Dan Leader's Simply Great Breads is a small book, but, true to its title, contains great recipes. Do you remember the pretty bialys and thin grissini featured previously? They came from the same treasured book.
Mana'eesh (or Manakish) is a flatbread (schiacciata) typical of the Middle East. It comes out of the oven hot, soft and smelling heavenly. But before being flattened to go into the oven, it is a nice ball of dough:
The photo above was taken together with the sepia one I shared a few days ago. Bread dough holds fascination for the baker in love with the magic of mixing flour, water and yeast (farina, acqua e lievito).
The simple recipe uses delayed fermentation and requires a little planning if you want to serve the flatbread warm out of the oven, something I recommend.
You can find the recipe on this page (though I suggest getting the book, which has truly great recipes).
I usually halve the quantities and make one larger flatbread to share with my husband. I use 1 oz. / 28 g of whole-wheat flour and 4 oz. / 113 g unbleached all-purpose flour to add healthy fiber, and only 1 oz. of olive oil instead of 2 oz. (which seems a bit too much to me).
The freckles you see on the dough's surface are due to the special whole-wheat flour I use, which comes from locally grown hard wheat freshly milled by my friend Rhonda of Beck's Bakery, a bakery with an onsite stone mill (mulino).
In the original recipe, the Mana'eesh is sprinkled with Za'atar and the book includes Leader's recipe for it. I like to sprinkle some Harissa spice mix, which gives the bread a bit of heat and a lot of color. I got the Harissa spice mix as part of a beautiful gift set of spices called Flavors of Morocco. (I don't have a business relationship with the company, but wanted to share the link because if you like spices, this is a very interesting set.)
I am sending my warm flatbread to Panissimo a biweekly event created recently by Barbara of Bread & Companatico and Sandra of indovina chi viene a cena?
This post contains the roundup of the event, English version, and this one the Italian version.
I am contributing it also to the May edition of Bake With Love! (formerly Bake Your Own Bread) hosted by Roxana of Roxana's Homebaking.
And I am submitting this recipe, bookmarked in Daniel Leader's Simply Great Breads (the link goes to the website of Bread Alone, which is Leader's bakery) to Bookmarked Recipes #24, an event originally started by Ruth of Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments and now hosted by Jacqueline of Tinned Tomatoes.
This post contains the roundup of the event.
Click on the button to hear me pronounce the Italian words mentioned in the post:
or launch the mana'eesh audio file [mp3].
[Depending on your set-up, the audio file will be played within the browser or by your mp3 player application. Please, contact me if you encounter any problems.]
homemade bread, flatbread, whole-wheat flour, Middle Eastern cuisine
That flour sounds really special. What a treat to use!
Posted by: Alicia (foodycat) | May 08, 2013 at 09:51 AM
I have seen the book at a local book store and haven't bought it but now I regret my decision. Your mana'eesh looks great! I have made flat bread sprinkled with Za'atar and ca wait to try this recipe!
Thanks for linking it to #bakedwithlove the new name for #bakeyourownbread :)
Posted by: Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking | May 08, 2013 at 08:05 PM
I can almost feel the scent of the bread by only looking at your pictures. so soft which immediately makes me think of dipping it in some Moroccan stew or into baba ghanoush or some hummus. I love Dan Lepard's take on traditional breads from all over, this will be done soon and I am still hoping to be able to make your pasta before I leave for my Italian trip (only 1 week to go now). Otherwise I will miss the roundup but I will do the pasta when back for sure. thank you so much for this contribution to Panissimo!
Posted by: Bread & Companatico | May 09, 2013 at 07:19 AM
This looks terrific! I'd like to try to make it!
Posted by: Paz | May 09, 2013 at 09:50 AM
le tue parole quando parli di farina lievito e acqua mi hanno fatto venire i brividi.... grazie Simona!
Posted by: sandra | May 10, 2013 at 04:16 AM
Simple breads mean we can have tasty homemade bread quicker on the table.
Posted by: bellini | May 10, 2013 at 05:20 AM
It is, Alicia.
Hi Roxana. I have also his previous book and have made a number of breads from that one as well. Thanks for letting me know about the name change.
Ciao Barbara. You are right, it makes you want to dip and scoop and just eat it all. I understand being totally busy with preparing for the trip, so don't worry if you can't make it.
Ciao Paz. Give it a try: your efforts will be rewarded :)
Grazie Sandra. Per me fare il pane (e il formaggio e la pasta) e' un'attivita' meditativa che mi ancora al presente.
Definitely, Val. It is so nice to get this one from the oven to the table.
Posted by: Simona Carini | May 10, 2013 at 10:17 PM
Lovely way to showcase the local flour, as well as the exotic spice mix!
Posted by: diary of a tomato | May 13, 2013 at 09:01 AM
Posted by: Simona Carini | May 14, 2013 at 03:38 PM
I love flatbread and this looks delicious and with the addition of za'atar makes a great spiced bread. I found your recipe on bakedwithlove on Roxana's Home Baking.
Posted by: Laura@bakinginpyjamas | June 01, 2013 at 05:12 AM
Hi Laura and welcome! I totally recommend this bread, especially if you like flat breads.
Posted by: Simona Carini | June 02, 2013 at 09:36 PM