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Raw Za’atar Middle Eastern Crispy Flatbread

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What exactly is za’atar? Besides a spice blend, a wild herb, a dip, a condiment, it also takes us on a culinary journey, granting us insight into the foodways of the Middle East;  Jordan, Lebanon, and Israel, and others… each one taking pride in their guarded secret of how za’atar is made.   It lends a deep nutty, woodsy and bright accent to foods and is quite versatile enough to use as an everyday spice blend.

You can buy Za’atar in Middle Eastern markets, and some mainstream grocery stores, but it can also be blended at home in your very own kitchen. I have provided a recipe blend that I made, which may differ from others but after researching what went into it, I think I did pretty well considering what ingredients I had in my pantry. :)

From what I have learned, Za’atar is most frequently used as a table condiment, dusted on food on its own, or stirred into some olive oil as a dip for flatbreads.  In this case, rather than putting on flatbreads, I put it in my flatbread recipe.  In Lebanon, Za’atar is most associated with breakfast, so try sprinkling some on oatmeal or yogurt.  If you are a popcorn lover, melt a little coconut oil over it and try sprinkling some Za’atar on it.  Who knew!

I no longer tremble in fear of spices, I now tremble in excitment of spices!

Ingredients: yields 41 flatbreads (2 Tbsp per cracker) 

Dry Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1/4 cup black or white sesame seeds
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp Za’atar spice
  • 3 Tbsp raw coconut flour
  • 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
  • 3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp sea salt

Wet Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chia seeds, soaked 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp cold-pressed olive
  • 1 Tbsp toasted semsame oil
  • 3 Tbsp raw agave nectar
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

Hand mix in:

Preparation:

  1. Soak the chia seeds in 2 cups of water for 15+ minutes.  It should be very thick.
  2. In the food processor fitted with the “S” blade, place the almond flour, sesame seeds, Za’atar seasoning, coconut flour,  caraway, cumin  and salt.  Pulse together until combined.
  3. Add the soaked chia seeds, water, olive oil, toasted sesame oil, agave, and lemon juice.  Process till everything is well incorporated.   Pour into a large mixing bowl.
  4. Add the almond pulp and with your hands, mix everything together really well.  Let the dough rest for about 15 minutes.  This will give the chia seeds to bond everything together.
  5. To create the flatbreads, use about 2 Tbsp worth of dough. Roll into a oval shape on the teflex sheet that comes with the dehydrator or on parchment paper.  I do two at a time.  Cover with another sheet and with a rolling pin, use even pressure to press them out to a flatbread shape.  They should be fairly thin, no more that 1/4″ thick.
  6. Transfer the flatbread from the teflex to your hand, then to the mesh sheet.  Creating the “bubbles” or creases is optional.  You can spread this batter flat onto the dehydrator tray and score into cracker shapes if desired.  Whatever makes you smile. :)
  7. Sprinkle extra sesame seeds and coarse sea salt on top before dehydrating.
  8. Dehydrate at 115 (F) degrees for 6-10 hours or until dry.
  9. These should last several weeks in an airtight container.  If they start to moisten a bit, return them to the dehydrator and dry until they firm back up.

To make your own Za’atar Spice: yields 1/2 cup

  • 3 Tbsp dried thyme
  • 2 Tbps dried lemon peel
  • 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Preparation:

  1. In a spice grinder, pulse the spices together a few times just enough to mix and break up some of the seeds — there should still be many whole seeds visible.
  2. Store in a cool, dark place for up to six months.

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10 thoughts on “Raw Za’atar Middle Eastern Crispy Flatbread

  1. Yvonne says:

    Oh my! This I will definitely try. It brings back memories of walking down the streets in old Jerusalem . The carts with the venders sold hot freshly baked bread and a Zaatar spice packet. Just open bread down the middle , pour in the spice and eat. A little piece of heaven!
    Thanks for the flashback :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Oh Yvonne… I just loved reading this.. is was as though I were right there with you. I haven’t been to old Jerusalem but I was gnawing on the other end of the loaf bread. hehe Thanks for popping in. Have a glorious day, amie sue

  2. Tricia says:

    Amie Sue, is there a substitute for the almond flour and pulp? I seem to have a bad reaction to almonds. I make my own coconut milk (and therefore have lots of coconut flour on hand) and could likely save up 4 cups of pulp, as for the almond flour to go with the coconut flour, what would you suggest?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Tricia… I am sorry to hear that you have a bad reaction to almonds (a food item in general) Seems we face them. Coconut pulp might work, I haven’t tried it before. My only concern is if it gives the cracker a strong coconut flavor (which might be nice) You can use veggie pulp (by-product of making fresh juice, such as carrot) You can try shredded zucchini (watch that it doesn’t make the batter too wet) If you try the zucchini, I would shred it, then place it in a towel and squeeze the excess water from it first. You can even use ground nuts. Just keep in mind that each suggestion is going to effect the flavor and texture some. Not to say that that is a bad thing… it will just be different from what I created. :)

      Enjoy and have a blessed day! amie sue

  3. Joan says:

    Hi Amie Sue….Just made these crackers and they were very popular with everyone. I had Za’atar from a Middle Eastern market but I will also try your seasoning mixture. Thanks for the generous sharing of your delightful talents and your carefully written recipes. Wonderful flavor and crispy texture. Thank you!!!

    • amie-sue says:

      Your welcome Joan. Thank you for coming back and giving me an update. I love hearing how the recipes go for others. Looks like it was a hit. :) have a glorious evening, amie sue

  4. Lynne says:

    Hi Amie-Sue,
    Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes they always look so delicious!
    I made these last week & they are the BEST raw crackers I have had! so light & crispy. I can imagine them made into the tarts with the filling in them. Next time I’m going to try them with Veggie pulp.
    Again, thank you

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Lynne,

      I have been making raw crackers like crazy this past week… I just love them. I am so glad that you are enjoying this recipe. :) Just tickles me so thank you for sharing this with me. Blessings, amie sue

  5. felicia says:

    Ok i found them. Lol
    i was too busy looking at your nut cheeses. Sorry! :)

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