Thyme is used in many dishes, and grows wild in many parts of the Arab world; often it grows out of rocks. This herb is a survivor, and for that reason it expresses the spirit of this section which discusses the Gulf War. Thyme is an apt symbol for Arab-Americans and Arab-Canadians who experienced Gulf War trauma and came out of it with a renewed commitment to celebrate our culture and resist assimilation.
5 pounds flour
1 package fresh or dry yeast
1 t. sugar
1 1/2 t. salt
3/4 c. oil
Put flour in large bowl. Make an indentation in the flour. Soften yeast in lukewarm water. Add sugar and mix to dissolve yeast. Place mixture of salt and oil in indentation. Add enough warm water to make a dough of firm yet pliable consistency. Knead until dough does not stick to side of bowl. Let rise. Punch down. Let rise again.
Za'tar topping; Mix thyme, sumac, and sesame seeds to taste (or buy za'tar pre-mixed at an Arab grocery store). Mix the za'tar with olive oil to make a syrup-like consistency. Spread the dough on the pan, then spread the topping across the dough. Bake in 500° oven. Brown lightly.
A shortcut here is to put the za'tar topping on already-made pita bread, then warm in oven until ready.
Source : Carol Haddad