Manaeish – Middle Eastern Pizza

Zaatar and Cheese Manoosheh

Manaeish is a delicious middle eastern breakfast, it is made of flat dough topped with zaatar,  cheese, or meat mixture and baked in the oven, it looks like a pizza and a lot of people in the west refer to it as a Middle Eastern Pizza.

Manakish or Manaeish (مناقيش) the plural of Manoosheh (منقوشة) means decorated or stamped. Old women in the villages used to spread the dough with their fingers leaving a decorative pattern on the dough. The manoosheh is usually formed into single serving size similar to a pita bread size, but some bakeries now make big manakish. 

The most popular Manaeish toppings are:
Manaeish Zaatar: Dough topped with Zaatar mixture (thyme, sumac, and toasted sesame seeds) and olive oil.
Manaeish Jebneh (Cheese): Dough topped with Jebneh nabulsieh (Nabulsi Cheese) which is a semi-hard brined cheese typically made from sheep’s or goat’s milk), or other kinds of cheeses like Akkawi or Qashkawan.
Lahm Beajeen or sfiha (Minced meat pizza): which literary translates meat with dough, it is usually made with round or oval shape dough topped with meat mixture (usually lamb), it is typically eaten as a snack or for lunch or dinner.
For the dough recipe please visit Middle Eastern Pastry Dough post.
Manaeish Zaatar :

  1. Mix the Zaatar and olive oil to form a runny paste.
  2. With a rolling pin shape your dough into thin  rounded discslightly perforate the surface of the dough with a fork or some similar utensil without reaching the edges to avoid the dough from bubbling.
  3. Add the Zaatar and olive oil mixture leaving the edges uncovered and let the manaeish rest for about 15-30 minutes.
  4. Bake the rested manaeish in a preheated oven for about 12-15 minutes until the bottom is golden. 

Manaeish Jebneh (Cheese):
  1. I used nabulsi cheese  where I boiled this salty goat cheese for 2 minutes and then squeezed all of the water out and chopped it into big pieces.
  2. As for the dough you have to follow the same steps as the Zaatar recipe step (2), then top the center of the dough with the cheese and bake in the oven. 
Here are some of the pictures for the Manaeish. 

I made a huge one with both Zaatar, olive oil and cheese 🙂 it was very delicious, actually I just had a slice for breakfast and it was out of this world, with mint tea of course 😉 
As for the Sfiha or the Lahm beajean (Minced meat pizza) recipe I will make a separate post about it.



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