Fresh Za’atar Twists. 🌿 Yesterday morning, my mother picked fresh oregano from our garden to be baked into I’raas Za’atar. But instead of going for the traditional look and using our usual dough recipe, I wanted to twist things up a bit (pun intended) 😉 These are the best breakfast treat and pair perfectly with salty Nabulsi cheese and hot tea.
PS: I know some of you are probably thinking…wait…za’atar is oregano? I thought it was thyme?! Turns out the za’atar we know and love is usually a blend of oregano, thyme, and marjoram. But the word za’atar can also be used to describe good ol’ oregano!
Makes 10-12 twists
3+ cups freshly chopped za’atar/oregano OR
2 cups dried za’atar/oregano that has been soaked in water for at least 1 hour.
3 teaspoons yeast
1 1/2 cups warm milk
1/2 cup warm water
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
3+ cups all purpose flour or bread flour
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
Step 1: If you’re using Fresh Za’atar/Oregano: Wash and finely chop the herbs and set aside. If you’re using dried za’atar/oregano: soak it in warm water for at least 1 hour, then strain and set aside.
Step 2: In a kitchen mixer or your own mixing bowl, combine the warm yeast, warm milk, water, oil and sugar and stir. Then allow for the mixture to sit for about 5-8 minutes or until the yeast begins to bubble.
Step 3: Combine flour and salt. Turn on mixer and begin to add the flour/salt mix one cup at a time and continue to combine the ingredients. You want to create a sticky-but-not-impossible-to-work-with kind of dough. You may find that you will need to add additional flour to mix. If so, begin with 1/4 cup and then slowly add more until the dough has been formed. Again, it’s a soft and slightly sticky dough but not impossible to pick up and work with.
Step 4: Add the dried za’atar into the mixing bowl and gently knead it into the dough.
Step 5: Transfer dough into a lightly oiled bowl (vegetable oil), cover with saran wrap and place in a warm area. Allow the dough to rise for about 1 1/2 -2 hours or until the dough has doubled in size.
Step 6: Preheat oven to 450°. Divide up the dough into mandarin-sized balls. Spread 1/2 teaspoon of butter on each ball of dough.
Step 7: Roll each ball of dough into a snake (just think back to the days of playing with play dough:) ). Hold each end of the snake-shaped dough and twist it. Then shape it into a circle and place on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. NOTE: You don’t have to make them this specific twisted shape. You can actually make them into smaller balls, you can flatten them out like pancakes and bake them, or you can stuff some with cheese (my personal favorite!) – the options are endless!
Step 8: Bake until golden. Remove and allow to cool. Devour and enjoy!