weeknight za'atar bread


Proper za'atar bread is a course of its own, herbacious, oily, crunchy and savory. I do adore it, and if you bake some yourself so will you. Now, there's a proper dough for this bread, but this is the "weeknight" version which starts with refrigerator pizza dough.

The hard thing about this recipe is obtaining the za'atar in the first place. If you don't happen to live near a good Middle Eastern grocery, that can be tough. What most American spice merchants sell as "zatar" is usually an unpalatable mix of sumac and salt (yes, this includes Penzey's). You really need something more like this Palestinian Za'atar to make this work.

If you can't reasonably buy decent za'atar near you, then use the mix I posted at the end of the potato cake recipe and double it.

Weeknight Za'atar Bread

1 cup za'atar spice
1/2 to 1 cup olive oil
1 lbs refrigerated pizza dough

In a bowl, mix the za'atar with 1/2 cup olive oil. Add more olive oil until the resulting paste is oily and semi-liquid; you'll need to be able to spread it, but you don't want it too thin.

Put a pizza stone or steel in the oven and heat it to 475F.

Divide the pizza dough into six balls. Roll each one out as thin as you can, like 1/8" thick. Dock it, either with a docker, or by poking it with a fork a bunch of times.

Transfer a dough round to a floured pizza paddle. Smear the top with 1/6 of the za'atar and oil mix; it should form a solid green coating. Slide the bread onto the pizza stone.

Bake for 4 to 7 minutes, until light brown on the bottom/edges. Cool on a rack. Repeat with the other 5 rounds.

Eat still warm, as a first course or side dish.

Optionally, za'atar breads can be enhanced with any of the following:

  • halved cherry tomatoes (pictured)
  • diced feta or village cheese (pictured)
  • halved pitted olives
  • small, sliced peppers

But they're pretty darned good without anything extra.