Saturday, July 26, 2008

Enough Philosophy - Let's EAT!

All that driving just makes me so reflective and philosophical. Can you tell from my last four posts? LOL! So now something to "earth" me...baking. When you find your head in the clouds...baking is a wonderful way to balance yourself. My daughter did think I was a bit "nutty" for taking pictures of our bread just looked so YUMMY I wanted to share it with everyone...

Tonight I noticed we had some Zataar sitting on the counter. You can find it at any Middle Eastern or African store or you can make your own with the following recipe:


1/2 cup excellent-quality Mediterranean thyme
1/4 cup sumaq
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds

DirectionsGrind the savory, sumac, salt and sesame seed in a spice grinder or clean coffee grinder until you obtain a fine powder. Keep in a sealed jar in a cool, dark and dry place.

This is one of my favorite spice mixtures in the world for the following reasons:

1. It tastes amazing!

2. It is one of the few healthy things that Sofi LOVES

3. The thyme in it helps clean parasites out of the system and kids love it so it is an easy way to cleanse the kids :)

4. The sesame seeds in it are high in vitamin E, which helps the skin stay young-looking and clear of blemishes. Vitamin E is also a wonderful anti-oxidant.

I could go on forever...but the short version of this is that "Zaatar Bread" is amazingly healthy (ww flour, olive oil and spices) and YUMMY!!!

Whenever I make Zataar bread I start with a pita bread recipe and I make half the recipe Zaatar bread and the other half regular pita bread. The instructions are below...

Pita Bread

3 cups ww flour

1 tsp. yeast

1 cup warm water

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. sugar

1 TBS. olive oil

Warm the flour. Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of water. Add salt, sugar and remaining water. Stir yeast mix and 1 cup of the flour until it is a bit thick. Cover with a cloth and let sit for 15 minutes. Stir in the remaining flour, knead until smooth and turn into an oiled bowl. Let sit 1.5 hours until doubled (we went grocery shopping and left it on the counter).

To Make Zaatar Bread:

Punch down the dough and divide the portions into the size of a child's palm. Roll each portion into a "pancake". Let sit for 10 minutes.

Brush olive oil onto bread dough. Cover with Zaatar mix and squash the mix into the olive oil so it is mixed in with it.

Put into a 450 degree oven and bake on an oiled cookie sheet for 5-7 minutes.

Enjoy warm!

To Make Regular Pita Bread (with hollow inside!):

Punch down the dough and divide it into portions about the size of a child's palm. Roll each portion into a ball and let sit for 15 minutes (or up to one hour if you have somewhere to go). Cover with a damp cloth.

See how much they rise under the cloth?

After some time take the cloth off and roll each circle into a flat round "pancake". Let each of these sit for 20 minutes under a warm cloth.

Pop into the pre-heated 450 degree oven and let bake for 5 minutes on an oiled cookie sheet or baking stone.

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