Za’atar Bread is an Arabic recipe. Most will tout it as a Lebanese dish. It’s basically a baked flat bread with Za’atar and Olive Oil. Super simple right?! I’d say so! That’s my kind of recipe!
So what exactly is Za’atar? It’s a spice mix consisting of mostly dried sumac, thyme, oregano, and sesame seeds. There are many variations that include cumin, coriander, fennel seeds, cayenne pepper, and red pepper flakes. If you have all the ingredients, you can make Za’atar yourself! If not, head to your local Mediterranean store and pick up a jar of it. If you live near Salt Lake City, a GREAT option is Black Cherry Market. They’re very friendly and love helping customers. If you’ve never ventured into a market store that is not an American style grocery store, don’t be discouraged or shy away. Exploring the store is an adventure and there are SO many foods that we don’t get in the typical American grocery store! Black Cherry Market has tons of variations of Za’atar. I used a plain Lebanese Za’atar mix, meaning I didn’t buy a kind that had additional cayenne or red pepper flakes. If you can’t make it into a Mediterranean Market, you can also buy online. Amazon has a few variations that can be ordered online. I recommend getting a larger than smaller jar as recipes usually call for about 1 cup. You can find Za’atar online here.
Historically, Za’atar has actually been used in the Middle East to rid people of internal parasites. It is also believed that Za’atar makes the mind quick and the body strong. However, this may chalk up to being a myth developed from the low provisions of the Lebanese Civil War. Even though it might be a myth, children are still encouraged to eat Za’atar Bread for breakfast before an exam or big day. Holistic physicians also tout and recommend Za’atar for it’s healing and health promoting properties. Myth or not, when I eat Za’atar Bread it makes me feel AMAZING, and it has huge anti-inflammatory effects for me.
Za’atar Bread is actually really easy to make, and it’s super quick! All you need is Za’atar, Olive Oil, and a flat bread. It is also often paired with Labneh, a thick yogurt often paired with mint and garlic, or hummus.
You can also bake the flat bread, which I highly recommend, or you can eat it without baking it. If you do choose to bake the flat bread, you can get precooked bread, or make it yourself. Either way, the Za’atar is spread on top of the bread before baking and the Labneh, or hummus, is spread or dipped into after baking. We usually buy precooked flat bread at Black Cherry Market and bake the Za’atar Bread for about 5-10 minutes. The longer the bread is baked, the crispier it will become. We prefer it a little softer, so we don’t bake it as long, but try out different textures! You may find you like it crispier.
Za’atar can also be baked into bread, mixed into hummus, made into tea, used as a meat spice, and seasoning for chips! Have a recipe or variation using Za’atar? Let me know about it!