Saturday 14 December 2013

Lebanese Flatbread with Sun-dried Tomato Basil Pesto

The French have their baguette and the Labanese have their man'ooshe - a flatbread that is shaped like a round pizza and eaten for breakfast with various toppings. 

This flatbread is widely available in every street bakery in Lebanon. It is commonly served with a spread  called Za'tar made from a special fruit called Sumac, sesame seeds and salt and topped with tomatoes , onions and salads of choice wrapped up and enjoyed.The man'ooshe can also be used  as a pizza base and topped with your favourite cheese and toppings. Since I won't be able to make authentic Za'tar, I've improvised with a sun-dried tomato basil version which was delicious served freshly baked from the oven. 

The bread is crisp on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside. It's really easy to make and seriously addictive. It's important to eat it fresh though, as it turned slightly hard when kept overnight. 

Lebanese Flatbread with Sun-dried Tomato Basil Pesto (6 pieces)
Adapted from Bill Granger


For the bread
  • 300g strong white flour 

  • 150g strong wholemeal flour 

  • 1½ tsp instant yeast 

  • 1 tsp caster sugar 

  • 1 tsp sea salt 
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for greasing
For the paste
  • A handful of basil leaves (about 20)
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp of oil from the sun-dried tomatoes or olive oil
To serve
  • Greek yoghurt
  • Extra basil leaves
  • For the bread, place the flours, yeast, sugar and salt into a bowl, and stir to combine. Make a well in the centre then pour in 250ml of tepid water (slightly warm) and stir to form a soft dough. Tip out on to a lightly floured work surface and knead for 1 minute. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with a cloth, then set aside for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  • In a blender, blend the basil leaves and sun-dried tomatoes and oil till it forms a paste.
  • Preheat the oven to 250C/480F/Gas8. Divide the dough into 6 rounds and use a rolling pin to roll them out into flatbreads. Dust an oven tray with flour. Transfer the breads to the tray and spread with topping. Bake for 5 minutes until light-golden and lightly crisp like a pizza. 
  • Serve with basil leaves sprinkled over it and Greek yoghurt.
I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest: West Asia hosted by Shannon from Just As Delish.

This is for Cook Like A Star hosted by Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out and Mich of Piece of Cake. 


  1. these lebaneses flatbreads look soo good!

  2. this looks addictive, indeed! love to try!
    Mich, strong white flour, is that bread flour?
    and strong wholemeal flour, is it those coarse type or I can use fine wholemeal flour (Prima brand)?
    thks! :)

    1. Hi Alice! I used bread flour and the fine wholemeal flour :)

  3. It looks great and tastes wonderful!
    I should know as we looooove za'atar (I make pita-bread with za'atar quite often)

  4. Mich, you are an expert in making flatbread like this. I love your choice of the flavour. Will check on my local supermarket for high gluten wheat flour next time

  5. I love bread, flat or high-risen! Sundried tomato and basil pesto...the combo reminds me of Italian food which I love a lot!
    Happy Sunday, Mich.

  6. You are never going to believe this but my husband bought me sumac spices on one of his last business travel excursions so I can make your bread and try my hands at za'tar

  7. This flat bread sound light and healthy..

  8. Mich, this Lebanese flatbread looks good! I would have no problem polishing off a few pieces!

  9. That looks yummy, I know my boy will like this as he is so into pizzas!

  10. Sounds delicious and it does look like pizza!

  11. This look like another kind of pizza. This sounds healthy.

  12. Hi Mich,

    Like the way that you transform these flatbreads into healthy pizza. You are right that Lebanese flat bread are best to be consumed within the day... They do dried up very quickly :p


  13. this sounds great.! i am waiting for the sumac to arrive..cant wait to taste it :)

  14. What a simple, quick and delicious looking snack, Mich. I love flat bread! I think you can buy authentic Za'tar online and I'm sure I have seen recipes for making your own online too.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Mich...

  15. Hi Mich,
    These look good! I know that I would love these and would have no problem finishing a few at one go!

  16. Beautiful recipe Mich! Simple and delicious. I love flat bread and I have never made it! It is time to try with your recipe :-)

  17. LOVE flatbread!!! I bet homemade right out of oven is THE BEST!

  18. Hi Mich, your flat bread look awesome. Nice click.

    Best regards.

  19. Thanks for sharing useful information
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