Flatbread with olives and onions and cheese

October 13, 2009  •  Category: ,



I was watching a cooking segment on LBC, the Lebanese cable channel (Sofrah daymeh) The chef was demonstrating baking a loaf of bread with olives, onions and herbs; after baking the loaf, he would slice it and cover each slice with a piece of grilled halloom cheese and some grilled tomatoes and peppers. I decided to make the bread into a flatbread instead, this way I get 5 instead of one, and bake it with the topping to save a step.

The flatbread is delicious. When you pull it out of the oven you will get a whiff of onions that is quite titillating. Plus each slice is studded with black olives and sprinkled with herbs throughout. I used akkawi cheese and mozzarella for the topping.

The recipe is adapted from Sofrah Daymeh, LBC International Channel.

INGREDIENTS: The dough will produce 5 flatbreads. The topping here is for just one.

  • 3 1/2 cups organic whole wheat flour ( or a mix of whole-wheat and white  unbleached  bread flour)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of dry yeast
  • 5 Tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of pitted black olives
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons each of : mint, oregano, parsley
  • 1 cup of mozzarella
  • 1 cup of akkawi cheese ( or any other cheese of your choice, goat cheese would be good here)

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  1. Chop the onion. Saute in 2 tablespoons of olive oil for 10 minutes until translucent and golden. Let it cool.
  2. Proof the yeast: Place the yeast in a small cup with 1/4 cup of warm water, 1 teaspoon of sugar. Mix and let it froth in a warm place.
  3. While the yeast is getting busy, wash and dry the herbs. Chop the herbs fine. Set aside.
  4. Chop and seed the olives and set aside.
  5. Place the flour in a mixing bowl, add the salt and mix well. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil in the middle of the flour and start mixing the flour with the oil. When the oil is no longer visible, add about 1 1/4 cup of warm water slowly while mixing until the dough starts to get in one lump.
  6. Add the onion (cooled), the herbs and the olives to the dough. Continue mixing until the dough is cohesive and smooth.
  7. Place 2  tablespoons of oil in a bowl and place the dough in the bowl, covering it all around with oil.
  8. Place the bowl in a warm place and let it rise to double its size. A good place is on the stove, on top of a large pot set on low heat (while cooking something else, like a sauce for instance)
  9. When the dough has doubled in size, remove from the pot, shape into a thick sausage shape and cut in 5 pieces. If not using all today, flour the other pieces and place in a freezer bag and store in the freezer.
  10. Sprinkle cornmeal or oat bran on a work surface, and set the ball of dough to rise again; sprinkle flour on the ball and  cover with a towel for about 30 minutes.
  11. Roll the ball of dough into a circle and slide it onto a baking sheet.
  12. Sprinkle the cheese on the flatbread and a couple teaspoons of olive oil.
  13. Heat the oven to 550F and bake for 10 to 15  minutes. Slice and serve.

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The type of cheese is important here. Because the oven is hot, you will want a cheese that can withstand the high temperature gracefully.  Akkawi cheese (available at middle-eastern stores) is ideal here. It can be substituted for mozzarella. I don’t recommend using low-fat shredded cheese. It will melt and burn too quickly; if using goat cheese, sprinkle it 2 minutes before pulling the flatbread out of the oven or the grill.


I also desalted the cheese ( I watch my sodium intake) by slicing it and soaking it in water for a few hours and changing the water several times.


2 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Rosa says:

    That looks so scrumptious! A wonderful treat!



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