Zaatar Scones with labneh

November 9, 2010  •  Category:


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 ofzaatar. 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



40 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. PJ says:

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

  2. Marcela says:

    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. Cheftometrist says:

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

  4. Alfonso says:

    those look fantastic!

  5. Maria @ Scandifoodie says:

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

  6. Karen says:

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

  7. Rosa says:

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



  8. Katerina says:

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

  9. john@heneedsfood says:

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

  10. peter says:

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

  11. Cherine says:

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

  12. T.W Barritt says:

    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. sweet Artichoke says:

    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 🙂

  14. Barbara says:

    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.

  15. SYLVIA says:

    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.

  16. Adelina says:

    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!!!

  17. Dimah says:

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

  18. Devaki says:

    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

  19. Bria @ WestofPersia says:

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

  20. Christine @ Fresh says:

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

  21. Conor @ HoldtheBeef says:

    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 😉

  22. Food Jihadist says:

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

  23. Faith says:

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

  24. Nadji says:

    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.

  25. Erica says:

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

  26. Krista says:

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

  27. Jenna says:

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

  28. Katie @Cozydelicious says:

    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!

  29. Franziska says:

    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.

  30. deeba says:

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

  31. Sophie says:

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

    Yummie & fab food!

  32. Amanda says:

    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.

  33. sicoulette says:

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

  34. Heni says:

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

  35. Oui, Chef says:

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

  36. Joanna says:

    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.

  37. gula welat says:

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

  38. Tara says:

    Hi Joumana!

    I tried making these the other day and they rose beautifully, but when I tried them, there was still the strong bitter aftertaste of the baking powder. I wonder what could have went wrong?

Add a Comment