It feels like autumn has arrived. The days are still warm but it feels like there is a slight chill in the air and the mornings are definitely just that bit darker for longer. This means we are heading to meals consisting of nourishing broths and soups. And I really do think these Za’atar Rolls are a must to bake to mop up all those comforting soups.

But while we wait for the cold to properly arrive, these soft rolls packed with loads of flavour from the za’atar mix can easily replace that good old garlic bread at your next barbecue.

Za'atar Rolls

Za'atar Rolls

This is the second recipe I have made from Joudie Kalla’s book, Palestine on a Plate – Memories from my mother’s kitchen. The book is a tribute to her family, mother and home and packed with recipes for the most delicious Palestinian food.

I tweaked the recipe slightly by adding some harissa for some extra spice and feta cheese for a salty undertone. You can omit the harissa paste but I liked the added flavour of cumin and coriander coming through. The paste can be very spicy so do taste it before adding as part of the filling.

Za'atar Rolls

I used two za’atars from different countries. One was from Dubai and the other from Turkey. The Turkish blend was much spicier than the Dubai one so do taste the blend before using. (Of course homemade is always better and there is recipe in Joudie’s book). The filling requires a lot of the za’atar blend and I think you could reduce it by up to a third to start off with. If you feel it is too little then sprinkle some more on top.

Freshly baked with loads of herbs and spice flavours, these rolls are just delicious. Serve simply drizzled with olive oil or spread with homemade labneh and enjoy!

Za'atar Rolls

Our next Food Photography Workshop will take place on the 30th of April 2017. It falls on a long weekend so a great way to escape the city for the day. Our goal for the day is to create a space where we all can play, learn from each other and have a lot of fun doing it. Come be inspired, get creative, get more comfortable with your camera and most importantly play. All the details can be found here and do let me know if you would like to join us for the day at the most beautiful location.

Za’atar Rolls


  • 800g flour (and more if needed)
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 20g instant yeast
  • 100g butter, melted
  • 400ml luke warm milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Filling:
  • 4 tbsp harissa paste (taste before using and adjust quantity as harissa can be very hot)
  • 150ml Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 175g za-atar
  • 1 egg beaten, to glaze
  • 200g feta (about 2 disks)


  1. Line a 33 x 22cm baking tin with baking paper
  2. Mix the flour, sugar, salt and yeast together in a bowl
  3. Whisk the melted butter into the milk and eggs, then stir this into the flour mixture
  4. Mix to combine, then knead the dough until smooth and springy (or use the dough hook of an electric mixer)
  5. If the dough is too wet add more flour until the dough no longer sticks and is of a smooth consistency
  6. Form the dough into a ball, placed in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes, depending how warm it is)
  7. Roll the dough on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle of roughly 50cm x 25cm
  8. Spread the harissa paste over the surface of the dough
  9. Mix the olive oil, za’atar and half the sesame seeds in a small bowl and spread evenly over the dough, covering the whole surface
  10. Crumble the feta cheese on top
  11. Roll the dough up from the longest side into a long roll
  12. Cut the roll into about 18 2cm slices and place in the prepared tin, cut side facing up
  13. Don’t worry if they don’t fit snugly, they will rise and swell when proving and baking
  14. Brush with beaten egg and sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds on top
  15. Leave to prove for another 15 minutes in a warm spot
  16. Preheat the oven to 210 degrees C (fan forced) or 230 degrees C
  17. Bake the rolls for 20 – 25 minutes until they have risen and are golden brown (Check regularly through the oven glass and cover with foil if they brown too quickly)
  18. Let the rolls cool for 10 minutes, remove from the tin and serve
  19. Serve drizzled with olive oil or spread with labneh.
  20. Adapted from the book Palestine on a Plate
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by Yummly Rich Recipes

I am proud to be associated with Baleia Extra Virgin Olive Oil and use it whenever a recipe requires Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The South African cold press extra virgin Olive Oil is produced in the Riversdale area, has a whiff of fresh cut grass and aromas of green tomatoes, almonds artichokes and green apples.

Click here for more bread recipes

More photos, food and travel stories on: Instagram Pinterest Twitter Facebook YouTube

Plum, Almond and Lime Cake
Raw Chocolate Pudding with Sweet Dukkah



Leave a Reply

error: Image can be purchased on