Druze Pita With Labneh & Za’atar

For those of you who don’t know or who have never been to Israel, not everything Israeli is Jewish and not everything Jewish is Israeli. Einstein was Jewish but not Israeli, and Druze laffa is not Jewish but very Israeli—as Israeli as me or Gal Gadot are. (I love how I put myself and Gal in the same equation.) Just FYI Israeli Druze have the same rights and obligations as any Israeli citizen.

Honestly, I don’t know much about the Druze religion, but I do know that they believe in reincarnation, and that their religion incorporates beliefs from Islam, Judaism and Christianity. And as I have learned lately, their religion is also influenced by Greek philosophy and Hinduism.

From the few Druze I have met over the years – Ali, my sister’s best friend in high school and the women who sell pitas with labaneh in nachalat binyami in Tel Aviv – I know that they are kind and generous people.

I have never passed by a Druze pita stall and not stopped to get one. I also love watching them make it. The pita/laffa only looks like a wrap, but it’s ten times more delicious. They use a round pillow to place the large pita on the burning-hot dome-shaped taboon. Since I don’t own a dome taboon or that pillow, I made mine smaller – in the size of my cast iron skillet, and bake them on the back of the cast iron-skillet in the oven.

Now, if for some reason you can’t make the laffas, you can cheat – yourself too – and use whole wheat tortillas or lavash, a Persian flatbread instead. It wouldn’t be the same but it could motivate you to make the real deal. Making labneh or vegan labneh is effortless, but the straining takes a day or two. The laffa dough needs about 1 – 1.5 hours to rise. You’ll need to adapt the patience and anticipation of a Druze.

Druze Laffa

Simple and gratifying whole wheat large flat pita bread.
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time10 minutes
Total Time1 hour 30 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Lunch, Snack
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keyword: Baking, Bread
Servings: 4 people
Author: Shelly


  • cheese cloth or muslin
  • coffee press or tall jar


  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour or spelt
  • 1 tablespoon dry instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ¾ cups warm water
  • Additional all-purpose flour for dusting

For serving:

  • Labneh
  • Za’atar
  • Olive oil


  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast and salt. Add the warm water and mix together with your hands or a wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Start kneading. The dough would be slightly sticky in the beginning but DON’T add flour yet. Kneading it would make it less sticky. Add flour only if it’s pasty-like. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 7 – 10 minutes . Don’t be tempted to add flour
  • Place the dough in a large bowl and drizzle about 1 teaspoon of olive oil over. Rub the oil on the dough to coat it. Cover and let rise for 1-2 hours until doubled in size.
  • Punch down the dough to release air and divide into 8 equal pieces. Cover and let rest for 15 more minutes.
  • Lightly flour the counter you're going to work on. Put a ball of dough on and sprinkle it generously with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll each ball into a circle, as thin as possible and in the size of your cast iron skillet*. Dust with more flour, if necessary, to prevent sticking.
  • Preheat the oven to 400°F with the cast cast iron skillet in it flipped (to make it easier to place the laffa on. Bake each laffa for 8 minutes or until lightly golden and puffed. Wrap in a kitchen towel to keep warm and soft.
  • Spread labneh over each laffa and top with za’atar and olive oil. Fold up and devour immediately!


*you can use a baking sheet or tray if you don’t have a cast iron skillet. 

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