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A wet dough and multiple rises produce a puffy, pillowy Yemeni-style flatbread

Yeasted Flatbreads with Za’atar Oil

Appears in March-April 2021

1¼ hours Active time over the course of 1½ to 2½ days

Yeasted Flatbreads with Za’atar Oil

At Magdalena restaurant in Migdal, Israel, chef Yousef (Zuzu) Hanna offers a house-baked flatbread that’s a hybrid of Yemeni saluf and Moroccan frena. Soft and chewy, with a puffy, open crumb and golden brown crust, the breads, shaped like slightly flattened mini boules, have a texture somewhere between naan and ciabatta. To recreate it at home, we use a moderately wet yeasted dough and give it multiple rises, including a 24- to 48-hour rise in the refrigerator, so be sure to read the recipe before beginning so you can plan accordingly. Immediately after baking, we brush the surface of the breads with a za’atar-infused oil that also can be served alongside the bread for dipping. Za’atar is a Levantine spice, seed and herb blend; look for it in the spice aisle of the supermarket or in Middle Eastern markets. You will need a baking steel or stone for this recipe, plus a baking peel for sliding the dough onto and off the steel.

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