Zaatar croissant

September 19, 2011  •  Category:


Zaatar croissants are offered in every pastry shop in Beirut. Once you have tried one, the plain croissants taste just, well, too plain. There is something irresistible about the slightly pungent, aromatic and nutty zaatar.

The croissant idea was a challenge from Stevie, and Heavenly Housewive.

The challenge  was compounded by the fact that temperatures are still in the high nineties  in Dallas these days.

The recipe comes from Jacques Torres Dessert Circus, who uses this dough for his croissants and his pains au chocolat.

If you did not have biceps before attempting this, you will after.

Check out the other creations  in this challenge (they may not post all at the same time)

Heavenly Housewife
  • 3 Tbsp. melted unsalted butter (40 g.)
  • 1 Tbsp. of dry instant yeast (he used fresh yeast 1 ounce or 25 g.)
  • 1/2 cup of water (125 g.)
  • 3 1/3 cups of bread flour (500 g.) (plus more, as needed)
  • 2 tsp. of salt (12 g.)
  • 1/3 cup of sugar (65 g.)
  • 1/2 cup of whole milk (125 g.)
  • 1 cup +2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter (250 g.)

For the zaatar: 1 cup of zaatar mix, diluted in enough olive oil to make a thick but spreadable paste.


  1. Proof the yeast in a little warm water with a dash of sugar. Place the flour, salt, sugar in a mixing bowl and mix to combine a few seconds. Add the melted butter, milk (scalded and cooled if desired), and the proofed yeast. Mix until the dough is formed and if the aspect is “like a rope”(not smooth), mix some more and knead by hand on a work surface for a few minutes until a smooth dough is formed, adding a bit of flour or more water as needed.
  2. Cover with a plastic sheet on a floured baking sheet and let it rise for about 30 minutes or up to an hour. Roll it out into an 8X15 rectangle, 1/4 inch thick. Cover it with plastic and let it rest in the fridge for 2 hours. Let the butter soften outside.
  3. Remove the dough from the fridge and place it facing you (long side) and cover 2/3 of it with the butter, spreading it with a spatula. Fold the 1/3 of the dough without butter over the center and the bottom over the top, so it looks like a folded letter.
  4. Roll into a rectangle 10X30 and 1/8 in thick. Fold each short end to the middle in order to meet, but not overlap. Rotate the dough. Let it rest in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight.
  5. Roll the cold dough into a 10X30 rectangle. Fold the dough again like a letter, with the long side facing you. Place in the fridge 30 minutes. Remove and roll into a 10X36 rectangle, 1/4 in thick.
  6. Cut triangles into the dough using a pizza cutter or a knife. Lay the triangle with the tip facing you and gently pull the tip toward you; this is supposed to help add layers to the finished croissant. Spread some zaatar (about 2 teaspoons) on the triangle and roll it into a croissant shape. Let the croissant rise for one to three hours until doubled in size. (Make sure you space them on the baking sheet so they don’t bump into each other)
  7. Brush the croissant with an egg beaten with a teaspoon of milk, and bake in a preheated 400F oven for 10 to 15 minutes until puffed and golden brown, and enjoy while still warm.





44 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. Faith says:

    Your croissants are gorgeous, Joumana! I noticed you posted my email address…did you mean to post my url?

  2. Erika Beth says:

    Wow! I’ve never heard of these type of croissants before. They seem so exotic. lol Lovely job! (And I like that you used Jacques Torres’s recipe. I’ll have to take a peak since I love his stuff.)

  3. Faith says:

    Thanks, Joumana! And I have to say, great minds think alike! 😉 (I’m in love with za’atar, lol!)

  4. antilles says:

    ça doit être très bon, Passe un bon mardi, kiss

  5. Cristina says:

    I feel so curious about his zaatar. I”ll see if I can get it here (I think I will) and make your recipe..!

  6. Lyndsey ~ says:

    These are beautiful croissants…I have some zaatar that I made all ready to be used up, but I can’t bake like you do. I would love to try these for sure.

  7. Belinda @zomppa says:

    Was just in a spice store with their own blend of zaatar…hmm. This would be perfect for it.

  8. Rosa says:

    Gorgeous! Your croissants look so tempting and I love your choice of filling!



  9. Angel of the North says:

    Those look so gorgeous but I daren’t go near a croisant, let alone make a batch!

  10. deana says:

    I think that is a brilliant idea. I am so crazy about zatar and have a big bag of it. You have really put your stamp on croissants!

  11. Stevie says:

    Your croissants look so elegant. I knew that you’d make something stunning, regardless of the heat.

  12. Anna says:

    These look absolutely perfect. What a lovely inspirational interpretation of the classic 😀

  13. Banana Wonder says:

    What lovely croissant! I am so impressed with this combination of tangy zaatar and sweet buttery dough. I have to try making croissants sometime…

  14. shayma says:

    my god- you are amazing, J. you even make croissants- i bow down to you! and i love these croissants- they are sold here in Toronto at a Lebanese-Armenian bakery. love love love. x shayma

  15. Samantha Angela says:

    Wow! Homemade croissants? I’ve always wanted to try making them but I’ve never been quite ambitious enough.

  16. Heavenly Housewife says:

    I never would have thought of putting zaatar with a croissant, but actually, now that I see them, I totally want one :D. I have some zaatar at home, I must try it.
    Your croissants came out beautifully. Thank you so much for taking part in the challenge with us :). I hope you had as much fun as I have!
    *kisses* HH

  17. Diane says:

    Love croissants but maybe if I try these I will not like the local ones anymore!!! Diane

  18. Priya says:

    Croissants looks fabulous and incredible..

  19. Chiara says:

    Wow, those look amazing! Wish I could bite into one right now!

  20. Joanne says:

    I love your savory twist on these croissants! Za’atar is one of my favorite spice blends.

  21. zerrin says:

    These croissants look scrumptious! Never had that courage to try them at home. You are so skillful! And I get curious about zaatar. Sounds like a great spread for croissants!

  22. Caffettiera says:

    Your pictures are even more scrumptious than usual. I am not sure anything can make a normal croissant taste bland, but I will have to try these, maybe I’ll be converted, who knows? Well done for braving the heat to show us this delight!

  23. Cherine says:

    Zaatar croissants are irresistible and yours look GORGEOUS… great job and lovely pictures!

  24. sare says:

    Why can’t I think something like those…

  25. Susan says:

    Your croissants turned out beautifully, Joumana, and I’m sure you have very strong arms now 😉

  26. lisaiscooking says:

    These look amazing! And, you made these in Dallas this heat. Great job! I’m going to have to try making croissants again because I have to try these.

  27. Juliana says:

    Wow, these croissants look fabulous, love the zaatar inside of it…so interesting.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week Joumana 🙂

  28. sophia says:

    Of course you’ll put your cultural spin on it!! I’ve recently tried zaatar, and I love that spice. I know the thousand-layer pastry is a myth, but yours look flaky and perfect enough to be a thousand layers!

  29. Angie's Recipes says:

    Joumana, your croissants look so buttery and great with zaatar filling

  30. Steve @ HPD says:

    High 90s, eh? Well, it’s triple digits here … 64.5°!! Cheers!

  31. Glamorous Glutton says:

    Your croissants look fabulous, spicing them up is a great idea. I struggled with mine but everyones successes have made me think I’ll have another go and I’ll definitely try zatar in my next batch. GG

  32. Oui, Chef says:

    Your croissants look perfectly formed, and oh so tasty! Love the idea of adding zatar to anything! Brava! – S

  33. Nicole says:

    Chapeau! these look delicious! You have so many great uses for zaatar! I am going to get my hands on some!

  34. kouky says:

    quelle coïncidence qu’on ait fait le même défi pour ce mois!! ça reste une aventure assez laborieuse avec les fortes températures qui subsistent encore!
    j’adore ta version parfumée au zaatar que je testerai la prochaine fois! bonne soirée! bises!

  35. domi says:

    ” Croissant ” mon expérience cette pâtisserie est délicieuse…

  36. Needful Things says:

    These look amazing – my kids love zaatar-anything & I’m sure these will be very popular at our house. Bookmarking to try out over the weekend!

  37. Zayatmomma says:

    Hello Joumana,
    When i saw these i knew i had to at least attempt making them, however during the process with the 3rd and 4th step you roll the dough out and you spread the butter, then fold the dough and roll it out, i had butter all over the place, i used the 1 cup +2 Tbsp. of unsalted butter (250 g.) with this part, maybe i should have used the 3 tbs (40 g.) instead? I used the smaller amount in the beginning, when making the dough, if you could clarify please, otherwise the turned out amazingly delish, i had a few left after i ran out of the zatar spread and decide to use red raspberry spread those are also very good.

    • Joumana says:

      @Zayatmomma: If you will bear with me, I am planning to post a new technique I found out about here (Beirut) in which the dough is dunked in 4 cups of oil then rolled out; it makes the flakiest dough and is very similar to the puff pastry used in croissant; otherwise, there is a trick which involves mixing the butter with a little flour say 1/2 cup to keep it from sliding off the dough. You used the right amount of butter, it is just a very tricky pastry to make, which why why most times I buy it already made from a good pastry shop or an upscale market (has to be made with pure butter to be good though)

  38. AbuGhazaleh Despina says:

    Hi!!!!!!!1Just saw your blog and what it contains it looks fantastic and I will start trying your recipes.Nice to meet you Mrs. Joumana
    acc. I am greek married to a Lebanese love Lebanon and the lebanese. I have three children I am a grandmother.

  39. AbuGhazaleh Despina says:

    Hi!!!!!!!1Just saw your blog and what it contains it looks fantastic and I will start trying your recipes.Nice to meet you Mrs. Joumana
    acc. I am greek married to a Lebanese love Lebanon and the lebanese. I have three children I am a grandmother.It is the first time I write to you.

  40. Coco in the Kitchen says:

    Making bread still scares me, even know I learned to bake a nice round crusty loaf in my cast iron pot.
    Your croissants are next on my list!

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