Almost every bakery in Lebanon starts selling them very early in the morning, as they are a very popular breakfast food. They are baked in a specialty brick oven for a few minutes and eaten hot with fresh vegetables and often labne (attach my recipe) on the side. This particular vegetable variety, which consists of mostly onions and tomatoes, is mainly prevalent in Southern Lebanon, where my family comes from. The flatbread is made using the same dough as my za’atar and cheese manakeesh recipe. The veggie topping consists of finely chopped tomatoes and onions, oil, salt and sumac. I typically use cluster tomatoes, however, , you can use whatever you prefer or have on hand. In fact, this time around I threw in a ton of cherry tomatoes, just because I have so many from my garden that I need to use up! Some people like to add bell peppers (red or green) and hot chili peppers. I love it with bell peppers and the extra kick that chili peppers add to it. However, since I wanted to showcase the classic recipe, I omitted those additional ingredients in this post. However, if you want to try it with these optional ingredients, I would add 1 large finely chopped bell pepper and finely chopped chilies according to your heat preference.
These manakeesh are a delicious breakfast item and perfect for large gatherings. This recipe makes about 12 good sized manakeesh, approximately 6 servings. I usually make this dough quantity but alter the toppings quantity to make all three varieties (cheese, za’atar, tomato and onion) because I love all of them. Feel free to halve the dough balls for mini manakeesh if you are making it as an appetizer rather than the main dish. I hope you all enjoy this variety as much as you do the za’atar and cheese!
Tomato and Onion Manakeesh
Manakeesh are a delicious Lebanese flatbread traditionally cooked in a brick oven and eaten for breakfast. These tomato and onion Manakeesh are a special variation found in Southern Lebanon that leave you wanting more.
Dough 3 cups Bread Flour 1.5 tsp. Active Dry Yeast 1 tb. White Granulated Sugar 1 cup Warm Water .33 cup Vegetable Oil 1 tsp. Salt Topping 3 lg. Tomatoes ((Any Variety)) 2 lg. Onions 1 tb. Sumac 2 tsp. Salt 2 tb. Olive Oil Dough Prep
In a large bowl combine the yeast, sugar and ½ cup of the warm water. The water should not be too hot or the yeast will not proof. Mix together and set aside for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
Add the flour, remaining water and salt to the proofed yeast. Using the dough hook of your stand mixer, begin mixing on low speed. Slowly add the oil and increase the speed until fully combined. If the dough is sticky, add more flour, a tablespoon at a time. If you find the dough will not combine, add water, also a tablespoon at a time. The dough can also be made without a stand mixer and kneaded by hand.
Lightly flour the bowl and place the dough ball inside. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise in a warm area for an hour, until doubled in size. After an hour or so, divide the dough into 12 balls. Re-cover with towel and let rise for an additional 30-45 minutes.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling.
Finely chop 3 large tomatoes. Set aside in a strainer to drain some of their juices.
Finely chop 2 large onions and place in a medium-sized bowl. Add the drained chopped tomatoes.
Sprinkle the sumac and salt over the chopped tomatoes and onions. Lastly, add the olive oil and mix thoroughly.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
On a floured surface, roll out each dough ball into 6 inches in diameter. Place on prepared baking sheet.
Add a few tablespoons of the filling on top of the dough like a pizza. Leave about a centimeter in diameter on the edges.
Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden brown on the bottom.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
Keeps well for about a week in Tupperware or sealed baggie in the fridge.
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