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Lebanese Thyme Bread (P)
Source: "Patisserie of the Eastern Mediterranean," by Arto der Haroutunian
Serves: 10

1 tablespoon (1 envelope) active dry yeast (or 1/2 ounce compressed yeast)
1 teaspoon sugar
1-1/4 cup lukewarm water
3-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoon za'atar

Proof the yeast in a few tablespoons of the warm water, with the sugar mixed in.

Sift the flour and salt into a large bowl and make a well in the center. Add the yeast mixture and remaining water and knead until you have a firm dough. Transfer to a floured work surface and continue to knead for 10-15 minutes or until smooth and elastic. During this time, knead in 1 tablespoon olive oil into the dough - this will make it softer.

Wash and dry the mixing bowl and grease with a little oil. Add the dough and roll around in the bowl until well oiled. Cover with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours or until doubled in bulk.

Punch down the dough and knead for a few minutes. Divide into 10 portions and roll each between your palms until smooth and round. Flour a work surface. Flatten each round with a rolling pin until it is circular, even, and about 1/4" thick. Cover and leave in a warm place to rise for 20 more minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450°F. Put 2 large oiled baking sheets in the oven to heat.

Brush the tops of the rounds with a little of the olive oil. Mix the remaining oil with the za'atar and spread the mixture over the surface of each round.

Slide the bread onto the hot baking sheets and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on wire racks to cool.

Note: 4 tablespoons za'atar = 2 heaped tsp. dried thyme + 1 heaped tsp. dried marjoram + 3 tbsp. sesame seeds.

Posted by Marcia Goldberg, Z'L

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A