Thursday, May 15, 2008

Za'atar pizza

This is one of our favourite breakfast recipes in my house. It is easy to make, tastes delicious and reminds me of being home with my parents. I know you don't often associate pizza with breakfast (except possibly when the pizza is cold and you are supporting the effects of a big night), but try this and I know you will love it. My favourite thing about this is that it is so easy that my partner offers to make it on Saturday mornings!

Za'atar is a middle-eastern spice mix rich in thyme, with sesame seeds and sumac. You can buy it ready mixed from many stores (I got mine from Herbie's in Rozelle) but I always find that I need to mix in extra sumac to get the right taste. The sumac gives it a lovely tangy, lemony taste, that is essential in this pizza.

Basic Pizza Dough

300g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
7g easy blend yeast
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil
225ml warm water

Place flour, yeast and salt in bowl. Combine water and oil (as much as this is possible!) in a jug.
Slowly pour oil mix into flour, and stir until you have a soft stretchy dough. Knead by hand for 10 minutes on a floured work surface.
Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, rub a little extra oil on top, and cover with a clean damp tea towel. Set aside at room temperature to rise for 1 hour (or until dough has doubled in size).
Punch the dough down with a clenched fist. Remove from bowl and knead for a couple of minutes until smooth. Cut in half, and roll each half out to
a 25cm circle. Place on lightly oiled baking tray.

Za'atar topping

4 tbsp za'atar
extra sumac
(this really depends on your taste - have a play and see)
olive oil to blend

Combine za'atar, extra sumac and olive oil in a bowl to a slightly runny paste. Spread mixture evenly over pizza bases (you may need a little more or less mixture depending on how strong you like it!). Using your fingertips, make small indents all over the pizza dough. This helps stop the dough from puffing up whilst it is cooking.
Bake in a preheated 180C oven for 10 - 12 minutes or until the base is crisp and cooked through. Za'atar can burn quickly so keep a close eye on it.

Take from the oven and enjoy whilst hot with a strong cup of black coffee!

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