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2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
2 cups lukewarm water (about 90-95 degrees)
4 cups unbleached bread flour, plus more for kneading
1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus more for greasing
1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
cornmeal for sprinkling
2 tablespoons Za’atar (recipe follows)
In the mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine 2 cups of lukewarm water with the yeast. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes. Add 4 cups of bread flour and 2 teaspoons salt. Mix at medium speed until a loose dough forms. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough is smooth, about 5-6 minutes. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 1 minute. Transfer the dough to a large oiled mixing bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Place in a warm, draft free spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Punch down the dough and form into 2 ovals. The dough will be shaggy and a little loose. Place the ovals on an oiled baking sheet and cover with a sheet of oiled plastic wrap. Let the dough rise again for about 1 hour.
While the dough is rising the second time, prepare the flour paste. In a small saucepan combine 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon granulated sugar, 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil and 1/2 cup of water. Cook the paste on medium, whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes. Let the flour paste cool.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Set a pizza stone on the lowest rack and heat for 30 minutes. Generously sprinkle a pizza peel with cornmeal. (I don’t have a pizza peel so I dusted a large piece of parchment paper) Punch down 1 piece of dough and transfer it to a lightly floured work surface. Press the dough into a 14×5 inch rectangle, then transfer the dough to the peel. Shake the peel lightly to make sure the dough doesn’t stick. Add more cornmeal if needed. Using your fingers, press 5 deep lengthwise ridges into the dough. (I didn’t make mine deep enough – so don’t be afraid to press down hard.) Rub about 1/3 of the flour paste over the surface and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the Za’atar. Slide the dough onto the hot stone and bake for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and risen. Repeat with the second loaf. (You will probably have some leftover flour paste – discard.) Serve immediately.
Yield: 2 large loaves
(recipe adapted from February 2013 edition of Food and Wine)
2 tablespoons dried thyme
2 teaspoons ground sumac
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon oregano
dash of freshly ground pepper
Mix together in small bowl. Store in a cool, dry location or in the refrigerator. Use two tablespoons for sprinkling on the bread, then the reminder can be combined with olive oil for dipping.
(recipe slightly adapted from 101 Cookbooks)
We ordered heirloom tomato plants this year and they came in the mail! How cool is that. We can’t wait to get them in the ground and watch them grow. Are you ready for fresh garden tomatoes? I am!
I hope you have a wonderful weekend and thanks so much for stopping by!