More than anything else, this blog is about the way that I eat. Because I think I am a pretty typical person – not a lot of money, no huge family, still making my way in the world, and ALWAYS HUNGRY – I thought that it would be cool to share that with a bunch of people.
So BAM, here we are. I also like to think that I bring a little experience and knowledge to the table as well. Lessons learned, shall we say.
I had never picked up a camera or even thought about food styling before I started this site. Like a lot of people, I’m sure, I just figured that since my food always looked great to me, it would be easy to get a picture of it.
Not so, friends. I mean, a plate of beef bourguignon looks great when you’re hungry, but not so much when you put a lens between you and it. It takes skills, skills I’m still learning. (If you’re looking for pointers Ash from Edible Perspective shares BRILLIANT, simple tips every week. Check out the first one here)
And although my photos have definitely improved (that’s not bragging, my early photos were horrific), the one thing that has never and will never change is my insatiable appetite for tasty things.
Enter this za’atar flatbread. Simply put, it’s delicious. Za’atar is a middle eastern spice mix, particularly popular in The Levant. Most commonly it is a combination of dried thyme, sesame seeds and salt, though it often contains sumac, and sometimes other dried herbs like oregano. It’s a magical powder which, when mixed with olive oil, anoints deliciousness on whatever it touches.
This chewy, olive oil and spice-soused flatbread is a perfect example of the kind of food that my boyfriend and I eat often. I can get home from work, chuck all the ingredients for this dough into my standmixer and let it knead for a few minutes while I change into my PJs. Then, I drape a tea towel over the bowl and leave it for 30 minutes to 2 hours, while I read blogs, watch TV and generally chill.
When we want to eat, it’s as simple as patting the dough out into the tin, slathering it with za’atar and olive oil, and throwing it into the oven for 20 minutes. Some chunked up tomatoes and cucumbers, and feta cheese alongside, and you have a super simple, super cheap meal that feels like an absolute feast. Try this; it won’t let you down.
- 2½ cups (375g) plain flour
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1¼ cups (310ml) warm water
- 2½ tbsp za'atar spice mix
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Place all the ingredients for the dough into a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook. Work the dough on a low speed for about 5 minutes, or until it begins to climb the dough hook, and look very elastic. It is a wet dough, and will not ball together.
- Cover the dough with cling wrap or a tea towel, and place in a non-draft spot for anything from 30 minutes to two hours - as long as the dough has increased in size by at least half, it will work fine, though the longer the better.
- When you're ready to bake, preheat the oven to 400F/200C and line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper.
- You can either tip the dough straight into the tray and and push it out to the edges to make one large flat bread, or divide it into three or four smaller breads.
- Mix the za'atar and oil together and pour over the bread in the tray. Use your fingers to spread the spice mixture evenly over the dough, pressing in with your fingertips to make little wells and indentations.
- Place the dough into the oven, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until the dough is risen and golden brown. Leave to cool slightly before serving, either as a side dish, or as the meal in itself.