I am not sure of the correct spelling but Mr. Mouse Trap (MT) tells me this is the phonetic way to spell it. Man-a-eesh. Yeah, something like that. Manaeesh is a dish that his Mama (Lebanese) made him for breakfast on regular occasion growing up. She thinks we are silly for praising this dish because she thinks it is “poor people’s food.” But all the best recipes come from invention from necessity combined with limited resources. Basically this is a dough topped with za’atar that has been combined with olive oil and baked. Za’atar is generally prepared using ground dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, mixed with sesame seeds, salt and sometimes sumac. After the dough is baked it is then served much like pizza. Mr. MT likes to eat it with fresh tomatoes, olives, and coffee.
I thought I would share our pictures from our latest Manaeesh session:
I started with pizza dough that I made with half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. I got the original pizza dough recipe from Mudpie. Basically you do a fast rise with 2 tsp. of active dry yeast with 1/4 cup of all purpose flour with 1/4 cup of warm water. You let this rise for 30 minutes. Then you combine it with 1 cup of whole wheat flour, 3/4 cup of all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup plus 2 tbs. of warm water, 2 tsp. of salt, and 2 tbs. of olive oil. You combine this and then knead it for a few minutes. Cover the dough ball and let rise for about 1 and 1/2 hours. I had made this the day before and never used it for dinner. This instantly meant that I had no choice but to make manaeesh the next day. I slowed the rise by putting the dough in the refrigerator.
I combined the za’atar with olive oil and basically used a 3:1 ratio. 3 parts za’atar to 1 part olive oil.
This is what za’atar looks like before adding olive oil. It has a very yellow-green color:
I rolled out the dough. I then put it on a wooden paddle sprinkled with corn meal. This makes it easier to transfer to a heated baking stone. I spread the za’atar olive oil paste on the raw dough resulting in this:
I then transferred the dough onto a pre-heated baking stone. I used a 425 degree oven. It only needed about 8-10 minutes to bake.
Look at this air bubble in the dough! I love that!:
While Mr. MT prefers his manaeesh with tomatoes, olives (not shown), and coffee… I prefer mine with all of that and flowers! Look at those beautiful Tiger Lillies he surprised me with for our brunch! Swoon.