Zaatar Scones with labneh

I hope my English cousins (twice removed) do not take offense here.

I was just craving some zaatar!

In Lebanon one can easily find zaatar croissants in bakeries and coffee shops, which can be wonderful or not depending on the croissant itself.

Scones are a lot easier to make; split in half, filled with some homemade labneh (yogurt cheese) and a drizzle of olive oil is exactly what a Lebanese expat needs. Accomplished within the hour too.


  • 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder + 1 teaspoon
  • 2  tablespoons of sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut in even chunks
  • 1/2 cup of a mixture of yogurt and water (drop a few tablespoons of yogurt and add some water to get 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 egg, mixed with a teaspoon of water
  • zaatar, one tablespoon for the dough and one tablespoon for the topping
  • 2 cups of whole milk yogurt
  • olive oil, as needed


  1. To make some quick labneh: Place a sieve over a bowl. Put a paper towel on the sieve and plop a couple of cups of yogurt on the towel. Let the yogurt drain for an hour or overnight. Plop back into a serving bowl, and drizzle olive oil on the yogurt cheese or labneh. This is served every morning  for most folks in Lebanon.
  2. For the scones: Place the flours, baking powder, salt, sugar  and zaatar in the bowl of a food processor. Process for 30 seconds to mix all the dry ingredients and aerate the mixture. Add the butter in chunks and pulse the machine a few times until the butter no longer is visible and the mixture becomes like coarse sand.
  3. Add the yogurt and water mixture and pulse some more (a few seconds) until the dough is moist and somewhat forms into large clumps. Stop the machine, gather the dough and roll out (with hands or rolling pin) till about 1/2 inch thick. Cut with a round cutter into even rounds and set on a lightly greased baking sheet.
  4. Whisk the half egg with a touch of water and add a tablespoon of zaatar. Dab or brush on the surface of the scones. Preheat the oven to 4ooF (200 C) and when the oven is hot, insert the scones and bake for 15 minutes or so until they are puffed up and dry. (You may need to place the scones on two cookie sheets to prevent the bottom from burning if your  oven requires it).
  5. Cool them a bit and split them in half; plop a good tablespoon of labneh on them and drizzle some olive oil.

To find out more about zaatar, click here

To find out more about labneh, click here

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  1. Posted November 9, 2010 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    That yogurt cheese is making me drool!The scones and the yogurt cheese must be an awesome combo…

  2. Posted November 9, 2010 at 10:33 pm | Permalink

    What a wonderful scone’s recipe!!…On Saturday, we went to the Arabic groceries store to buy everything I needed to make some of your recipes……….this Thursday (it is a holiday here in Canada), I will be cooking some of your delights (your scones included!!)…..I will let you know when I will post them!!……Abrazotes, Marcela

  3. Posted November 9, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

    I know exactly what you mean by a zaatar craving! :) These scones look *fabulous*! So clever to fill them with labneh.

  4. Posted November 10, 2010 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    those look fantastic!

  5. Posted November 10, 2010 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    I love this! I can imagine how delicious those scones would be with labneh, so good!

  6. Posted November 10, 2010 at 1:50 am | Permalink

    What a great way to use za’atar!! Will have to try soon!

  7. Posted November 10, 2010 at 2:38 am | Permalink

    Very original! I love your Lebanese version of that English speciality.



  8. Posted November 10, 2010 at 3:22 am | Permalink

    I like the idea of filling these scones with yogurt. Great idea for a healthy breakfast.

  9. Posted November 10, 2010 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    How could anybody take offence to something so delicious? I want some now!

  10. Posted November 10, 2010 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    A wonderful trio..zaatar, yogurt and olive oil…I’m in for zaatar flavoured scones.

  11. Posted November 10, 2010 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    I know what is zaatar craving!! I loved this recipe!! Looks wonderful!!

  12. Posted November 10, 2010 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I love the fact that these are whole wheat, and filled with yogurt cheese! I used to make yogurt cheese often and use it for a variety of dips and spreads.

  13. Posted November 10, 2010 at 7:37 am | Permalink

    Fabulous scones..

  14. Posted November 10, 2010 at 9:30 am | Permalink

    Wonderful scones! I have just received zaatar from Jordan and am in a zaatar frenzy these days… just made soft rolls with it and will defintitely try your scones :-)

  15. Posted November 10, 2010 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I always learn so much when I visit you, Joumana! These savory scones look delicious and because the ingredients were new to me, I clicked and learned.

  16. SYLVIA
    Posted November 10, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    This is a new twist on a family favorite, and a great addition to any festive brunch. It is easy to prepare as it is to eat, the classic Herby zaatar speckles this wholesome scone and gives it a crunch, and makes it very tasty with the labneh, It doesn’t matter the time of day breakfast food like scone is always a warm comforting choice with a cup of coffee or tea . Joumana I give you a standing ovation.

  17. Posted November 10, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Joumana, this is genius!!! I have never really be into scones as much to attempt making my own. I love your savory spin on this classic recipe. I need to surprise my Lebanese Armenian husband with your version. We love eating Zaatar bread for breakfast with side of lebni. Thanks so much for sharing!!!

  18. Posted November 10, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    These look absolutely lovely! What a delicious combination of flavors!

  19. Posted November 10, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    What a refreshing take on an age old classic! And phooey to the English cousins who take offense…

    I love everything about this and how delish with the zaa’tar and thick thick labneh.

    Ciao, Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  20. Posted November 10, 2010 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    I, too, crave za’atar. Za’atar and carbs = winning combo. This is a seriously creative and brilliant idea!

  21. Posted November 11, 2010 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    This looks like quite a delicious savory scone. I bet the za’ater gives it a nice flavor.

  22. Posted November 11, 2010 at 5:07 am | Permalink

    The colour on these is fantastic! And I’m half English, so I think I can speak for the whole country and say they’re totally approved ;)

  23. Posted November 11, 2010 at 5:24 am | Permalink

    I love love love zaatar. This recipe inspired me. I think my Thanksgiving Turkey will have a Zaatar glaze.

  24. Posted November 11, 2010 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I love your twist on the English classic! Fabulous new use for za’atar, Joumana. And lebneh for the clotted cream is brilliant!

  25. Posted November 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Encore une fois, une réalisation des plus délicieuses.
    J’ai acheté du zaater et je l’ai très peu utilisé. Manque d’habitude.
    Voilà une bonne opportunité.
    A très bientôt.

  26. Posted November 11, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    This sounds wonderful – perfect for darker autumn evenings. Amazing, as always!

  27. Posted November 11, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    What a brilliant idea, Joumana!! Wow – I will love trying this one. So inventive yet it feels homey somehow, like beloved comfort food. :-)

  28. Posted November 11, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    Wow, I’ve never made Lebanese food before–I’m intrigued by the flavor combinations! It sounds delicious–thanks for the recipe!

  29. Posted November 12, 2010 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    These look amazing. I would never have imagined zaatar scones but they look awesome! And with a big scoop of yogurt cheese they are a perfect indulgent snack!

  30. Franziska
    Posted November 12, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I only just discovered your blog – looks like I will have a lot of reading to do! I love all kinds of food from all over the world and I try out everything that sounds interesting. So, yoghurt is dripping in the sieve and your scones have just come out of the oven – they smell really good! I cant wait to try them when they have cooled down a bit. Thank you for posting this recipe.

  31. Posted November 12, 2010 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    I absolutely love these Joumana…got Zataar too. Will try them soon! Holy yum!

  32. Posted November 12, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Permalink

    Waw!! Your zatar scones look so delectable, festive & huge too! I love the filling too!

    Yummie & fab food!

  33. Posted November 13, 2010 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    Joumana I just love your recipes – they always send me to the kitchen!
    I have a bag of zaatar in the pantry just begging for these scones, too.

  34. Posted November 13, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    mmmmmmmmmmm…ça donne trop sens l’odeur du zaatar dans toute la maison

  35. Posted November 14, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    I have been away but I can see i have missed so many dishes Joumana! this one is great – mkang this tomorrow!

  36. Posted November 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I am absolutely making these soon….za’atar makes EVERYTHING taste better! – S

  37. Posted December 16, 2010 at 4:03 am | Permalink

    Hi Joumana – these look wonderful indeed – I visited Beirut for a day when I was a teenager back in the seventies, seems such a long time ago now, on some school trip and remember it was one of the most beautiful cities in the Mediterranean. I”ve loved the bright tastes of Lebanese food for years, and now it is getting easier to find the ingredients that were so unusual here only until recently. I look forward to reading your collection of recipes and learning from you.

  38. Posted February 2, 2011 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

    Humm ca a l’air délicieux! c’est bien mon genre

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