Traditional flatbreads with za'atar

There's no better feeling than dipping a freshly baked flatbead in golden olive oil or silky hummus, well I certainly think so. These wonderful breads are at the very core of Middle Eastern food culture, served alongside koftes, kibbeh, baba ganoush and other morsels. They are also relatively easy to make, the perfect dip into amateur bread making.


  • 500g strong, white bread flour

  • 10g salt

  • 10g instant yeast

  • 30g unsalted butter

  • 300mls water

  • olive oil

  • za'atar for sprinkling


  1. Put the flour in a large, warm mixing bowl and add the salt and the dried yeast.

  2. Add the butter and most of the water, then mix with your hands to bring the mixture together.

  3. Gradually add the remaining water until all the flour is mixed in.

  4. Put the dough on a lightly floured board and knead for 5-10 minutes. Add more flour if necessary to stop from sticking. Make sure to pound the dough and fold it, rather than stretching as you would for pizza. Doing the latter makes the dough sticky and difficult to handle. Knead until the dough feels smooth and silky after about 5 minutes, then place it back in the mixing bowl, cover it with a warm tea towel and leave it in a warm place to rise for at least an hour until the dough has doubled in size.

  5. Tip the dough on to a floured surface, fold repeatedly until all the air is knocked out of it, then tear it into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.

  6. Add a tbsp of olive oil to a frying pan on a medium heat. Roll out each ball flat and fry, until nicely toasted on each side. The flatbreads should puff out slightly (as they fill with air) and be toasted on each side. Remove each flatbread from the pan once cooked, drizzle slightly with olive oil and sprinkle with za'atar.

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