tbsp of flour at a time until it stops sticking to your fingers. If you found the dough very dry and not easy to shape then you need to add milk. Also add it 1 tbsp at a time. I’m sharing below the desired consistency so it’s easier for you to determine when to start adding more flour or milk.

Continue kneading for 5 mins. Then drizzle 1 1/2 tbsp of olive oil over the dough and continue kneading for another 5 mins. Transfer to a bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Cover and let rest in a warm place for an hour. I usually cover with plastic wrap and kitchen towel. And keep it in a turned off oven.

After an hour, cut your dough into 2 and shape it into round pieces. Cover again and let rest for 10 mins while you prepare the topping.

The Toppings

So you can literally be as creative as you want and use any topping. I’m sharing with you my personal choice of super authentic topping.

Zaatar: mix 3 tbsp of Zaatar with 2 tbsp of olive oil

Cheese: mix 1/3 cup of grated Akkawi cheese with 1/3 cup of grated Mozzarella

Forming and Baking

Preheat your oven at 425 F / 220 C and place your rack in the lowest third of the oven.

Now that your dough is well rested, lightly flour your surface and start rolling the rounded pieces, one at a time, into 1/2 cm thick discs.

Roll into 1/2 cm thick discs

Then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. To avoid air pockets, poke the dough with your finger tips. Then add your toppings leaving a free outer 1/2 inch.

Ready to bake for 12 mins, or until you get the golden crust of your liking.

Manakeesh baked for 12 mins in a preheated oven at 425 F on lower rack

For ultimate Manakeesh experience, eat those right out of the oven! They’re perfectly paired with fresh vegetables, olives and a cup of tea.

Home Made Manakeesh

Foolproof Homemade Manakeesh Recipe

I lived my entire life in places were a Manakeesh bakery was maximum 5 mins walk away. Not to mention we literally… Breakfast Brunch, Brakfast Middle Eastern Print This
Serves: 2 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 577 calories 34 g fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk at room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp instant dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • For Zaatar topping
  • 3 tbsp zaatar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • For cheese Topping
  • 1/3 cup shredded Akkawi Cheese
  • 1/3 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Instructions

In a medium sized mixing bowl, bring together 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1/2 cup of milk at room temperature, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp sugar and 1 tsp instant dry yeast. Mix well using a wooden spatula.

Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead by hand for 5 mins. (If the dough is sticky, add 1 tbsp flour at a time while kneading until it stops sticking. If it's too dry, add 1 tbsp milk at a time while kneading. )

Drizzle the olive oil over the dough and continue kneading for another 5 mins.

Transfer to a mixing bowl lightly greased with olive oil. Cover well and let rest for 1 hour in a warm place. 

After an hour, cut your dough into 2 pieces formed in a round shape. cover and let rest for 10 mins. 

Meanwhile prepare you toppings mix and preheat your over to 425 F/ 220 C

On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into 1/2 cm thick disc shape and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Poke the surface with your finger tips to avoid air pockets

Add your topping to each pie keeping free 1/2 inch on the outer edge.

Bake for 12 mins on lower rack or until the your reach the golden crust of your liking. 

 

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