This small cheese manakish recipe is so finger-licking tasty. Why you ask?
Well for starters, this crunchy and crusty dough recipe is unlike any pizza dough we’ve ever tried. The credit goes to the combination of all purpose flour with semolina flour and the addition of an egg to the mixture.
The Akkawi cheese is by far the best cheese you can use on these oven-baked small manakish.
What is Akkawi Cheese?
Akkawi is white brine cheese, smoothly-textured, and mildly salty. It is commonly produced in the Middle East notably in Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, Egypt, and Cyprus.
Easy Manakish Dough
Making this dough is so easy. The result is consistent every single time. You just have to follow the instructions and especially the sequence to ensure success every time you make it. The dough is so easy to work by hand. I never used a dough mixer for this recipe.
3 parts flour, 1 part semolina will do the trick. You’re probably wondering if you can skip the semolina. Of course, you can make it with 4 cups of flour. But, you did not arrive at this recipe looking for shortcuts, did you? Enough said!
Whisk by hand all the dry ingredients ensuring they are fully incorporated.
Add the oil to the warm milk and pour in.
Whisk an egg and pour in.
Mix with a spatula until all ingredients are well incorporated. Then knead by hand.
Cover the container tightly and let the dough rise for about 2 hours or until it doubles in volume.
It’s math time! This is actually important to ensure the recipe yields 18 equally-sized small Manakish.
Weigh the dough and divide the number by 18. Then weigh each small piece before forming them into small balls. Do that for 6 balls at first. Place them on a tray, cover, and let rest for 10 minutes as you form the remaining ones.
Press down the balls by hand starting at the center and gently flatten by moving outwards. No rolling pin needed.
Now let’s get cheesy.
It’s important to squeeze the water out of the cheese. You don’t want it to be too moist. Then crumble by hand.
Place about 3 tbsp of the crumbly cheese on each flattened dough. Press down by hand to further flatten the cheese and expand the dough a bit more. Spray an extremely light amount of olive oil on. But this is totally optional.
Bake in a preheated oven at 450ºF for 10 minutes but check on them often.
The baking time varies depending on your oven and the moisture content of the cheese.
Start with 10 minutes and check on them often. They are done when the edge and crust are golden. The pictures show exactly the end result we’re looking for.Print
Small Cheese Manakish
- Prep Time: 10
- Dough Rising Time: 120
- Cook Time: 30
- Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
- Yield: 18 1x
- Cuisine: Lebanese
This is by far the best small Manakish cheese recipe of all time, at least according to everyone we know who tried it.
Dough for 18 small Manakish
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup fine semolina flour
- 1 instant yeast packet
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 1/4 cups warm milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 large egg
- 850 g of Akkawi cheese yielding 18 small Manakish.
- See notes below for more details.
- In a large bowl, whisk by hand the flour, semolina, salt, sugar and the instant yeast until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.
- Warm up the milk until it’s about 100ºF. This usually takes 60-90 seconds in a microwave. Make sure it’s not too hot so that it does not kill the yeast.
- Add the oil to the milk and give them a quick stir.
- Make a small well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the milk/oil mixture.
- Give the egg a quick whisk with a fork and add it over the milk/oil.
- Mix everything gently with a spatula starting from the center of the well and gradually moving outwards to draw in the dry ingredients slowly.
- As you are mixing, press down with the spatula to ensure the ingredients are bonding together. Keep using the spatula until the ingredients are well incorporated and not too sticky.
- Knead the dough with your knuckles for about 5 minutes.
- Form the dough into a round ball.
- Oil the inside of the bowl or another bowl and place the dough in it.
- Cover and let rise for about 2 hours or until it doubles in size.
- Prepare 3 half-sheet (18″x13″) baking trays and 3 kitchen towels.
- Weigh the dough. It should be about 1150 grams (more or less). Divide the dough into 18 equally-sized portions weighing about 60-65 grams each.
- Form each portion into a round ball and place 6 of them on a half-sheet baking tray. No oiling or parchment paper needed.
- Cover the entire first baking sheet with a kitchen towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Repeat the process for the second baking sheet and cover.
- Repeat the process for the third baking sheet and cover.
- Now it’s time to prepare the cheese (see below).
- Uncover the first baking sheet. Leave the others covered until you place the first one in the oven.
- Press down the balls by hand starting at the center and gently flatten by moving outwards. No rolling pin needed.
- Squeeze and drain the Akkawi cheese if necessary to ensure it’s not very moist.
- Crumble by hand or shred the Akkawi cheese.
- Place 3 tbsp (or to taste) of the cheese on each flattened dough coming as close as you can to the edges.
- Press them down with your hand to make sure they are flat on the dough.
- Spray an extremely light amount of olive oil over each one. (Optional)
- Place in the 450ºF oven for about 10 minutes but check on them often.
- Remove from the oven when the edges start to brown. The bottom should be just like the pictures.
- Baking time varies depending on your oven and the moisture content of the cheese. Start with 10 minutes and check on them often. They are done when the crust is golden. The pictures show exactly the end result we’re looking for.
- The Akkawi cheese needs to be the kind that you can easily crumble. It should not be too solid requiring slicing with a knife. It should not be very salty either. The extremely salty kind will need desalting by rinsing in water repeatedly so it is best to avoid them.
- Reheating leftovers can be done in the microwave for 30 seconds but this tends to diminish the crunchiness.
- Reheating in the oven is best if you have the time. You can do that at 170ºF for 10 minutes.
- 850 g of Akkawi yields 18 small Manakish on 3 half-sheet (18″x13″) baking trays.
- 283 g of Akkawi yields 6 small Manakish on 1 half-sheet (18″x13″) baking tray.
- We usually make 6 cheese, 6 zaatar, and 6 pizza or something else like Lahm Bi Ajeen.
- Serving Size: 1 small pizza dough only
- Calories: 188
- Sugar: 2 g
- Sodium: 213 mg
- Fat: 8 g
- Saturated Fat: 1 g
- Unsaturated Fat: 7 g
- Carbohydrates: 22 g
- Fiber: 1 g
- Protein: 5 g
- Cholesterol: 51 mg
Keywords: Small Cheese Manakish
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Just WOW. These look amazing!!!!!!