So I definitely need to talk a bit about my family and za’atar before diving into how this cook went.
Za’atar is a big thing back in Nazareth.
I, in fact, have two giant jars full of za’atar on my kitchen side which my grandmother made up and sent me. If in Nazareth, the comforting smell of manakeesh cooking (Arabic za’atar bread) is quite often the first thing to welcome me to my grandmother’s kitchen in the morning and za’atar is (as Bishara points out) regularly found in a small dish on the side to enable easy snacking through out the day.
It is also a staple in our household. Even my VERY British husband has become accustomed to tucking into toast dipped in olive oil and za’atar as a regular breakfast. All this means I felt quite comfortable with this recipe. Plus Eggs… well, every one cooks eggs (apart from maybe vegans?) so I had this in the bag right?!
Problem is, I found that this recipe took quite a bit longer than Bishara estimated. Whether this is because you are expected to use a 5cm thick slice of bread (quite a hefty slice!) or because the egg is meant to cook within a penny sized hole within the bread, it definitely took way longer than 2-3 minutes!
This all meant that I was stood over the stove for a good 20 minutes waiting for my egg whites to cook and in the end my yolk just wasn’t how I would like it and the bread was a little too done. I have to say though, it was a very fancy way to cook fried bread and egg with a sprinkle of za’atar and it does look quite impressive!
However, if I did this again, I would use a smaller size loaf, a bigger hole for the egg and a higher heat!
If you do want to impress a breakfast guest, I recommend this as a go to recipe. As when you slice into it, it definitely has a wow factor.
As for next time, you can expect some Arabic bread (Manakeesh).