Saj Manakeesh

Prep Time: 30’

Cooking Time: 3 to 5’ each

Makes: 7 Manakeesh

What you need:


  • 450g Strong Bread Flour
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 1½ Cups Water at room temperature

Zaatar Filling to make 1

  • 3 Tbsp Dry Zaatar
  • 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Cheese Filling to make 1:

  • 50g shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 50g shredded Halloumi Cheese


  • Saj Grill
  • OR a flat oven tray

Optional Toppings:

  • Tomato
  • Fresh Mint Leaves
  • Olives



As you may all know, I’ve been working on perfecting a Manouche recipe because it’s my all time favorite breakfast and unfortunately, it does not exist in this part of the UK. And of course we always want what we can’t get, and for me, what I can’t get, I make!

I’ve also been looking for a Saj grill and couldn’t find it anywhere here, so when we went to Dubai last month, it was on my list and I was lucky!

Now of course, I’m not saying you have to have this grill, it is optional, it makes the whole experience more authentic (even more authentic if it was a charcoal one but mine is electric – less mess to be honest and much faster).

You can substitute this grill with a flat oven tray and bake your Manakeesh for 10 to 15 minutes on 200 degrees Celsius.

Now this recipe is not perfect yet, but it’s pretty good enough to satisfy my breakfast needs! And works great until I perfect it one day, and who knows I might make it a popular thing here in the future! Watch this space! (Life Goals)

First to make the dough, put your 450g of strong bread flour in a bowl, sprinkle 1tsp of salt and mix it in. Prepare your 1½ cups of water in a jug because you probably won’t use it all. Pour the water in small quantities over your flour and start kneading with your hands. Keep going until the dough holds together and doesn’t stick to your fingers anymore. Take it out of the bowl and start kneading it for about 10 minutes. I know I have an electric mixer but I wanted to give it some love J

It will look like this:

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Let it rest for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile you can make your zaatar and cheese fillings.

For the zaatar, mix the dry zaatar with the olive oil until it forms a paste.

For the cheese, shred both the cheddar and the halloumi.

Set everything aside.

Get your dough and cut it into 7 equal parts and form balls.

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If you’re using a Saj grill, make sure it’s warming up at this point.

If you’re using a traditional oven, set it to 200 degrees Celsius.

Flatten your ball using a rolling pin as thin as you can, then using your fingers try and stretch it gently without breaking it. The secret of a saj bread is its thinness.

Once finished, lay it on the Saj grill and grill it for a minute then add the zaatar OR the cheese and wait until the dough has cooked. Check its bottom.

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For the oven, lay your dough on the flat tray and top it with zaatar or cheese and bake it for 10 to 15 minutes.

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Enjoy it with a cup of tea, some tomatoes and fresh mint leaves and olives!

Et Voila!

Let me know what you think!



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