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 together with her recent conventional breads often called mifa and hali, amongst others.
Situated at Al-Sawda mountain peak, about 3,133 meters above sea stage on the way in which again to Abha, Asiri’s store may be discovered on the aspect 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 day-after-day at 2 p.m. with prospects already lined as much as give their day’s orders.
She prepares giant batches of dough in a single day, and within the afternoon she places them within the oven for baking. The breads are primarily manufactured from white or brown flour, salt, yeast and water. Mifa is an oval-shaped bread that’s manufactured from 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 reminiscent of 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 normal manner,” mentioned Asiri, who single-handedly runs the store.
To present the breads an genuine really feel and taste, Asiri switched to outside baking — like her ancestors — from utilizing a traditional indoor oven. The outside 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 powerful style. It provides the physique power and heat in chilly climate,” she mentioned.
One of many guests, Mohammed Asiri, instructed 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 select up my favourite order on my manner again to and from Rijal Alma. We love the bread she presents; it’s so recent and attractive. I often order hali with cheese filling, additional roasted, and a cup of crimson tea; and I take pleasure in it a lot in the course of the experience,” he mentioned.
One other customer, Bodour Aggad, who’s initially from Jeddah however lives in Abha for work, mentioned that she came upon about Asiri’s store whereas she was searching for a great mountain view in Ramadan on her manner again from Al-Sawda. “Some vehicles had been crowded at a spot and it caught my consideration; I ended out of curiosity to search out Asiri baking recent bread on order. I attempted it and fell in love with it,” she mentioned.
Aggad mentioned that at any time when her household or pals 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 presents her prospects pastries with totally different sorts of fillings, along with scorching milk, Saudi espresso, and karak tea. She laughingly mentioned that previously, girls of the area needed to grasp the artwork of bread making to have the ability to get married.