Posts Tagged ‘man’oushe’

UK baker Dan Lepard maintains that when yeast, flour and water are combined, the resultant dough will rise, regardless of whether it’s kneaded or not.  This process is known as autolysing.

I decided to test this theory out on a batch of pizza dough we made yesterday.

Into a large mixing bowl went my usual ingredients:

  • 500g bakers flour
  • 10g dried yeast
  • 7g fine sea salt
  • 320g water
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil

I squelched these together until all the dry ingredients were moistened…

The mixed but unkneaded dough was left in the mixing bowl, covered with cling film…

Here it is after an hour…

…and at the two hour mark…

I scraped the risen dough onto the bench…

…and gave it ten folds, no more, which was enough to turn it into this…

The dough was divided into four, shaped into balls and rested for a further half hour before shaping and baking.

We made four man’oushe – Small Man’s favourite – and the delicious pizzas came out of the oven with large air pockets, a sign that the yeast was active and doing its job.

The whole process took longer than usual (I allowed the dough to bulk prove for two hours, whereas I would normally leave it for less than one), but the end results were no different to our regular pizzas.

Is it necessary to knead dough?  In this case, it would appear not!

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Easy and very delicious, man’oushe is a traditional Lebanese breakfast of flatbread topped with za’atar (thyme, sumac, salt and sesame seeds).  It’s often served folded into three and filled with chopped tomato, onion and olives.

I made these from a half batch of our pizza base recipe, rolling the dough into four thin small circles, and topping them with a mixture of olive oil and za’atar (which I purchased at the markets from the spice stall).  They were then baked in a hot oven to golden brown.

Small Man ate three of these in one sitting, so it’s definitely something we’ll make again!

Edit: a recipe for za’atar for those who can’t buy it premixed.  This comes from Spice Notes by Ian Hemphill, owner of Herbie’s Spices:

  • 3 tsp dried thyme leaves, crushed but not powdered in a pestle and mortar
  • 1 tsp sumac
  • ½ tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • ¼ tsp salt

Blend all the above together and mix with olive oil before spreading.

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