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Martha Collison's manaeesh – Middle Eastern flatbread
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Makes: 2 breads Serves: 4 (1/2 bread per serving)
350g strong white bread flour plus extra for dusting
1 tsp table salt
1 tsp fast action dried yeast
1 tbsp caster sugar
25ml olive oil plus extra for oiling
FOR THE TOPPING
2-4 tbsp Cooks’ Ingredients Herby Zaatar
1 tsp sea salt flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
75g halloumi, thinly sliced (optional)
1. Place the flour into a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer and add the salt to one side of the bowl and the yeast and sugar to the other. Adding the salt directly on top of the yeast can kill it. Add the olive oil, milk and 100ml cold water to the bowl and mix until a rough dough forms. Continue to add approximately 50ml more water, adding and mixing until all the flour has been picked up from the sides of the bowl (you might not need all the water, or you might need a little more).
2. Knead the dough by tipping it onto a lightly floured surface and kneading by hand, or by using the dough hook on a stand mixer. Knead for about 10 minutes, or until a smooth, elastic dough has formed. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave for 1-2 hours to rise until doubled in size.
3. Tip the risen dough out onto a lightly floured surface and fold the dough in on itself a few times to get rid of any irregular air pockets. Divide the dough in half. Dust 2 large baking trays with a little flour to stop the dough from sticking. Stretch or roll each piece of dough out into a large circle or oval about 25cm in size. Use a small amount of olive oil to stop the dough sticking to the surface. Arrange on the baking trays, then sprinkle with the zaatar, salt and drizzle with olive oil. Allow to rise briefly for 15-20 minutes.
4. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. Dot over the halloumi, if using, bake, one at a time, for 8-9 minutes until golden, then serve.
Martha's tipServe as part of a mezze platter with a selection of dips. My personal favourite is Moorish smoked baba ganoush – the perfect partner to the spices on a manaeesh bread.
Typical values per serving:
per half bread excluding halloumi
This recipe was first published in April 2018.