Za’atar Bread

I had never heard of za’atar until I went to culinary school and a classmate of mine from Israel brought in a little packet of homemade za’atar to share with me. It contained sesame seeds, sumac, thyme, hyssop and a little salt, it instantly became one of my favorite spice blends. The first time I had za’atar bread was from a vendor at a farmers market. He was from Palestine and owned a local restaurant and was selling homemade za’atar, as well as this huge pile of soft flatbread with a generous topping of za’atar and olive oil baked onto the bread. Yet again, I became an instant fan. The word za’atar means thyme in Arabic, as well as referring to a general family of herbs such as thyme, hyssop, marjoram and oregano, among others. A popular spice blend in the Middle East, there are slight variations to the spice combo depending on the region.

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Beer Bread

Mid-March we scrapped everything that had been planned for the blog this year because of all the craziness with Covid-19. We have literally been going week to week, trying to gauge the grocery stores, figure out what people can get, what they might have on hand. Recipe creations have come from the most random situations. A few weeks ago, my husband and I bought some beer from a local brewery (pickup only!!) in an effort to support local businesses and help them try to make it through these tough times. Most of the beer we really enjoyed, but one chocolate stout was too sweet for our tastes. Rather than dump it out, which felt extremely wasteful (especially right now), I just added it to some bread dough that I was making. And so this recipe was born. And my family has been enthusiastically eating it ever since. We’ve teamed up with DoughEZ for this post and are featuring their mat and bread pan that will be part of a big giveaway at the end of the month.

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Pesto and Cheese Monkey Bread

I’m not sure why monkey bread is called monkey bread, but it sure is fun to eat, pulling apart sections of bread. Usually monkey bread is sweet, with a sticky topping. But we’re going to the savory side with this one. Pesto in the dough and on the top and bottom of the bread, and a liberal sprinkling of cheese in the layers makes this a bit of comfort baking heaven. I apologize in advance if your grocery foraging situation is still wonky. As long as I don’t want beans or rice, I can usually find what I need now, although I have to go to the more expensive grocery stores for flour.

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