Za’atar Crackers

If you love za’atar flatbread but want an easier way, Za’atar Crackers are for you! Perfect for a cheese plate or to dip in hummus, labneh, or muhummara red pepper-walnut dip.

Za'atar Crackers on a sheet pan

Here’s the thing about za’atar crackers: they are in essence a shortcut to the most traditional way to eat za’atar, which is man’oushe flatbread. There is no yeast involved, which means no waiting, no finesse in handling dough. I personally consider both of those things a bonus (yeast, handling dough) because I love baking bread.

BUT,  even for a bread baker, there is a time and place for easy. And always a time and place for delicious. Za’atar crackers have been on my mind for years. A quick and easy cracker that is fun to make (you still need a rolling pin for this), with all of the za’atar flavor we love. Dan has gone kooky for these crackers. He’s even suggested I make and sell them. Which is something for a guy who responds, every time, to questions about me opening a restaurant with this: “The name of the place is ‘Hell No.’ “

Dough for za'atar crackers

Za’atar Cracker Ingredients

Very few. Flour, tiny sugar, olive oil, water, salt. And Za’atar. You can experiment with other spices with no changes to recipe amounts. So if you aren’t a za’atar person (what?!), try sesame seeds, dried mint, poppy seeds, fennel, you get the idea.

Dough rolled thin for crackers

Dough coated with olive oil for crackers

The Method

Because there is no yeast involved, the method could not be easier. Combine all of the ingredients and stir well. I take that back, actually–I only can stir for so long here, as the dough forms and there is residual flour around the base of the bowl. Hands in, habibi! Knead, get it all together. Then the joy: no waiting!

The dough is halved and rolled thin thin, 1/8-inch. Go as thin as possible. But I will say my thicker versions (1/4-inch) also taste great; they just need to bake a little longer.

The trickiest part of the process, and tricky is an overstatement, is transferring the cut pieces from countertop to lined sheet pan. A spatula pushes the dough, affecting the shape of the cracker. I get under one side with the spatula and lift, lift, lift in short little spurts, using my other hand to help. One the sheet pan, I do a little reshaping if needed.

Dough cut for crackers
Cracker dough on a sheet pan

Storage

Beautiful thing, the za’tar crackers are not super delicate. I stack them in tupperware or a ziplock bag where they’re decent for two weeks. They’ll freeze fine in a freezer bag or container for three good months or more. Make ahead joy!

Cracker turned over on a sheet pan

Za’atar Crackers

Maureen Abood
Crisp crackers that could not be simpler! Cut the crackers in any shape or size you like. If rolled thicker than 1/8-inch, bake longer, until golden. Serve these crackers with hummus, labneh, or any favorite dip.
Servings 50 or so crackers

Ingredients
  

  • 3 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons za'atar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup water, luke warm
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more to coat the dough

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line two sheet pans with parchment paper.
  • In a medium bowl, sift the flour. Stir in the salt and 1 tablespoon of the za'atar.
  • In a large measuring cup, stir the water, honey, and olive oil a few times (these ingredients won't combine per se, we just want to add them together).
  • Slowly stir the liquids into the flour-salt mixture, stirring with a wooden or other sturdy spoon. Once the dough comes together, use your hands to mop up any excess flour in the bowl. Knead the dough until combined, about a minute. The dough will be sticky.
  • Divide the dough in half. Roll out one half to 1/8-inch thickness. This is pretty thin! Keep working the dough as you roll to a square or rectangle shape.
  • Brush the top of the dough lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the za'atar–do this from way high over the dough for evenness.
  • Use a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the dough into 3"x1" rectangles, or any shape and size you like.
  • Transfer the cut dough to one of the sheet pans, about an inch apart. Use a spatula to transfer, with very short lifting motions from the long side of the dough rectangle, to help hold the shape of the cracker.
  • Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden brown in spots on the bottom of the crackers. Cool completely; the crackers will crisp as they cool.
  • Repeat with the remaining dough.
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10 Comments

  1. Carol on October 29, 2021 at 11:58 AM

    Maureen, I am a blessed Lebanese girl from St Paul,MN. Just wondering if these crackers can be made with any other flour, such as Almond flour? Trying to cut the carbs. BTW: I love Za’atar.

    • Maureen Abood on November 1, 2021 at 11:43 AM

      Carol, I haven’t tested other flours but you could try one out following that flour type’s substitution guidelines. I love za’atar too!

  2. John E Nackley on November 1, 2021 at 6:35 PM

    Maureen, I want to put my reservation in for a table at your restaurant whenever it opens!
    I can hardly wait.
    from the Bay Area,
    JNakhle

    • Maureen Abood on November 2, 2021 at 8:46 AM

      A table up front! Thanks John.

      • Maureen Abood on November 17, 2021 at 7:05 AM

        You got it!

    • Maureen Abood on November 17, 2021 at 7:05 AM

      Ohhh the Bay area, touch of heaven…

  3. Maria M. on February 21, 2022 at 8:57 AM

    Hello Maureen!
    Thanks for sharing your nice recipe! I love zaatar and I have tried a different recipe for crackers once, the problem was that zaatar was falling over a lot once i stored it in a tupperware box.
    I see here you are using some honey, does it help zaatar to stick? Any other tips?
    thanks again, and by the way your recipes and site are very nice and inspiring!
    Maria

    • Maureen Abood on February 26, 2022 at 9:42 AM

      Hmmm. You can moisten the top of the cracker with oil or eggwash to encourage the za’atar to stick!

  4. Maria M. on March 24, 2022 at 5:48 AM

    Hi again, just to say I tried it yesterday with the egg white but somehow I had the feeling the taste was funny.
    I will try to be careful not to shake my storage box very much 😉
    Thanks again and warm greetings

    • Maureen Abood on March 24, 2022 at 12:22 PM

      Good to know Maria, thanks for reporting back!

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Maureen Abood in the kitchen

I'm so glad you're here! You'll find among these pages the fresh and classic Lebanese recipes we can't get enough of! My mission is to share my tried + true recipes -- and to help our Lebanese food-loving community keep these culinary traditions alive and on the table. What recipes are you looking for? Let me know!

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