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Sunday, 13 November 2011

Sunday Homemade Manakeesh

Look at this beautiful freshly baked Manakeesh directly from someville kitchen oven (more on Manakeesh at Snackin My Way Across the Country). Thanks to a wonderful discovery of an online recipe forwarded to me, I am now set up to bake those fresh at home.

The dough:
2.2 cups flour
2 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp of each of salt & sugar
About 1.5 cups warm water

Mix and kneed for 10 minutes until soft and elastic. Oil the bowl with a thin layer of olive oil, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for a couple of hours.

Now knock the air out of the dough and knead again for about 2 minutes. Divide into 8 pieces and roll each until it is round and about 1/4 inch thick. Cover lightly and let rise again for half an hour or so.

The topping is simply zaatar (a dried thyme with sumac and sesame seeds found at many Lebanese stores) and olive oil. 
Now the term Manakeesh means engraved by hand.   

And that refers to the technique of making them where a baker will poke the zaatar mixture into the dough with fingers without ripping off the dough. Think of your favourite music piece and pretend you are playing it on a dough keyboard.
This allows the flavour to soak into the dough and helps create the bubbles in the dough once baked; which is the only way to eat Manakeesh.

Bake on a lightly oiled hot metal pan in a well heated 425 degrees oven for 6 to 7 minutes. Enjoy hot pretending you are outside a cozy mountain bakery in Lebanon.

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