Cheesy Zaatar Olive Oat Bread

Despite it's popularity in Saudi Arabia, this recipe surely isn't a traditional Arab one and has probably made it's way to Arab kitchens through Western inspiration. Food and cuisine are ever-evolving though, so I decided to reincorporate some traditional Arab flavors into this recipe, and make pull-apart oat bread with cheese, olives, fresh zaatar kneaded into the dough, and a zaatar spice dipping sauce. If you can't find fresh zaatar, you can swap it with cilantro, basil, dill, or just about any fragrant herb you fancy, really.

Cooking Time 30 minutes Skill Level Medium Servings 24

Recipe Details

How to Make

Click steps as you go along to mark them as complete

  1. 1

    Dissolve the yeast in the warm water. quickly add brown sugar, and the butter and mix well.

  2. 2

    Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. If you see it frothing, it means the yeast has been activated.

  3. 3

    In a separate bowl, mix the salt, flour, wheat flour and 1 1/2 cup oats.

  4. 4

    Add the chopped fresh zaatar, garlic paste and flour mixture to the activated yeast mixture. Knead until it all comes together.

  5. 5

    Cover the dough with a damp cloth and let it sit for 45 minutes, till it doubles in size.

  6. 6

    Line a spring foam tin with oil, or any baking dish with wax paper.

  7. 7

    Divide and shape the dough into equal sized balls. I make around 24 balls. If you'd like (and I do), you can stuff the balls of dough with mozzarella cheese and an olive.

  8. 8

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

  9. 9

    Place the balls in a the baking dish. They should not be touching, but almost.

  10. 10

    Cover the baking dish with damp cloth and let the balls rise again for an hour.

  11. 11

    Beat one egg and brush tops of the dough balls with this mixture. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup oats on top.

  12. 12

    Bake in preheated oven for 22 minutes.

  13. 13

    Serve with the dry zaatar mixed in olive oil or butter.