is incredibly tasty fresh and plain, but even tastier
when it has sesame seeds or za'atar on top. Even though
we often call pita
with za'atar pita bread, this is often misconstrued by English
speakers. Pita is any kind of flatbread, and not just the
pocket bread that is called pita here in the US. This recipe
shows you how to make a thick flatbread more akin to focaccia,
and this is what is used to make a delicious snack bread
with any variety of toppings.
First, mix the yeast in with the
warm water and sugar. Let it stand for 5–10 minutes . In
a large bowl mix the flour, salt and oil. Add the yeast
mixture when it starts to foam and mix well. The dough
will be a little sticky and you should knead it until smooth
and elastic, about 10 minutes. Remove to a warm place to
rise for one hour, or until it doubles in size.
Punch down the dough and knead it
again for a couple of minutes. On a floured work surface,
roll the dough into a cylinder shape and divide into about
6 balls. Roll out each ball into a disc shape; cover and
let rise again for 30 minutes. Your bread dough is now
ready and all you have to do is add the toppings. I pour
generous amounts of olive oil and sprinkle on za'atar on
To bake, place the dough in a hot
for about 5–6 minutes, or until the corners turn brown.
Ideally this should be done in a clay oven or on a pizza
stone in your regular oven. Pull it out and eat it hot!
These make great snacks for the kids. Mmmm...
When baking bread, it's often all about the oven! This recipe
is no exception. In Israel the bread is baked in a huge clay
oven, often wood-fired or with something akin to a flame-thrower.
The point is that it's about 1000ºF. You won't achieve this in
your home oven, but you can approximate as best you can by
baking at 500ºF and cooking directly on a pizza stone placed on
the lowest rack of your oven.