ABHA: The aroma of freshly baked bread emanating from native bakeries and houses fills the cool air in an Asir district.
Arab Information met Elham Asiri, a mom and an skilled baker, who attracts guests and locals from across the Asir area along with her contemporary conventional breads generally known as mifa and hali, amongst others.
Situated at Al-Sawda mountain peak, about 3,133 meters above sea stage on the best way again to Abha, Asiri’s store may be discovered on the facet of a route resulting in Rijal Alma, a historic village.
Wearing conventional Asir apparel, together with a burqa and tafsha, and a straw boater hat to guard her from the solar, Asiri opens her store every single day at 2 p.m. with clients already lined as much as give their day’s orders.
She prepares massive batches of dough in a single day, and within the afternoon she places them within the oven for baking. The breads are primarily product of white or brown flour, salt, yeast and water. Mifa is an oval-shaped bread that’s product of brown flour with none filling, with sesame or nigella seeds on prime, which provides the bread a definite style and taste when baked.
“I provide it with many fillings resembling labneh, za’atar or cream cheese after which I add a drizzle of honey to offer it a twist of sweetness to those that don’t want it the standard means,” stated Asiri, who single-handedly runs the store.
To provide the breads an genuine really feel and taste, Asiri switched to out of doors baking — like her ancestors — from utilizing a standard indoor oven. The out of doors conventional oven, referred to as mwassm, is often utilized by most villages within the Asir area.
“Most guests right here additionally order a bread referred to as hali, which interprets to ‘sugary.’ It’s a brown bread made with out yeast and kneaded with ghee, which provides it a robust style. It provides the physique vitality and heat in chilly climate,” she stated.
One of many guests, Mohammed Asiri, advised Arab Information that he visits this bread store each weekend whereas going to his residence in Rijal Almaa. “I found Elham Asiri’s bread store three years in the past, and since then I move by to choose up my favourite order on my means again to and from Rijal Alma. We love the bread she gives; it’s so contemporary and attractive. I often order hali with cheese filling, further roasted, and a cup of crimson tea; and I take pleasure in it a lot throughout the trip,” he stated.
One other customer, Bodour Aggad, who’s initially from Jeddah however lives in Abha for work, stated that she discovered about Asiri’s store whereas she was on the lookout for a superb mountain view in Ramadan on her means again from Al-Sawda. “Some vehicles had been crowded at a spot and it caught my consideration; I finished out of curiosity to search out Asiri baking contemporary bread on order. I attempted it and fell in love with it,” she stated.
Aggad stated that each time her household or associates go to Abha, she makes positive to introduce them to this rural bread store to finish their expertise. “Asiri’s store is exclusive as she kneads and bakes the bread and serves it scorching to her guests as soon as she receives an order, in contrast to different meals cubicles who give you the bread ready-made at residence.”
Asiri additionally gives her clients pastries with totally different sorts of fillings, along with scorching milk, Saudi espresso, and karak tea. She laughingly stated that previously, ladies of the area needed to grasp the artwork of bread making to have the ability to get married.