Assil, who was born to a Palestinian mother and a Syrian father, was raised in the Boston suburb of Watertown, Mass., her family part of a small but tightly knit Arab community.
Assil followed her baking education with practical, hands-on experience at a bakery that let her experiment with Middle Eastern flavors.
In Lebanon, the basic version is topped with just a smear of za’atar, a spice mixture made from wild thyme, dried sumac and salt blended with olive oil; cheese versions exist, as well as man’oushe topped with a cured beef sausage called sujuk.
3¼ cups strong bread flour (for a coarser texture, substitute up to 2 tablespoons whole wheat flour for bread flour)
In a measuring cup or small bowl, combine the water and yeast and set aside until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with a clean kitchen towel and set in a warm, draft-free place until the dough has doubled in size, about 1½ to 2 hours.
Repeat with the remaining pieces of dough, then cover with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes.
Preheat the pizza stone or a sturdy cookie sheet topped with parchment.
Remove from the oven; if desired, dot with labne and top with sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and mint and roll into a flatbread sandwich, or leave plain and cut into four pieces.
Heat it over medium; when the metal is hot (flick a few water drops onto the surface to test-they should sizzle and quickly evaporate) lay a flatbread directly onto the pan and cook, flipping once, until golden brown on both sides.