These pitas with za’atar are ideal for dipping in this homemade garlic labneh. Easy to make and so much tastier than store-bought, your friends and family will love these healthy baked options.
3 cups (750 ml) full fat plain yogurt
1 garlic clove, finely minced
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups (210 g) bread flour, plus more if needed
1/2 cup (65 g) whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons (10 g) sugar
1 teaspoon instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3/4 cup (180 ml) warm water
1 tablespoon (15 ml) olive oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sumac
2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried marjoram (or extra oregano)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or crushed red pepper
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh or quick pickled cucumber, tomatoes, turnip, and/or onions
Line a fine-mesh sieve with a clean kitchen towel or a few layers of cheesecloth and place it over a bowl.
Stir together the yogurt, garlic and salt and pour it into the lined sieve. Fold the overhanging towel or cheesecloth over the yogurt and place a heavy can on top.
Transfer to the fridge to drain for 24 to 48 hours or until the mixture is of thick and spreadable consistency. Discard any of the whey that drains off and transfer to a sealable container to store in the fridge for up to three weeks. Set aside for serving.
Stir together the bread flour, whole wheat flour, sugar, instant yeast and kosher salt in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the centre and add the water and olive oil. Mix into a shaggy dough. Knead the dough until smooth and springy, about three to four minutes, adding more flour if needed, then transfer to a lightly greased bowl, cover with a dinner plate and set in a warm place to rise for one to one and a half hours, until doubled in size.
Meanwhile, make the za’atar by combining the sesame seeds, cumin, oregano, sumac, thyme, marjoram, salt, coriander and pepper or crushed red pepper in a small jar. Shake well to combine.
When the dough has risen, punch it down, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, and divide it into six equal balls. Roll each piece into a one-quarter to half an inch thick oval or round then place on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle each with a pinch of za’atar and lightly press in to adhere. Cover with a clean kitchen towel and set aside in the warm place for 20 to 30 minutes to rise slightly.
Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 500°F (260°C).
Bake pitas for five to six minutes or just until very puffy but not yet golden. Remove the pita to a wire rack to cool.
Spoon the labneh into a serving bowl and scatter with more za’atar and some fresh mint, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and serve with the pita, some fresh or pickled veg and a few olives. Enjoy!