The sunny bread adventure with Samah’s family in an upper egypt village
Samah lives in Shandaill, a small village in the district of Sohag. After a week in Cairo, shandawill is a place where houses are not higher than 3 floors and where you can find green land. The village is stituated in the Nil valley and is therefore more oriented agriculture than service or industry. You can find in the fields around cabbage, corn, wheat, dates and very often people donkey riding in the streets. After a week in the capital, being in shandawill was very refreshing.
Samah (and more her step daughter now… who actually uses a gaz oven… Cheater!) makes the bread for the entire family every two weeks in her traditionnel mud oven on the roof of her house.
The ingredients are very simple :
For the preparation, it’s a bit more tricky :
- Mix the dough with the flat part of the hand
- Put one “dose” of dough by squeezing it inside of your closed hand on a tray covered with ground wheat
- Leave the dough grow under the sun (this is where comes the name « sunny bread »)
- When the bread is covered by a rather thick crust, turn it over and leave the other side under the sun again until a crust appears on this side too
- After more than 2 hours of sun, the breads are ready
- Make 4 marks around the cercle to form a cross and put the breads in the oven – The reason why Samah’s family make a cross and not a cercle inside of the cercle is because they are christians and not muslim –
- In the traditionnal oven everything is quite quick. 2 times 10 minutes and the first batch is ready to go out
The old ones like Samah prefer to eat their bread dry and hard but I myself enjoyed quite a lot our little bread feest with white cheese, Tomatoes, cucumber, Omelette, mortadella…