Sourdough Man’oushe ( Za’atar Flatbread) is made with sourdough starter, flour and za’atar spice. The unique spice blend makes any bread very delicious.
What is Man’oushe?
Man'oushe is a popular Levantine flatbread from Lebanon, usually enjoyed for breakfast or as a snack.
It's made by spreading a mixture of za'atar seasoning onto the dough before baking or grilling it.
Za'atar is a flavorful blend of herbs and spices, typically including ingredients like dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, sesame seeds, and salt.
This blend is mixed with olive oil to create a paste-like consistency, which is then spread on the dough. The dough itself is usually a simple mixture of flour, water, Sourdough starter (yeast traditionally used), salt, and sometimes olive oil.
Za'atar mixture is spread on the dough, it's baked in an oven or cooked on a griddle until it's crispy and golden.
Served either folded or rolled and can be enjoyed plain or accompanied by toppings like tomatoes, cucumbers, or labneh (a strained yogurt).
Man'oushe with za'atar is cherished for its aromatic and tangy flavors, owing to the distinct taste of the za'atar seasoning. It's a beloved dish in the Middle East and can be found in bakeries, street stalls, and homes throughout the region.
How to make Sourdough Man’oushe/ Za’atar Flatbread
You need the following ingredients to make this flatbread .
- All-purpose flour: I used unbleached all-purpose flour in this recipe.
- Sourdough Starter: 100% hydration sourdough starter is used, you can choose any sourdough starter of choice.
- Salt: Adds flavor to the recipe
- Water: 69% hydration for this recipe
- Honey: adds little sweetness to the dough.
- Olive oil: I used extra virgin olive oil you can use your favorite ones.
- Za’atar: it is a mixture of dried thyme, oregano, marjoram, sumac, sesame seeds, and salt.
- See recipe card for quantities.
How to make this sourdough Man’oushe( Za’atar Flatbread)
First you need to make dough with all-purpose flour, starter, water, honey, and oil. And mix everything and set aside for 30 minutes.
Wet ingredients, water, honey, salt,olive oil and sourdough starter
all purpose flour
Dough Before fermenation
Dough after fermentation at 73 F for 10-12 hours.
Then add salt and mix well and set aside at 73°F at room temperature for 10-12 hours.
After bulk fermentation divide the dough into 4 pieces and spread it into four 7-inch circles.
In the meantime, mix olive oil with za’atar and make a paste.
Brush the top of flat bread with za’atar olive oil paste and set aside for another 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 400°F and bake it until the sides are golden brown color.
Variation to this sourdough Za’atar bread ?
You can try all these variations.
Sourdough Za’atar Cheese bread:
- Akkawi or Feta Cheese: Sprinkle crumbled Akkawi or feta cheese on top of the za'atar mixture before baking. It adds a creamy, tangy flavor.
- Halloumi: Grate or slice halloumi cheese and place it on flatbread for a delightful texture and taste.
With Vegetable Additions like
- Caramelized Onions: Top the za'atar mixture with caramelized onions for a touch of sweetness and depth of flavor.
- Cherry Tomatoes: Add halved cherry tomatoes on top before baking for bursts of freshness.
With meat and chicken
- Spiced Ground Meat: Spread a layer of seasoned ground lamb or beef on the flatbread before adding the za'atar mixture for a heartier version.
- Shredded Chicken: Mix shredded chicken with a hint of Middle Eastern spices and use it as a topping alongside the za'atar.
Different Spice Blends:
- Custom Spice Mix: Create your own spice blend by adding ingredients like cumin, coriander, paprika, or sesame seeds to the za'atar for a unique flavor profile.
- Baharat Seasoning: Incorporate a pinch of Baharat seasoning into the za'atar mix for a richer, more complex taste.
Add some Herbs and Greens:
- Fresh Greens: After baking, top the flatbread with a handful of fresh arugula, mint leaves, or basil for a burst of color and freshness.
- Chopped Herbs: Mix finely chopped fresh herbs like parsley or cilantro into the za'atar mix for an extra herbaceous note.
Change the flour to make the following za’atar bread:
- Whole Wheat or Multigrain Dough: Use whole wheat or multigrain flour for a nuttier flavor and added nutritional value.
- Gluten-Free Options: Experiment with gluten-free flour blends to create a gluten-free version of flatbread.
Make it sweeter:
- Sweet Za'atar Bread: Add a touch of sweetness by drizzling the flatbread with honey or sprinkling a bit of sugar along with the za'atar for a sweet-savory blend.
- Allow the flatbread to cool completely to room temperature.
- Place it in an airtight container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap.
If you plan to store it for a few days (up to about 3-4 days), refrigeration can help maintain freshness.
- Long-term Storage:
- For longer-term storage (up to a month), freezing is ideal.
- Wrap the flatbread tightly in plastic wrap and then place it in a resealable freezer bag or airtight container.
- To prevent sticking, you can place parchment paper between the layers of flatbread before freezing.
Tips for Reheating:
1. Oven or Toaster Oven:
- Preheat the oven to around 350°F (175°C).
- Reheat the flatbread for a few minutes until heat through and regains its crispness.
2. Skillet or Pan:
- Heat a non-stick skillet or pan over medium heat.
- Warm the flatbread for a 1-2 minutes on each side until is warm and crisp.
- If using a microwave, wrap the flatbread in a damp paper towel to prevent it from drying out excessively.
- Heat it in short intervals, checking frequently to avoid over-drying.
Use only 15 % sourdough starter for long ferementation at room temperature
Can use whole wheat flour to make Sourdough Man’oushe -Za’atar Flatbread ? Yes you can bu they tend to slightly harder than the whole white flour ones.
I have made this flatbread as part of Breadbaker's event.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.
We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient
- Bazluma from Magical Ingredients
- Cheese Fatayer from Sneha's Recipe
- Egyptian Mahlab Bread from Food Lust People Love
- Halloumi Cheese, Olive, and Mint Bread from Cook with Renu
- Ka'ak Asfar from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Olive Oil Blueberry Muffins from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Pita from Passion Kneaded
- Scones with Za'atar and Feta from Palatable Pastime
- Sourdough Man'oushe (Za'atar Flatbread) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen
- Vasilopita from A Messy Kitchen
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Other sourdough bread
These are recipes my favorite give it a try.
Sourdough Man’oushe (Za’atar Flatbread)
- 1 cup/ 250g warm water plus more as needed
- ¼ cup /45g Sourdough starter
- 1 tablespoon 19 grams honey
- 3 cups 360 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon 6 grams kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons 9 grams extra-virgin olive oil
- ⅓ cup 85 grams extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup 30g za’atar
- Cornmeal for adding to baking sheet prevent flatbread from sticking.
- Combine the water, starter, salt, olive oil sourdough starter and honey in the bowl and whisk by hand.
- Add the flour, knead until a smooth dough is formed and set aside for 30 minutes .
- Then after 30 minutes knead the doughinto a smooth ball. Place in a clean, lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 10-12 hour.
- Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Lightly flour the work surface and place the balls of dough on the work surface.
- In a small bowl make a paste of za’atar and olive oil and set aside.
- Roll each ball into a 5- to 6-inch circle and place on the prepared baking sheet with cornmeal
- Brush each dough circle with olive oil za’atar paste and set aside for another hour.
- The dough should spring back when you touch it with your finger.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Bake the bread until they just start to brown around the edges, 12to 15 minutes. These are best served warm.
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.