Israeli Breakfast Bread: Abouelafia’s Za’atar Pita Pizza with Sunny-Side-Up Eggs

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In The Foods of Israel, Joan Nathan provides a recipe for a flatbread baked with olive oil, za’atar, feta, and two sunny-side-up eggs. Nathan says that this is the most popular of the more than eighty different flatbreads made by the famous Abouelafia Bakery in Jaffa. Sometimes, the bread is also served with olives or tahina.
 
Nathan provides a recipe for a whole wheat dough that she says was inspired by a “pizza joint in Safed” that “serves a similar concoction,” but you can probably use any pizza or pita dough. 

For the record, Nathan calls for a mix of whole wheat (3/4 cup), all-purpose white flour (2 cups), and semolina (1/4 cup). I changed the recipe slightly, using two cups of white bread flour, and one cup of white whole wheat flour. I also upped the water to 1 ¼ cups and decreased the olive oil to ¼ cup. Other ingredients: 1 tablespoon of yeast, 1 tablespoon of honey, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

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Nathan says to let the dough proof for an hour before shaping it into individual portions. Then the dough proofs again for an hour before being rolled out and baked. I let the dough rise for an hour and then refrigerated it until I was ready to bake it.

To follow the proportions of Nathan’s recipe, press about six ounces of dough into a six inch circle and bake it on a pizza stone for about three minutes at 500 degrees. Then, brush the top of the dough with olive oil, sprinkle over a teaspoon of za’atar and half a tablespoon of feta cheese, and gently put two raw eggs into the center of the bread. Return the bread to the oven for five minutes, or until the bread is brown and the eggs are set.
This is a generous portion for one person. It really serves two.

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I think that it would be better to divide the dough into three ounce pieces and roll out each piece into a four to five inch circle. This way, each person gets their own bread, instead of having to split a super-large portion. The bread can be topped with one egg instead of two and pulled out when that one egg is cooked. As you can see from my picture, one of my eggs overcooked, while the other egg was barely set. The six inch diameter was not large enough for two eggs, and some egg white spilled over the side. It was a good thing that I placed the dough on a piece of non-stick foil before adding the toppings.

I am sending this over to Yeastspotting.

update:

Pita success! I was able to make pita with some of the dough by cooking it on a hot griddle. I used about an 1/8 of the dough, or 3 ounces.

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I also tried making the egg pita with 3 ounces of dough instead of 6, and just one egg. The result was a crispy flatbread instead of a puffy and soft bread.

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4 Responses to “Israeli Breakfast Bread: Abouelafia’s Za’atar Pita Pizza with Sunny-Side-Up Eggs”

  1. YeastSpotting September 4, 2009 | Wild Yeast Says:

    [...] Za’atar Pita Pizza with Sunny Side Up Eggs [...]

  2. Mimi Says:

    I just tried za’atar for the first time not too long ago. It is so delicious. I think I’ll try making these flatbreads. They sound really good!

  3. Madam Chow Says:

    The runny eggs totally make this bread for me – it looks delicious!

  4. pragmaticattic Says:

    Mimi–thanks! I love the combination of Za’atar, olive oil, and feta on freshly baked flatbread. So delicious. Add good olives and you make a good thing even better!

    Madame Chow–Thanks, and cooking the eggs right on the bread saves from messing up a frying pan!

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