thinking about man’oushe
for years, ever since I went to Lebanon
and someone handed me a warm flatbread right out of the wood-fired
oven. It was the perfect snack: A warm, slightly supple dough
slathered with za’atar,
an herbaceous seasoning blend punctuated with sumac and sesame seeds.
It has a slightly astringent flavor, due to the tang of sumac and the
sharpness of the wild herbs, and I loved it, but never attempted to
make man’oushe, the popular street snack.
I used to
have one of those pizza stones, but I never liked it. It got stained,
which didn’t appeal to my OCD nature, and worse, made a horrible
screeching noise when dragged across the wire oven rack. So I decided
to go out for pizza, even though every once in a while I have the urge
to make a pizza
interest what rekindled when I read about baking steels, heavy-duty
slabs of metal that promise amazing heat conductivity, and decided
to buy one. The one I
got was pretty heavy – there goes my baggage allowance!
– but I was hopeful that my doughs would have the same crisp,
blistered crust that you get when you go out for pizza.