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 my new favourite food!
HOKKAIDO ZA’ATAR 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
- 1 tablespoon Za'atar*
- some thyme twigs
- more salt and olive oil
- 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 minutes and preheat your oven in the meantime to 210°C/ 410°F.
- Then bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Once it’s ready, sprinkle with a little more olive oil and cut into pieces, I find it easiest with a pizza cutter.
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