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Feb 10, 2020

Mana'eesh (Palestinian Flatbread)

Mana'eesh is the daily bread in many of the regions of the Middle East, including Palestine. It is an olive oil-rich bread, often topped with za'atar, halloumi cheese, or roasted peppers.

Mana'eesh (Palestinian Flatbread)

Mana'eesh is a flatbread that you can use to scoop up hummus or other dips. You can also top it with shredded beef, chicken, or lamb, or use as a way to sop up meat juices and sauces.

According to Reem Kassis in the book, The Palestinian Table (affiliate link), "Mana'eesh to a Palestinian is like pizza to an Italian.."

You can make this flatbread into either small or large rounds, and you can even shape the dough into boats to top with eggs and seasonings, sort of like Adjaruli Khachapuri, but without the cheese.


I experimented with an olive oil rich dough to make these Mana'eesh, and topped them with Za'atar, which is a mixture of roasted sesame seeds, dried sumac, dried thyme, and salt. Za'atar can also include dried marjoram and dried oregano.

I let the dough ferment overnight in the refrigerator, but you can let the dough rise at room temperature for one hour and shape and bake the flatbreads immediately.

I'm thinking of trying topping these with a mixture of tomato and lamb next time I make them.

How to make this Mana'eesh

First, mix the dough in the bowl of a stand mixer. Just know that there is a lot of oil in this recipe, so if you are having trouble incorporating the oil, pull the dough out of the bowl and give it a quick hand knead, and place it back into the mixer to continue kneading.

Once you have mixed the dough, let it rise until doubled, either for an hour at room temperature, or overnight in the refrigerator (which is what I did).

For larger mana'eesh flatbreads, divide the dough in half and shape the dough into 8 inch rounds. For smaller breads, divide the dough into 6 pieces and shape them into 3 inch rounds. Let the rounds rise for about an hour.

When the dough is ready, brush it with olive oil before sprinkling with the za'atar. 

Mana'eesh (Palestinian Flatbread) before baking

Be sure to dimple the breads with your fingers before baking to make sure that the dough does not puff up like dinner rolls or pita bread.

When my mana'eesh was baking, it did actually puff up, so I pulled it out of the oven and re-dimpled it with my fingers and placed it back in the oven. I still ended up with super airy flatbread.

Lesson: Be sure to keep an eye on your flatbread while it is baking.

This month, our Baking Bloggers group is sharing recipes from the Middle East.

I'm excited to see what everyone baked.

Mana'eesh (Palestinian Flatbread)

The dough for this Mana'eesh flatbread, along with flour, water, salt, and yeast, is olive oil enriched.

If you want to make a dinner out of it, top it with shredded meat or poultry along with some caramelized onions or roasted tomatoes.

Palestinian Flatbread

This recipe was adapted from Simply Great Breads by Daniel Leader. He was inspired by his daughter's exploration of middle eastern bread.

Mana'eesh (Palestinian Flatbread)

Yield: 6 flatbreads
Mana'eesh is the daily bread in many of the regions of the Middle East, including Palestine. It is an olive oil-rich bread, often topped with za'atar, halloumi cheese, or roasted peppers.


  • 10 ounces (286 grams/2 cups) unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1 1/8 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 7 ounces room temperature water (75 degrees F)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 2 tablespoons za’atar


How to cook Mana'eesh (Palestinian Flatbread)

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the flour, yeast, and salt.
  2. Add the water and oil and mix with the dough hook on low until it comes together. Continue to mix with the dough hook for 7 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Transfer the dough to a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and place it into the refrigerator overnight.
  4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and turn it out onto a floured work surface.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces and form each into a ball. Cover the dough balls with oiled plastic wrap. Let proof for one hour.
  6. Heat your oven to 500 degrees F with a baking stone on the middle rack.
  7. Line a pizza peel with parchment paper.
  8. When the dough is ready, stretch each piece of dough into 3 inch rounds and place them on the parchment paper.
  9. Using your fingerprints, press down on the rounds to create depressions in the dough.
  10. Brush the rounds with olive oil and sprinkle with the za’atar.
  11. Slide the parchment with the dough onto the baking stone and bake for about 7 to 12 minutes, depending on their thickness, until slightly browned.
  12. Remove the breads from the oven and cool on a wire rack.
  13. Serve warm or room temperature.
  14. These breads are best the day they are made. Wrap and freeze any leftovers.
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bread, flatbread, Mana'eesh

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Would you like to comment?

  1. I'll take the airy flat bread....It looks mouthwateringly delicious.

  2. I cannot keep up with you. Where is the emoji for throwing down the towel?

    1. Lol! Oh you with the multi-day mirrored glazed works of art!

    2. exactly. I am lazy. I take a loooong time to come up with stuff. You just get breads out of your oven non=stop, my friend!

  3. Perfect pillow soft Manaeesh Karen. Just a thought, your Manaessh and Wendy's Chicken Shwarma will make a perfect combo.

  4. These look LOVELY!! I want to smell that beautiful spice mixture you put on top!

  5. Karen these Mana'eesh flat breads look amazing and so easy to make!!
    In Greece we use this dough to make "penirli". It's an oven baked delicacy. We shape them into boats as you mentioned, and fill the middle with a soft yellow cheese we call kasseri, tomato, raw egg and bake it until the cheese is melted and the egg is cooked (preferably runny). Thank you for this beautiful post!
    Greetings from Greece!
    Mirella & Panos

  6. Mana'eesh look delicious!! I must say that I admire just how much olive oil you brushed onto the bread!

    1. Thanks! Next time I think I will mix it with the Za'atar and spread it on top.

  7. This looks scrumptious! I would love to try these and think I'd probably gobble them all up!

  8. they are much thicker than the ones I am use to, I guess there's different regional styles

    1. Or mine could be too thick! Although I've seen different thicknesses on the google machine.


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