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 knowledgeable baker, who attracts guests and locals from across the Asir area together with her recent conventional breads referred to 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 on daily basis 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 fabricated from white or brown flour, salt, yeast and water. Mifa is an oval-shaped bread that’s fabricated from brown flour with none filling, with sesame or nigella seeds on prime, which supplies the bread a definite style and taste when baked.
“I supply it with many fillings corresponding to 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 desire it the standard manner,” mentioned Asiri, who single-handedly runs the store.
To offer 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, known as mwassm, is often utilized by most villages within the Asir area.
“Most guests right here additionally order a bread known as hali, which interprets to ‘sugary.’ It’s a brown bread made with out yeast and kneaded with ghee, which supplies it a robust 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 house 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 manner again to and from Rijal Alma. We love the bread she gives; it’s so recent and attractive. I often order hali with cheese filling, further roasted, and a cup of purple tea; and I get pleasure from 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 discovered about Asiri’s store whereas she was searching for a great mountain view in Ramadan on her manner again from Al-Sawda. “Some vehicles have been crowded at a spot and it caught my consideration; I finished 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 mates 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 sizzling to her guests as soon as she receives an order, in contrast to different meals cubicles who give you the bread ready-made at house.”
Asiri additionally gives her clients pastries with completely different sorts of fillings, along with sizzling milk, Saudi espresso, and karak tea. She laughingly mentioned that previously, ladies of the area needed to grasp the artwork of bread making to have the ability to get married.