How to make Manakish like Muhammed

In honor of Wanderfood Wednesday, I’d like to tell you a wee little bit about manakish made by Muhammed:

sand in bottlesAbout forty minutes (give or take) out of Amman on the way to Petra, on your right under three giant billboards for Rivage Dead Sea beauty products, there’s the Jordanian equivalent of a truck stop. It’s an unassuming stucco building chock full of handmade textile souvenirs, tchotchkes, touristy knick knacks like these sand paintings, and clean bathrooms.

Muhammed in cornerStuck in the very front, far, far left corner of the store you’ll find Muhammed hand crafting the finest flatbread topped with thyme, olive oil, pine nuts (sesame?) and fresh white mixed cheeses.  It’s called manakish (manaeesh?) generally for the pizza-like creation (as far as I can tell) and zattar specifically when topped with the green thyme mixture of herbs, olive oil and pine nuts or sesame.ingredients

(Note: Jordanian olive oil was far better than its Italian counterpart and I would like to know who imports it. I’d also like to go back to Jordan on a foodies’ trip and taste oil at the producers. Wanna come?)

His oven reminded me so much of the Italian pizza ovens where I live.  He even hand tossed the dough the same way they do here.Muhammed dough

He was thrilled I was snapping his photo (as my compradres were all shopping and paying him not one wink of attention).Muhammed smiling

I think I may have distracted him, resulting in the dark edges on the bread. Still… behold their beauty! They were tasty. Everyone especially loved the cheeses.

manakish zattar

Here are a few similar recipes I found online:

an interesting take on Lebanese breakfast

another zattar manakish post

And here’s a recipe with white cheese. Yum!


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