Mana’eesh is a surprisingly easy Middle eastern flatbread full of flavor, chewiness and the perfect accompaniment to Middle eastern Recipes.
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Mana’eesh, also known as manakish (manaqish, manakeesh, man’ousheh) is a popular Eastern Mediterranean bread consisting of dough topped with Za’atar and olive oil. It is a staple in the Middle East, very popular with children and adults alike. I’ve read stories of children pushing each other aside, clamoring for their share of this wonderful bread. In some countries, women bring their dough to a central oven in the morning to cook their family’s bread for the day. This is a chewy flatbread similar to a very nice pizza crust, seasoned perfectly with olive oil and Za’atar.
‘Breaking bread’ is a metaphor for having a meal together. Bread is magical, a wonderful gift for the recipient whether they are the immediate family sitting down to dinner or a lucky neighbor. Proofing dough on the counter alerts family members that something special will be served at dinner. The aromas of bread, baking in the oven, is a cure for bad-day-itis.
This recipe is inspired by Yasmeen’s recipe from her great aunt. She has a lovely blog called Wandering Spice which chronicles her experience with food and her family. Her stories are genuine, heartfelt and so very interesting. Beware, you will be sucked into another world, a world where family matters, food is slow and stories bind the generations. An Arab-American-Australian world, far different than my own, that melds all of the goodness from each culture into a wonderful family that shares recipes, stories and cooking tips.
I used a food processor and changed the order of ingredients to better cope with flour and water ratios. I live at 4500 feet and recipes turn out differently here than at lower elevations so I split the flour to accommodate our elevation and lack of humidity issue. It worked really well. I also added a little salt for flavor. In this recipe you can use a cookie sheet or a baking stone that is pre-heated in the oven. They both turn out very well.
Bon Appetit Y’all!
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