These easy za’atar spiced pizzas are a flavourful yet light alternative to regular pizzas. Traditionally a breakfast food, these little guys are laden with spices and your favourite healthy toppings. Perfect for brunch, lunch or a light dinner.
I shared this recipe for easy za’ataar spiced pizzas a few weeks ago on vega-licious and I have been chewing at the bit to share it here. I love it and I think you will too. What’s not to love? It’s a fun to make, grilled Lebanese-style pizza full of flavour.
I am a pizza fan but sometimes traditional Italian pizzas can be a bit tricky for a plant-based eater. We went to a fabulous pizza place where my nephew works last night and I devoured a chilli pizza and a cheese-free garden salad. It was amazing and I could eat it any day of the week but I have to admit it can be tough sitting next to the elf and the husband with their cheesy concoctions. I often go armed with a container of cashew cheese but there is something so satisfying about the s-t-r-e-t-c-h of pizza cheese. I never said this plant-based life was always easy.
These easy za’atar spiced pizzas put my pizza envy to rest. Since discovering them, I haven’t even thought about making my own pizzas – not to mention the elf won’t eat them but that’s another story. Easy za’atar spiced pizzas are…well easy but they are just so good. They are so flavourful, brushed with zesty spices and dressed with your favourite topping.
Not too many dishes are more popular in Lebanese breakfast than the manoosheh, or the plural Manakish, round flat discs of bread covered with za’atar, brushed with olive oil and grilled. My little pack, however, enjoys these easy za’atar spiced pizzas for brunch, lunch and sometimes a light dinner.
Za’atar is an incredibly versatile spice mix. It works with so many bases and is a perfect balance to smooth nutty hummus, roasted potatoes or even sprinkled on soup. I have bought za’ataar from the store before but I prefer a little more kick in my mix (I am a flavour hound – I’d lick the salt from your hand if it wasn’t socially frowned upon) so I created my own recipe. My za’atar spice recipe has a real citrus zing from the sumac and a good hit of sea saltiness. However, once you get your head around the base flavours you can tweak it your liking. Simples.
Using a traditional manoosheh recipe, I swapped out the white flour and adjusted for spelt flour and used unprocessed sugar to create a healthier meal. We fill the rounds with whatever takes our fancy on the day – or whatever is in the fridge! A favourite in our house is a good dollop of hummus or my silky cauliflower puree with dressed baby spinach leaves and lentils. I lightly toss the spinach through a teaspoon of olive oil, a dash of red wine vinegar and a pinch of sea salt and that’s all it needs. Again, once the rounds are made, the rest is only limited by your imagination. Enjoy.
Easy Za'atar Spiced Pizzas
Yield 6 rounds
Easy za'atar spiced vegan pizzas are a flavourful yet light alternative to regular pizzas. These spiced rounds make a perfect light meal.
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried yeast (7.5ml)
- 3 cups (750ml) spelt flour, sifted (AUS cups)
- 2 teaspoon coconut sugar (10ml)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil plus more for brushing (5ml)
- 4 tablespoon zataar spice mix (60ml)
Zataar Spice Mix
- 2 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (30ml)
- 1 tablespoon cumin (15ml)
- 1 tablespoon marjoram (15ml)
- 1 1/2 tablspoon sumac (22ml)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano (15ml)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (5ml)
- leaves from 5 sprigs of thyme
- To make the pizza base, dissolve yeast in 250 ml of lukewarm water in a medium bowl. Set aside in a warm place for 10 minutes or until mixture froths.
- Combine sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl before creating a well in the middle.
- Add the olive oil to the yeast mixture and slowly pour in to the flour well using your fingertips to bring it together. When roughly combined, tip the dough out on to a floured countertop and knead until soft and no longer sticky.
- Add small amounts of flour to the dough if needed. Kneading will take around 10 minutes. Make dough in to a ball and place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with cling film.
- Set in a warm space for around 1 hour or until the dough doubles in size.
- Punch down dough and cut into 6 equal pieces.
- Roll into balls and place on a lightly floured tray. Cover with a clean tea towel for 30 minutes or until slightly risen and smooth.
- Place a sheet of baking paper on the counter and press each ball down with the palm of your hand, spreading out until around 1/4 inch thick.
- Heat a griddle or frying pan on medium heat.
- Working one at a time, brush one side of the dough round with oil and place on griddle, oiled side-down.
- An easy way is to flip the dough round on to the pan using the baking paper and pealing the paper away. Cook for 2 minutes or until golden. Brush the top with oil and flip over.
- Sprinkle liberally with za'atar and cook for a further 2 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Keep warm.
- Repeat with remaining rounds, zaatar and extra oil.
- To make the za'atar spice, place lightly toasted sesame seeds and fresh thyme leaves (not stems) in a food processor and pulse a few times to combine.
- Place all ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Keep zataar spice mix covered in a cool dry place for up to one week