If you’ve followed me for a while you’ll know that I grew up in the Middle East and so the cuisine and the flavours associated with it hold a special place in my heart. There are so many amazing ingredients and tastes that can help brin healthy meals to life without having to use too much of the other ingredients that make food taste good, namely oil, salt and sugar!
Za’atar is one ingredient I can’t get enough of. It’s typically used as a flatbread/Arabic pizza topping, but it’s also amazing as a convenient and yummy seasoning for vegetables, meats and dips. The easiest way to enjoy za’atar (a herb mix which you can now find in most major supermarkets!) is to mix it with some olive oil and dip your favourite bread in, preferably Arabic style flatbread or pitta bread. Although something like sourdough bread goes amazingly well with it too!
I’m showing you how to make pitta bread from scratch, but taking it one step further and showing you how to make homemade pitta bread chips topped with za’atar! And what better to go with it than some homemade Baba Ganoush? If you’ve never heard of it, Baba Ganoush is basically a creamy dip made with aubergine, tahini, garlic and lemon juice. It’s similar to hummus, so if you love the humble chickpea dip, you’re bound to love baba ganoush too!
I love using my breadmaker to make the pitta bread dough, or ant flatbread/pizza dough for that matter. It takes care of the mixing for me and creates the perfect environment for the bread to rise. It’s always tricky finding a ‘warm place for the dough to rise’ in the UK, especially during winter!
Za’atar Pitta Chips & Baba Ganoush
Serves – 6
For the za’atar pitta chips
220g white flour
½ tsp salt
½ tsp sugar
1 tsp fast action dried yeast
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
60ml dairy-free milk
4 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp za’atar mix
For the baba ganoush
2 garlic cloves
Juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp salt
Garnish: paprika, olive oil, pomegranate seeds and fresh parsley
If using a breadmaker (I used my Panasonic SD-ZX2522), place the dough ingredients (apart from the yeast) into the bread pan in the order listed. Place the yeast in the yeast dispenser, then set the breadmaker to the pizza dough program (32 for 45 minutes). If not using a breadmaker, mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl, then cover and leave to rise in a warm place until double in size.
In the meantime make the baba ganoush. Preheat the oven to 220C/200C fan. Make a few pierces on the aubergines with a knife so it doesn’t burst in the oven, then place on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Roast for 50-55 minutes. Allow to cool, then cut off the stem and peel the skin. Add the pulp along with the rest of the baba ganoush ingredients into a food processor and blend until smooth. Transfer into a serving dish, smooth then garnish with paprika, a drizzle of olive oil, pomegranate seeds and parsley. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Once time is over and the breadmaker beeps, remove the baking tin, punch the dough down and divide into 6 balls. Place onto a floured worktop and roll out with a rolling pin into a circle, then transfer onto an baking sheet lined with baking paper.
Bake in a preheated oven at 220C/200C fan for 5-7 minutes, then take out of the oven. Brush each pitta with olive oil, then slice into triangles. Sprinkle the za’atar on top, then return to the oven for another 5-8 minutes until they start to brown.