Za’atar is an oriental spice mixture and there are regional variations. I have a Palestinian Za’atar made of sesame, salt, sumach and wild thyme, that I discovered at the veggie fair in Cologne this spring.
Also I enjoyed an amazing Za’atar focaccia in Tel Aviv a while ago and with all these beautiful pumpkins now that made a great combination. It’s actually my new favourite food!
Update November 2020: Meanwhile my focaccia got an upgrade, I changed the recipe and the look a little bit since I recorded the video.
I no longer add Za’atar to the dough, because it made the focaccia look greenish. I just sprinkle it generously on top of the decorated focaccia. I reduces the amount of olive oil in the dough because I noticed it’s not necessary to use that much. The chia seeds didn’t really convince my anymore either. I added onions though, because that’s delicious, and thyme twigs because that’s pretty.
Ingredients for the focaccia
- about 1/2 small Hokkaido pumpkin
- 3 cups flour (360 g)
- 1 sachet of dry yeast (about two teaspoons)
- 2/3 cup lukewarm water (160 ml)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 2 small onions, cut into quarters
- 1 tablespoon Za’atar
- some thyme twigs
- more salt and olive oil
How to make the focaccia
Wash and open pumpkin. You only need about half of it. Cut thin slices off the sides for decoration.
Chop up the rest, that works best in a mini food processor*. It should make about 1 cup. If you don’t have a food processor, you can also boil the pumpkin until soft and mashable.
Combine flour and dry yeast in a bowl, then add chopped or mashed pumpkin, salt, olive oil and water. Knead for 10 minutes into a slightly sticky dough.
Pour some olive oil into a big bowl and on your hands to avoid the dough from sticking too much and place the dough in the bowl. Cover with a damp tea towel and let it rise for about one hour in a warm place, for example the warm oven. Around 30°C/ 85°F is a good temperature.
After one hour, the dough should have doubled. Punch it to remove the air, then knead again with oiled hands and form one big focaccia.
Spread it on parchment paper and pour some olive oil over it. Then poke holes into the focaccia with the bigger side of a chopstick or your fingers to create pools for the oil and the spices.
Add pumpkin slices and onions, brush a little olive oil on them if you like. Then add thyme twigs, a little more salt and the za’atar.
Now let it rest another 20-30 minutes and preheat your oven in the meantime to 210°C/ 410°F.
Then bake for 20-25 minutes. I put my focaccia on my pizza stone* with the parchment paper, that makes it easy and super crispy, but if you don’t have a pizza stone a baking sheet will be fine too.
Once it’s ready, sprinkle with a little more olive oil and cut into pieces, I find it easiest with a pizza cutter*.
This is a perfect food to take with you when traveling. I actually like my focaccia best the next morning for breakfast roasted in a skillet.
Have you made the Focaccia? I would love to see your picture on Instagram @flymetotheveganbuffet or #flymetotheveganbuffet.
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