Palestinian Flatbread

November 09, 2017

Palestinian Flatbread

Preparation time: 40 minutes plus resting time  |  Cooking time: 7–12 minutes  |  Makes 10


For the pastry

  • 4½ cups (1 lb 2 oz/500 g) all-purpose (plain) flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 2¼ cups (9 oz/250 g) fine whole wheat (wholemeal) flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for oiling
  • 1 tablespoon active dry (fast-action) yeast
  • 2–2½ cups (18–20 fl oz/500–600 ml) warm water

For the filling

  • 2 cups (3½ oz/100 g) firmly packed fresh za’atar leaves (a variety of wild thyme leaves found  in the Mediterranean )
  • 8 scallions (spring onions), green and white parts finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (4 fl oz/120 ml) olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper


  • Put the flours, salt and sugar into a bowl and mix together.
  • Make a well in the middle; add the oil, yeast and half the water. Mix through with your fingers, adding more water and kneading until the dough comes together. If the mixture feels sticky, leave for 5 minutes then knead again. Repeat until you have a soft ball of dough.
  • Alternatively, combine all the ingredients, but only half the water, in the bowl of a freestanding mixer fitted with the dough hook and mix on medium speed, adding water as necessary, until it comes together in a soft but robust ball.
  • Rub with oil, cover the bowl with a damp dish towel, and set aside to rise for 1 hour.
  • Prepare the stuffing by placing all the filling ingredients into a large bowl and tossing to combine. Set aside until ready to use.
  • Once the dough has risen, divide into 10 equal-sized portions. Line a large tray with plastic wrap and oil then place the dough on the tray. Let rest for 5–10 minutes.
  • Take one portion of dough and, with your hands, flatten it into a rough circle. Take about a tenth of the filling and spread it evenly over the pastry.
  • Starting at the top use both hands to fold the pastry into thirds, oiling each layer as you fold. You should now have a long rectangle.
  • Take one of the short sides and fold into thirds again, this time horizontally, oiling each layer as you go. You should now have a square shape.
  • Oil the pastry again and set aside on an oiled surface and cover with oiled plastic wrap.
  • Repeat with remaining pastry. Set aside to rest for 15 minutes while you preheat the oven to 475°F/240°C/Gas Mark 9.
  • Flatten it out with well-oiled hands into a 8-inch/20-cm square, then place on a baking sheet.
  • Repeat with the rest of the pastry. Bake for 7–12 minutes, or until a light golden color.
  • Check the underside, if it has not browned, you may need to flip it and bake for 2 minutes to brown the bottom.
  • Remove from oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Serve warm with halloumi cheese, a side of fresh vegetables, and a cup of sweet mint tea

Source: 'The Palestinian Table' by Reem Kassis - availabe in-store at the Triggerfish Cookshop. 

About the book: Authentic modern Middle Eastern home cooking – 150 delicious, easy-to-follow recipes inspired by three generations of family tradition.

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