Simplicity is Delicious – Baking Bread in Dahab, Egypt

Last night at midnight I was walking with my Egyptian friend and his cousin down a dark, sandy road toward home when my friend said abruptly I want to buy bread.

So we veered off the road onto a path, also dark and sandy, at the end of which stood several small buildings. Only one of their lights shone to break up the night.

When we reached this building I could see a few multi-tiered stands on which dozens of pieces of warm, puffy pita bread cooled. Can I go inside, I asked? Of course, my friend responded.

Once inside this building in the depths of Dahab I discovered a tiny, somewhat primitive, bread bakery which, despite its simplicity, is a well-oiled business that supplies much of Dahab with the pita devoured daily by locals, expats and tourists.

Puffy pita bread

I’ve never seen an American bread factory, but I know most of them must use computerized, precision machinery which cranks out millions of identical loaves a day. Efficient yet boring. It is safe to say that, like snowflakes, no two pieces of bread that come out of this factory in Dahab are alike. This bread has personality, character, depth and history by the time it is born.

There seems to be roughly four steps to the process of bread baking in Dahab.

Step one: Mixing.

Bread making machien

Step two: Shaping.

Two men preparing bread dough to be baked

Step three: Baking.

Flattened dough going into a machine

Its easy! In...

Teenager baking bread

...and out!

Step four: Cooling.

Freshly baked loaves of pita bread

That’s all! Isn’t simplicity delicious? Yes, it is.

10 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Now I feel like eating pita myself! It looks much more fun to visit this bakery than it must be to visit the big ones.
    Ayelet – All Colores recently posted..Video of the Week (Last for Now): Sliding Down an Ice Monster in JerusalemMy Profile

  2. Sabina says:

    Ayelet – it was amazing. Just one of the incredibly cool little adventures you can have with you hang out with local people.

  3. Steve says:

    That would be an interesting visit. I’ve never seen bread being made before, unless you count homemade bread from a small bread-making machine. I have seen doughnuts being made by hand though. When I worked in a grocery store, I saw our bread makers roll that dough up, cut it up by hand and put it on a scale. It was pretty interesting since they were super fast at doing it.
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  4. Sabina says:

    It was so interesting, Steve, and a great middle-of-the-night surprise. We used to make donuts at home when I was a kid. That was interesting too :)

  5. Krista says:

    I love this! Especially since I’ve been making flatbread by hand all afternoon. :-) A machine would make this project SO much easier. :-)
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  6. Sabina says:

    That sounds like an interesting project. And yes, I do believe using a machine would be easier. :)

  7. Nancie says:

    I love this kind of bread; next to impossible to buy in Korea.
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  8. Sabina says:

    Nancie – this stuff is great! If you ever come to Egypt you’ll be eating it :)

  9. Kieran Chapman says:

    This looks amazing! So interesting to see inside a ‘factory’ that isn’t all computers and machinery, just skilled people doing something amazing in very basic conditions.

    Very jealous of such an experience :)

  10. Sabina says:

    Kieran, it was totally amazing. It’s always educational to hang out with locals :)

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