Za’atar & Olive Focaccia

Za'atar Focaccia - Fab Food 4 AllIn honour of National Bread Week I am posting Focaccia which I have been meaning to make ever since I saw Paul Hollywood making some on the Alan Tichmarsh show a couple of years ago! I was recently sent a box of goodies from Steenbergs one of which was za’atar (which is popular in Syria and Lebanon). I had never come across this before (or some of the other products) so mild panic did set in as I felt like I’d opened up a box of sheet music and been asked to play a medley when I’m note blind! Anyway after a quick look at Wikipedia, a trip to the library and a snoop in a book shop I decided to make the first thing that had already come into my head which was Focaccia. Indeed Paul Hollywoods latest book had some kind of flat bread covered in za’atar so I felt I was barking up the right tree! My daughter loves olives so we decided that these should also be included and I based my recipe on the one featured here for National Bread Week. I have to say that we had this with my Glenda’s Winter Lentil Soup and we ate the whole loaf  between the 4 us – it was a big hit and I will be making this again!


My daughter has now become a za’atar fan and comes in from school asking for some pitta, houmous (or olive oil) and za’atar. The Steenbergs version contains thyme, oregano, marjoram and parsley together with sumac, toasted sesame seeds and salt.

I used my small Mermaid baking sheet which was just the right size for making Focaccia and because it’s made of hard anodised aluminium there is no bending or warping in the oven which you get with cheaper quality baking sheets. The heat distribution is also second to none!

I am entering my Za’atar & Olive Focaccia into Javelin Warriors Cookin w Luv “Made with Love Monday” challenge as it is made from scratch, plus Karen’s Herbs on Saturday challenge as it uses Za’atar.

Here’s a pictorial step-by-step guide:

Lebanese, Syrian, Italian, bread, vegetarian

Serve with some olive oil for dipping!

5.0 from 7 reviews
Za’atar & Olive Focaccia
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Focaccia is traditionally Italian but here it's been given a Middle Eastern twist using Za'atar and Olives, great for dipping in olive oil.
Recipe type: Snack
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 4 - 6
  • 15g / ½ oz Dried active yeast
  • 180ml / 6fl oz Warm water
  • 350g / 12 oz Strong plain flour
  • 1 tsp Table salt
  • 50g Black olives, pitted and quartered
  • 1 tbsp Za’atar
  • 2 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 pinches Coarse sea salt
  1. Put just 120ml/4fl oz of warm water in a small bowl and stir in the yeast, leave for 10 minutes to go frothy.
  2. Sieve the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir in the yeast mixture and the rest of the water with a wooden spoon, you might need a little more water!
  3. Use your hands to bring the dough together and transfer to a floured surface, knead for a few minutes until smooth and elastic.
  4. Put the dough in a well oiled bowl covered with cling film, and set aside in a warm place (airing cupboards are good) to prove for about 1 ½ hours until doubled in size.
  5. Meanwhile lightly oil a baking sheet and 10 minutes before proving has ended preheat the oven to 220°C.
  6. Turn the dough onto a floured surface, punch down then sprinkle in the chopped olives and knead for a few minutes.(You might need to add in 2 batches).
  7. Place the dough on the oiled baking sheet, pulling it into a rectangle about 1.5cm/3/4” deep.
  8. Make dimples in the dough using your fingers or knuckles then brush the olive oil over the surface and sprinkle on the Za’atar and course sea salt.
  9. Bake for about 15 - 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or at room temperature with more olive oil for dipping.
NB: All opinions are my own and I was not paid for this post. Thank you to Steenbergs for my products and Mermaid for the baking tray.

Permanent link to this article: https://www.fabfood4all.co.uk/zaatar-olive-focaccia/


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  1. Ursula Hunt

    I love focaccia when we are have an italian meal

  2. Jacqueline Roberts

    Looks great might have a go

  3. Jane Davies

    Not keen on olives on their own either but don’t mind them chopped up and added to things so will probably give this one a go 🙂

    1. Camilla

      They are devisive aren’t they, I only got into them quite late in life but my kids love them:-)

  4. Gwen Maynard

    Sounds yummy. Will be having a go at this soon.

    1. Camilla

      Great, let me know how you get on:-)

  5. William Gould

    I do like Focaccia but I’m not a huge fan of olives though…

    1. Camilla

      You don’t like Olives, we all love them here, I suppose they’re an acquired taste. Remember my first as a kid and wasn’t keen!

  6. Anne Dalzell

    Never heard of za’ataar before either. Love how easy foccacia bread is to make yet it always looks so impressive when it comes out of the oven.

    1. Camilla

      I hadn’t either until I was sent some. Drizzle it over houmous on a pitta and daughter really taken to it too:-)

  7. Maddy

    Could you do the first part in the dough-making cycle of a bread maker?

    1. Camilla

      I ditched my bread maker as it totally took the fun out of bread making so I couldn’t say I’m afraid. Maybe your manual has a similar recipe and you could adapt it.

  8. Fiver Feeds

    I made this several days ago and just had to say it was delicious! Thanks for sharing recipe with us!

    1. Camilla

      Aaw thanks so much for letting me know:-)

  9. Tracy Nixon

    This looks delicious for a picnic!

  10. Ursula Hunt

    Great with good quality olive oil

  11. Tracy Nixon

    shared on Twitter thanks!

  12. Maya Russell

    I don’t like olives whole, or on their own, but love them chopped up on pizza or on bread. This bread looks really nice. I’m not sure if I have eaten Focaccia before. I had never heard of Za’atar before now.

  13. Ursula Hunt

    I love Foccacia and would like to try this one

    1. Camilla

      Thanks, it is delicious:-)

  14. Paul Wilson

    That looks a very nice Focaccia.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks, must make it again soon:-)

  15. Heather Haigh

    Sounds delicious.

  16. Jessica Cocks

    Sounds incredible and perfect with anything! Risotto, pasta, soup… the list is endless! Love focaccia!

  17. stacycmcbryde

    This has got to be one of my favourite breads – I love it ! delicious x

    1. Camilla

      I agree it is yummy but I think I just love all fresh bread:-)

  18. Lucy Zelazowski

    Looks delicious 😀 Yummy 😀

    1. Camilla

      Thank you and for taking the trouble to comment:-)

  19. Karen

    Stunning entry thanks, and thanks for being such a wonderful supporter of Herbs on Saturday! Karen xxxx

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Karen:-)

  20. Caroline Taylor

    This is such a great way to use the za’ atar. I love the sound of this focaccia and it’s been too long since I last made bread so I want to give this a go!

    1. Camilla

      Aah, thank you, that’s so nice to hear, do let me know how you get on:-)

  21. Jacqueline

    It looks great Camilla. There is nothing as joyful as homemade bread. I am actually watching Paul Hollywood Bread as I type this. He’s making brioche just now.

    1. Camilla

      Thanks Jacs, yes there’s something very therapeutic and magical about making bread isn’t there:-)

  22. Jacqueline @How to be a Gourmand

    A great way to use za’atar Camilla. This bread making is really popular in your household! You’ve turned out some lovely pieces!

    1. Camilla

      Ha ha thanks Jacqueline, I’m laughing because I’ve only really become a bread maker in the last 6 months. I remember my teacher writing in my report that she wouldn’t want to be one of my children the way I kneaded my bread. I used to have a bread maker but it was just so cumbersome to store and every loaf was similar and no fun to make. I think it’s a mental block we get that bread is difficult, time consuming and messy. Now I’ve discovered you can bring the dough together with a wooden spoon and don’t have to get your hands covered in gloop I don’t even bother to get my Kenwood out any more.

  23. Victoria Lee

    I sooo need to pull my finger out an make my first focaccia loaf… it’s been languishing mid way down my ‘to-bake’ list for ages, but keeps getting leapfrogged by new ideas….

    1. Camilla

      I know how you feel, that to do list never seems to shrink, so many things to make:-)

  24. Cheryl Pasquier

    I have some Za’atar and had no idea what to do with it so this is definitely one to try 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Fab, do let me know if you do:-)

  25. Vanesther

    I made some dukkah recently which is kind of similar to za’atar and was wondering how it might taste as a focaccia topping. You’ve just inspired me to give it a go. Yours looks truly gorgeous!

    1. Camilla

      Aah, thank you so much Vanesther, glad to inspire:-)

  26. Jen @ BlueKitchenBakes

    I’ve made a couple of focaccias but have stuck to the fairly typical Meditteranean flavourings of garlic and rosemary. I still haven’t tried Za’atar yet, and it has just moved up a few places on my list of things to eat after seeing this beautiful loaf 🙂

    1. Camilla

      Well I’ve been able to cross off Focaccia and Za’atar in one fell swoop LOL! Daughter is so keen its funny:-)

  27. Javelin Warrior

    I’m a big fan of focaccia and shockingly, I’ve never tried to make it. But this looks and sounds delicious! I love the use of the black olives and it’s such a simple things to make I really should give it a go… Thanks so much for sharing!

    1. Camilla

      Well you’re like me then Mark as this was my first time and yes it’s so very easy – give it go soon, the topping possibilities are endless:-)

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