It's Sooo Good! | Arabic flatbread recipe

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Arabic Flatbread

I'll tell you what you can put there :
  • 2 cups flour (~200g)
  • 150 mL lukewarm water
  • 60 mL (1/4 cup) olive oil + more for topping
  • teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 packet of active dry yeast
  • Spices: 1 teaspoon salt, sesame seeds
Click to enlarge
Pita with zaatar
Flatbread is very versatile and you can try all sorts of toppings. My favorite is za'atar!.

I'll tell you what you can do :

Flatbread 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 top.

To bake, place the dough in a hot oven (500ºF) 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.


Best of luck,


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New! Write a comment about this recipe:

Pita ?? writes: (12 Mar 2016, 09:48)
Dear Moti,

What of the commercially available American flours are best to use for Pita?
Pita ?? writes: (12 Mar 2016, 09:47)
Dear Moti,

What of the commercially available American flours are best to use for Pita?
Pita ?? writes: (12 Mar 2016, 09:46)
Dear Moti,

What of the commercially available American flours are best to use for Pita?
shdjdhsjdhdjsk writes: (05 May 2014, 17:09)
Dear Moti,hi
My brother writes: (21 Mar 2014, 11:11)
Dear Moti, this recipe is awesome. Thanks
My brothr writes: (21 Mar 2014, 11:09)
Dear Moti,
Naomi writes: (10 Mar 2012, 08:24)
Hi Moti,in what way does your recipe differ with kaboos or is it same? Do I need an arabic oven or is it possible in a normal gas oven? Please let me know.
Al Johnson writes: (11 Nov 2011, 17:14)
Dear Moti, Want to thank you for the recipe. I do circa 1800 re-enactment cooking and we have 2 clay ovens on site. your flatbread has become the favorite with the public because it is so fast and tastes sooooo good. Probably the favorite topping is olive oil with cinnamon sugar. Do small ones and they are done in 1-2 minutes with a floor temp around 6oo degrees far.have made up to 4 expansions of the batch at one time.
Anne writes: (11 Oct 2010, 20:31)
Dear Moti,
LOL @ mo6ee
shlonek yaba ?

Love your recipes
Yona writes: (24 Aug 2010, 11:48)
Dear Moti, God bless! Thank you!
Aura writes: (01 Jul 2010, 17:41)
Dear Moti,

Thank you for the wonderful recipe! I've made these twice now and they are unbelievably delicious. I serve them with homemade za'atar on top, homemade hummus, and israeli salad. I look forward to trying more of your recipes!

Moti writes: (29 Mar 2010, 11:16)
Dear Moti, you are a real Mo6ee
hpum writes: (15 Mar 2009, 16:37)
Dear Moti,
Please tell me what I did wrong. Recently, I had to make more than the usual 10 pcs of lafas. So I just quantified the recipe; I allowed it to rise an hour, rolled, shaped it into discs. To ensure that it's still white even in the sides and pliable I baked it for 3 minutes. (1 1/2 min each side). I aired them in a wire rack but they turned to be ABSOLUTE CRACKERS.

Perhaps it was the recipe
Here is the recipe I followed ..........

5 cups flour
6 tsp instant yeast
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 tsp sugar
1 1/2 cup water
3/4 cup oil

How dry should the dough really be after kneading and mixing?

Thank you for you advise
Matthew writes: (07 Mar 2009, 12:08)
People... please realize that this is NOT the Iraqi flat bread that has become popular in America through soldiers and marines that have walked its streets. ANY RECIPE CONTAINING YEAST is not what you seek.
Moti writes: (17 Jan 2009, 12:54)
Dear Rose,

Yes, you can definitely substitute some wheat flour -- I do it all the time. But I wouldn't do more that 50/50 because otherwise the pita comes out too dense and doesn't rise well.
Rose writes: (16 Jan 2009, 09:49)
Dear Moti,
can you substitute some wheat flour for the white flour, looking for a healthier recipe with the wheat
arif husain writes: (07 Dec 2008, 14:54)
Dear Moti,
I am happy i found your web site,now
i bought pizza stone,and i am going
to try, thanks for giving us your idea.
Moti writes: (24 Oct 2008, 07:52)
No one is suggesting you run out and buy clay oven (which cost hundreds of dollars) but a pizza stone is really affordable. You could also put some clay tiles in your oven, but I'm quite certain it will be easier and cheaper to pick up the stone. I saw one at my local supermarket for $10!
asian wife of an iraqi man writes: (23 Oct 2008, 19:37)
Dear Moti,

this website is so not familiar with your food actually.but with the pictures and great planning to try it.

but, my questions is. i dont have a pizza stone or clay oven. any alternatives?
Moti writes: (21 Oct 2008, 08:35)
Dear hpum,

If your bread is breaking then you are facing one of two problems 1) you aren't putting yeast in it and allowing it to rise the proper amount of time, or 2) you're baking it too long. Either of these will result in a cracker. Follow the recipe closely and you should be fine! Pull out the bread while it is still white if you want a large, pliable lafa.
hpum writes: (20 Oct 2008, 19:40)
Dear Moti,
Okay,I think this recipe answered my previous question of having a pizza stone in a conventional oven. My main question now is if I can make the pita bread thinner (lafa) so I can wrap it over food without breaking it.
Maani Shaikh writes: (08 Dec 2007, 09:14)
Dear Moti,
I just read your recipe, I do belive it is nice recipe, Thanks

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