Za’atar and Buckwheat Garlic Bread

Today I am baking with za’atar, a beautiful blend of earthy, savory spices like sesame and sumac that is often used in the Middle East.

This is also the signature challenge for the second season of the Great British Bakeoff Bread Week.

The assignment was to bake a free-form loaf with innovative and complementary flavors. I took the “innovative” part a bit further and also made the loaf raw (cooked at 115F), vegan, and gluten-free.

It was a fun and tasty experiment! But it’s not a recipe for the faint of heart or hungry of tummy. It takes about 3 days to make this bread. I would definitely run out of time if this were the real Bakeoff. 🙂

May peace and compassion find their way from my little kitchen to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict right now.

Great British Bakeoff Vegan: Season 2, Episode 3 (Bread Week), Signature Bake


First round

  • 1 cup sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat (see directions)
  • ¼ cup coconut flour
  • ¼ cup hemp seeds
  • 1 Tbsp psyllium husk powder
  • 1 tsp garlic granules
  • 1 tsp za’atar (plus extra for sprinkling on top)
  • ¼ tsp himalayan salt (optional)

Second round

  • 1 ¾ cup peeled, chopped beets (any color, or you could use zucchini)
  • 1 small onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp miso
  • ½ cup water


To make sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat, start with 2 cups of raw buckwheat groats (not roasted).

Put the groats in a large bowl, cover with water, and soak for 20 minutes. Rinse a few times until the water is clear, then pour the groats into a strainer. Cover the strainer with a tea towel and put it over the same large bowl. Check 2-3 times a day to look for sprouts, removing the strainer from the bowl, rinsing the groats thoroughly in running water, then putting it back to sprout. After about 24 hours you should see little sprouts growing!

Take the sprouted buckwheat and spread it out evenly on a lined baking sheet or dehydrator tray. If you have a dehydrator, set it to 115F (46C) for 12-18 hours until the groats are completely dry. If you don’t have one, set your oven to the lowest temperature (about 180F, not C), and start to check it after 6 hours. It should have a nice crunch to it.

Take 1 cup of the sprouted, dehydrated buckwheat and process it in a food processor with the rest of the “first round” ingredients. It will turn into a flour.

Next, add in the “second round” ingredients and process it until it turns into a smooth, thick dough.

Shape the dough into a circular “loaf” about ½” thick. Sprinkle the top with extra za’atar.

Dehydrate the dough at 115 F (46 C) for at least 8 hours – it will be dry on the outside, and you can decide how fluffy or crackery you want it on the inside. Keep letting it “bake” and tasting it until it’s just right for you. Store any leftovers in a sealed container in your freezer.

Happy experimenting!

Chef Maitri Carmichael brings a creative and peaceful energy to every plate. She grew up in Toronto with a British Grandma and an Italian Nonna who showed their love through food, then she moved to the San Francisco Bay Area for 15 years, spending her free time at community farms and zen kitchens. Originally a scientist and biotech entrepreneur, she graduated from the Vegan Chef School in London (2021) and the Raw Food Culinary Academy in Vancouver (2023), and is now settled in Hawaii.

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