Za’atar is a West Asian spice mixture and there are regional variations. I have a Za’atar made of sesame, sumach oregano and thyme.
I enjoyed an amazing Za’atar focaccia in Tel Aviv once and with all these beautiful pumpkins now that made a great combination. It’s actually our new favourite food!
HOKKAIDO ZA’ATAR FOCACCIA
- 1 small Hokkaido pumpkin
- 3 cups flour 360 g
- 1 sachet of dry yeast about two teaspoons
- 2/3 cup lukewarm water 160 ml
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon Za’atar*
- 1 small onion
- some thyme twigs
- more salt and olive oil
- First, gather all your ingredients and prepare them in the right amounts. That makes it so much easier and more fun and you're less likely to forget anything.
- Wash and open pumpkin. Cut five thin slices off each of the sides for decoration.
- Chop up about 1 cup of the pumpkin, that works best in a mini food processor. 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, water, sugar, salt and olive oil. 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 at least 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 deep holes into the focaccia with your fingers or a chopstick to create pools for the oil and the spices.
- Add pumpkin slices and onion, brush a little olive oil on them if you like. Then add thyme twigs, a little more salt and the second tablespoon of za’atar.
- Now let it rest another 20 minutes and preheat your oven in the meantime to 210°C/ 410°F.
- Then bake for 25 minutes.
- Once it’s ready, sprinkle with a little more olive oil and cut into pieces, I find it easiest with a pizza cutter.