This za’atar bread is one of my favorite things to eat especially with a cup of warm mint tea and a piece of cheese. It is literally the best breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I was so happy that we had fresh oregano in my dad’s garden when I visited NJ recently. My mom taught me how to make these along with all of you through Instagram and it is my pleasure to share with you the recipe so you can enjoy it as much as we do.
5 cups of All purpose flour
1 packet of active dry yeast
2 1/2 tbsp of milk powder
3/4 cup of olive oil
1 1/2-2 cups of water
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp sugar
4 cups of fresh oregano leaves rinsed & drained (you can technically use dried oregano if fresh isn’t available but no need for rinsing in that case)
3 medium onions cut into quarters
1/2 tbsp of citric acid (depends on how sour you like)
2-3 tbsp of sumac
4 tbsp olive oil
In a bowl or a KitchenAid mixer with the dough attachment, add the flour and yeast.
Aso add the sugar, milk powder, salt, and olive oil. Mix together well with dough attachment or rubber spatula.
Then add the water and mix again. Take out the dough and finish mixing & slightly kneading by hand on an oiled pan. * If too sticky, add a little more flour. If too dry, add a little bit more olive oil.
Portion dough into large size balls; about the size of your palm. Set aside for at least an hour. Work on the filling in the meantime.
Take the fresh oregano that has been drained & rinsed. Place in a processor and pulse 3 times. Add that to a large pot with 4 tbsp of olive oil. Also, process the onions until finely cut and put in the pot with the oregano.
Add the sumac, some salt to taste, and the citric acid. Once cooked down, place the mixture into a sieve to let it drain from excess juices so it doesn’t wet the dough. *taste the filling to see if any acidity or salt is needed.
Spread the well-rested dough with your hands into a large thin circle. This should be easy to do since the dough rests a while but if it isn’t easy then allow the dough to rest a little bit more.
Have some oil next to you to help with spreading out the dough with your hands. Add 2 handfuls of the filling to the center of the dough and spread but concentrate on the center more. Now, fold the right end of the circle to the center and pat down and then fold the left side over that. Then pat down. Add more of the filling on top of the center where just folded and pat down. Then fold the bottom to the center and the top to the end and pat down. Set this aside on an oiled pan and allow to rest. Repeat until there is no more filling.
Spread out the dough on the oiled pan as much as you can without tearing the dough.
With the leftover dough, make as you please such as homemade pizza or cheese pies.
For a simple cheese pie as pictured, flatten the dough just like before into a circle. Spread garlic powder all over the dough. Add a hefty amount of cheese to the center, preferably mozzarella. Fold all the sides of the circle to the edge of the filling. Then brush some olive oil on the crust and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Bake at 400 F for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown.
With this extra dough, you can also make mo3aganat which I hyperlinked for you.