Appetizer/ Baking/ Lunch/ Recipes

Za’atar and Dark Rye Crackers

I’ve been learning a lot about za’atar recently, which is appropriate given the title of this website! I first learned of it through a visit to my local middle eastern grocery and once I tried it, I was hooked. It’s fragrant and zesty dried herb (also called za’atar, which is family with oregano) is contrasted with tangy sumac, earthy sesame, and a touch of salt. In places like Palestine and Lebanon, it’s sprinkled on almost anything – from bread to eggs to vegetables – and I treat it the same. It’s, perhaps, most commonly used on bread in the popular manaeesh, a flat bread popularly sold on the streets or baked for breakfast.

I’ve even recently dried some fresh za’atar to try and make my own za’atar blend and one of my goals for next summer is to try and grow my own za’atar! It’s become a pantry staple for me. Za’atar is becoming increasingly available and common and a number of my recipes here use za’atar. If you don’t have somewhere close by to get it, there’s a number of recipes around online to blend your own substitutes using locally available oregano and/or marjoram. There’s lots of different blends out there, with lots of possible flavor additions, but my favorites stick closely to the base spices and emphasize the fragrance and zest of the za’atar/oregano. Check out one of my online favorites, Cardamom and Tea, for a good overview and za’atar recipe (and other recipes using za’atar!).

This recipe is one I’ve made a number of times and I love having in my pocket for quick snacks or lunches on the go. There’s often times I have a fresh batch of labneh or hummus in the house,  I can quickly chop some veggies, and when I have it fresh I grab a pita. But I don’t always have fresh bread in the house and this is a delicious and quick alternative, ready in less than 20 minutes. I also love the idea of making my own crackers when I put together a charcuterie or cheese board – and these would be a great fit there!

Check out the recipe below and let me know how they turn out if you try these!

Za'atar and Dark Rye Crackers

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By Eric Ritskes Serves: 20-40 small crackers, depending on size
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cooking Time: 6-10 minutes

Great for a quick snack or lunch when paired with hummus or labneh, or a great addition to your next cheese and charcuterie board. They are ready within 20 minutes and are a great recipe to pull out of your pocket when you need something quick for guests popping by.


  • 1/2 cup dark rye or pumpernickel flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (** if your za'atar blend includes salt, you may want to omit this **)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon za'atar spice blend
  • 55g (1/4 cup) unsalted butter (you can also use margarine for similar results)
  • 3 tablespoons milk



Preheat oven to 400F.


Mix together all the dry ingredients and za'atar in a medium size bowl.


Cut in butter into the dry mix and work in until it is integrated without any large pieces of butter.


Stir in the milk.


Form a ball of dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface until you reach your desired cracker thickness (approximately 3-5mm thick). The dough shouldn't stick to the surface or rolling pin; add a bit more flour if it does.


Cut into shapes (squares, rectangles, octagons - whatever your imagination and tools allow!).


Transfer to a non-stick baking sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes. This will depend on how thick your crackers are. Watch closely and pull out when the edges of the crackers begin to turn a darker golden color.


Cool on a rack and enjoy!


This recipe is based off one I found on Bob's Red Mill.

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