Za’atar is one of my favorite ingredients to use when cooking. I roast potatoes with it and chicken too. So it was only a matter of time until I found a way to make a za’atar flavored challah.
I don’t make my own za’atar, but rather buy it in bulk whenever I am in Israel. You can either buy za’atar at a Middle Eastern or specialty spice store, or also make your own. Za’atar is traditionally made with a mix of oregano, sesame seeds, sumac and salt. I actually chose to add extra sumac in this recipe because the za’atar mix I bought didn’t have a strong flavor, but you can leave that out if you prefer.
1 ½ Tbsp dry active yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 ¼ cup lukewarm water
4.5 cups of all-purpose, unbleached flour (preferably King Arthur flour)
½ Tbsp salt
2 Tbsp za’atar spice
1 tsp sumac
1 tsp jarred chopped garlic
¼ up vegetable oil
¾ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp water
Additional za’atar, sesame seeds and thick sea salt for sprinkling
In a small bowl, place yeast, 1 tsp sugar and lukewarm water. Allow to sit around 10 minutes, until it becomes foamy on top.
In a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, mix together 1 ½ cups flour, salt, za’atar, sumac, garlic and sugar. After the water-yeast mixture has become foamy, add to flour mixture along with oil. Mix thoroughly.
Add another 1 cup of flour and eggs and mix until smooth. Switch to the dough hook attachment if you are using a stand mixer.
Add another 1 ½- 2 cups of mixed flour, mixing thoroughly and then remove from bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead remaining ½ cup flour into dough, continuing to knead for around 5 minutes.
Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with damp towel. Allow to rise at least around 3 hours, punching down at least once if possible.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Braid challah into desired shape. Allow challah to rise another 45-60 minutes, or until you can see the size has grown and challah seems light. This step is very important to ensure a light and fluffy challah.
In a small bowl beat 2 egg yolks with 1 tsp water.
Brush egg wash liberally over challah. Sprinkle with additional za’atar, sesame seeds and thick sea salt.
If making one large challah, bake around 27-28 minutes; if making two smaller challahs, bake 24-26 minutes.
Everyone loves roasted potatoes for Shabbat dinner or even a weeknight meal. Its cheap, pretty effortless and potatoes are a produce item you can easily keep around to use when you need. Just make sure you keep them in a cool, dark place for the longest “shelf” life.
But roasted potatoes can also get a bit boring, so I am always looking for ways to spice(literally) them up. My za’atar roasted potatoes is my family’s new favorite go-to for weeknight or Shabbat – and I hope it will be yours soon too! I really enjoy slicing the potatoes into rounds, as opposed to quarters – it makes the potatoes feel “fancy” and fun without any extra work.
What is za’atar? Well, its actually a spice mix made up of oregano, salt, sesame seeds and a few other things. I always buy mine when I visit Israel (or more often, when friends bring it back to me from Israel). You can use it on chicken, sprinkle it on top of hummus or thick greek yogurt as a dip.
1 1/2 pounds yukon gold or red potatoes
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp za'atar
tsp lemon zest
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut potatoes into quarters or 1/2 inch round slices.
Toss potatoes with olive oil, salt and za'atar. Roast in the oven for 35-45 minutes, to the your desired level of crispness.
Sprinkle lemon zest on top before serving.
This past week I discovered kale chips, and truly, I am an addict! I simply cannot get enough. They are super easy to make, delicious and I don’t have any guilt eating them by the bowlful. So, why not whip up some super simple kale chips as a starter to your shabbat dinner this week. PS – no reason you can’t make these for a fun snack or appetizer during Passover too!
Spring is definitely in the air, so why not make this Roast Chicken with Spring Vegetables for your main dish and help usher in the warmer weather. Oh yeah, and you could totally make THIS recipe for Passover.
I love adding zaatar to roast potatoes and other dishes, so I am loving this recipe for Zaatar Roasted Cauliflower from the Sassy Radish. You know when else you could make this recipe? You guessed it – totally Passover-friendly!
Enough veggies – how about a little more indulgent side dish with this Crispy Zucchini Potato Tart from More Quiche Please. And if you caught onto the theme, good for you…yes you can also make this tart recipe for Passover!
For your sweet ending, try these Hazelnut Cookies from The Kosher Foodies. I would serve these sweet treats with some soy vanilla ice cream and raspberries for a well-rounded dessert. Ok, you can’t make these for Passover, but I promise – we have lots of other tasty and easy Passover dessert recipes coming.
Shabbat Shalom and Happy Cooking!