Yeast and Herbs! They’ve been playing on my mind a lot lately. You see, I needed to make a dish (or drink) that combined both yeast and herbs. Why? Because Angie from ‘The Novice Gardener’ (along with her co-host Catherine, from the exquisite ‘Catherine Cuisine’) suggested it… they were the ones who put down the challenge. Fiesta Friday has recently evolved to include a monthly challenge for those who are up for it… and this month (for Fiesta Friday Challenge #1), we’ve been asked to come up with something interesting (as well as of course delicious), combining these two sensational ingredients.
My initial thought was to create a Herbed Brioche, dotted with lemon myrtle (a native Australian herb) and small chunks of feta cheese. However after struggling to find brioche moulds in the local kitchen shops… and is a brioche really a brioche if not presented with a fluted base?, I decided to go with the following instead… and I’m so thrilled that I did, as this recipe for Lebanese flatbread I will use over and over again in the future. It is a delicious accompaniment to Middle-Eastern dishes that have juices or sauce that require mopping up; as well as being a perfect breakfast or lunch bread able to support fillings such as spiced lamb or chicken, or the scrumptious vegetarian haloumi and herb option given below. The homemade zaatar (recipe to be found in the notes section below) also contains both fresh and dried herbs, which make this dish incredibly moreish.
Wishing you all a happy and relaxing weekend!
Zaatar and Haloumi Man'oushe/Flatbread | From 'Feast Magazine'
- 1½ Teaspoons Dried Yeast
- 250ml/1 Cup Lukewarm Water
- 450g/3 Cups Plain Flour (Sifted)
- 2 Teaspoons Caster Sugar
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (plus extra for brushing)
- 3 Tablespoons Zaatar (see notes below)
- 500g Haloumi (Sliced)
- 2 Tomatoes (Sliced)
- 1 Cup Mint Leaves
- 3 Teaspoons Dried Chilli Flakes (Optional)
To make the flatbreads:
Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water in a medium bowl. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes, until the mixture bubbles.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar and salt. Make a well in the centre and add the yeast mixture and olive oil. I find at this stage a bread and butter knife can be useful for cutting through to combine the dry and wet ingredients well. When a dough has formed, knead for about 6 minutes on a clean surface until smooth and soft. Place the ball of dough back into the bowl, cover and allow to rise for about 2 hours in a warm, draught-free spot.
Once the dough has doubled in size, punch down and separate into 6 even pieces. Roll into smooth balls and allow to rest again on a lightly-floured baking tray covered with a clean tea-towel for about 1 hour, until slightly risen.
When ready to cook, roll out each ball of dough to a thickness of about 5mm.
Place a frying pan over medium-high heat and brush each flatbread one at a time with a little olive oil, before placing in the pan (oil side down). Cook for about 2 minutes, before brushing the tops with a little more olive oil and flipping to cook the other side. Sprinkle the top with some zaatar and remove to a warm place while you cook the remaining flatbreads.
When all of the breads are cooked, place a little more olive oil in the pan and fry the haloumi slices on both sides until golden brown.
Arrange the haloumi, along with the sliced tomato, mint and chilli flakes (if using) on the bread. Fold in half to serve and eat while still lovely and warm.
To make your own Zaatar: combine the following ingredients
- 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
- 1 Tablespoon Sumac
- 1 Tablespoon Sesame Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Finely Chopped Fresh Oregano
- ½ Teaspoon Dried Thyme
- 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
- 1 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper