Mini Pitas, Man'oushe bi za'tar
I am a vegan from India and I enjoy making breads from all over the world. A couple of years ago Middle Eastern Cuisine caught up in India and led to the opening of many restaurants serving bread topped with zaatar. Since the first time we had it at "The Arabic Bistro" zaatar topped manoushe breads have become my favourite. We love it just as it is topped with zaatar or with tahini and hummus on the side.
The good thing about this recipe is that the dough works great for pita breads as well. I made a few of those too. Instead of making large pitas I chose to make mini pitas, measuring an inch in diameter. They make tasty appetizers when served with Italian Tomato Sauce or Hummus.
Dish:Yield: Two 5" pizza base, and about 15 to 20 mini pitas - breads. A small bowl of hummus bi tahini and a very small bowl of tahiniyeh
For the Man'oushe dough (I used half of this recipe):
All Purpose Flour - 6 cups
Salt - 1 tsp.
Sugar - 1 tbsp.
Mahlab - 1/3 tsp. (I omitted this)
Dry yeast - 2 tbsp.
Water - 2 cups
Milk (I used soy milk) - 0.75 cup
Zaatar spice mixed with some olive oil
Place flour, salt and sugar together. Stir to mix. I dry blended in a mixer.
Mix the yeast in 1/2 cup of lukewarm water and set aside till frothy.
Add the yeast mixture, milk and rest of the water in a well in the center of the dough mixture and bring together. Knead to form a sticky dough. The original recipe says the dough will be sticky but mine was just right to touch.
Cover and rest till doubled, about an hour, depending on the room temperature.
Divide into 8 balls and dust with flour. Rest for 30minutes.
Roll into mini pizzas about half inch thick. Place two breads side by side in a baking tray and sit for 15 minutes.
Pre heat oven to 150C. Spread zaatar paste on the breads and bake till puffed very lightly brown, about 15 - 20 minutes for the first batch. The rest take slightly less time. Keep an eye on the breads the first time as the time taken may vary for different ovens. Don't let it go toasty brown or it will also turn hard. The bottoms should sound hollow when tapped and turn a nice brown. Serve hot with hummus and tahiniyeh or with any other dip.
I baked two pizzas and rolled the rest of the balls into thin circles about 8" in diameter.
Cut several one inch pitas using a cookie cutter. Pop in after the pizzas are baked keeping the temperature at 150C. After one minute invert all the pitas and bake. Within a minute they will all blow up into neat puffs. Remove and serve hot with the dips.
These make easy and quick appetizers for parties. You can make the dough in advance and refrigerate after wrapping in cling film.