Jordanian Matabaqa.. layered onion bread

Jordanian Matabqa a wonderful layered bread, filled with  caramelized onions

A new month and another beautiful traditional Arabic recipe for the group Arabic flavor. Our wonderfully talented host Areej chose to take us to the north of Jordan, specifically to the city of Irbid to teach us how to make Matabka.

Matabka or matabqa is a traditional onion filled layered bread, popular in the North of Jordan. What sets this beautiful layered bread apart is the fact that it uses olive oil instead of butter to achieve the flaky layers. That gives it a uniqe earthy nuttiness that is simply irresistible

Biting into this bread is a real treat! The outer layers are crisp and crunchy while the inner layers are soft and chewy. The sauteed onions add a wonderful hint of sweetness that perfectly complements the delicate bread.

Jordanian Matabqa a wonderful layered bread, filled with  caramelized onions


3 cups flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon nigella seeds (optional)

1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)

1/2 teaspoon anise seeds (optional)

About 1 and 1/2 cups warm water (you may need a little more or less)


4 cups chopped onions

1 cup olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon all spice

1 teaspoon turmeric


In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a kneading attachment (or a regular bowl if you are doing this by hand) , add the flour and salt

Slowly add the water and knead, until you get a smooth and sticky dough. This type of dough is called ajeen awees  which means extra wet dough. You need the dough to be this wet to be able to stretch it later


Knead the dough for 10 minutes in your stand mixer or 15 if you are doing this by hand

Divide the dough into 4 parts, drizzle generously with olive oil, allow to rest for an hour

dough balls

In the mean time, prepare the filling

Heat the olive oil in a pot, add the chopped onions with the salt, pepper and  turmeric.

Cook over medium heat until the onions are translucent

onion filling

Drain the onions, reserve the oil

On a clean surface, preferably marble drizzle some of the reserved olive oil and start spreading the dough with your hands gently and slowly until it is really thin

paper thin

I tried to shoot a simple video to show you the stretching technique

The result is a very thin circle of dough

strech doughSpread a little of the filling all over the dough


Here is a video showing the filling and folding procedure

First fold 1/3 of the dough over the middle 1/3, spread with some filling

Fold the other 1/3 over the center and spread with some filling

Again fold 1/3 of the dough over the middle third, then fold over the other third.

The result is a square of layered dough

Put this square on the side and spread another dough ball into a thin circle

Spread with some filling

Place the square of layered dough in the center of the circle

step 1

Repeat the folding technique

step 2

step 3

step 4

step 5

Up until now we have used 2 dough balls, you can stop here or you can keep on layering up to 7 layers

I personally prefer stopping at 2, that way I can reduce the cooking time

Place the finished layered loaf into a pan and allow it to rest for 30 minutes

step 6

Gently spread the loaf to make it thinner and larger

step 7

Bake in a preheated oven (380 F or 190 C) on the central rack

For a 2 layer loaf : bake for 20-25 minutes

For a 5 layer load: bake for 40 minutes

Serve with some homemade yogurt and  a green salad

Jordanian Matabqa a wonderful layered bread, filled with  caramelized onions

المطابقه الاردنيه

٣ كوب طحين
نصف ملعقه صغيره ملح
(و اختياري اضافه نص ملعقه حبة بركه ونص ملعقه شومر ونص ملعقه يانسون حبوب)
كوب و نص ماء للعجين

اربع اكواب بصل مفروم
كاس زيت زيتون
نصف ملعقه صغيره ملح
نصف ملعقه صغيره بهار حلو

ملعقه صغيره  كركم او عصفر او بالاردني بسموه ورص


بنعجن العجين العويص حتى يتشكل عنا عجينه طريه بفضل تنعجن حوالي ربع ساعه مع الدعك الجيد وتقرص لأقراص

وتغمر بزيت الزيتون ونتركها ترتاح عالاقل ساعه

الحشو :نفرم البصل فرم ناعم نضع بالقلايه زيت الزيتون وبس يحمى نضع البصلات مع الملح والفلفل حسب الرغبه والعصفر او الكركم ونبداء بتقليبه حتى يذبل البصل ويستوي

نضع على رخامة المطبخ كمية من الزيت الزيتون ونبداء برق العجين حتى تصبح رقيقه وشفافه

ونفرد عليها ملعقه كبيره من الخليط ونطبقها كما في الصوره ونضعها على جنب

نفرد قرص اخر بنفس الطريقه نضع بصل ونفرده ونضع العجينه المطبقه الاولى بنصف هذه المفروده ونطبق العجينه المفروده عليها بنفس الطريقه

نكمل بهذه الطريقه حتى نكمل العجين نترك القرص الكبير يرتاح نصف ساعه ثم نضعه بصينيه دائريه ونفرده جيدا وبحذر حتى يتشكل عنا رغيف كبير مكون من كل الطبقات

طبعا الفرن حامي من قبل حراره ٣٨٠ ف نضع الصينيه بالفرن تخبز حوالي ٣٥ دقيقه ل ٤٠ دقيقه المده تعتمد على عدد الطبقات انا عملت ٥ اخدت ٤٠ دقيقه وعملت وحده طبقتين اخدت ٢٠ دقيقه طبعا انت حره بكمية الطبقات معك من طبقتيت ل ٧ لكن اذا زودت كمية الطبقات يجب ان تغطيها بالفويل قبل الخيز وتضعيها بصينية ذات حواف وتتركيها بالفرن عنار وسط مده اطول حتى تستوي الطبقات
تقدم ساخنه مع السلطه او خيار ولبن او شنينه