This is the bread that I make nearly every day. Its very simple and versatile and although its not a particularly yemeni dish, I often use it in a lot of yemeni dishes which use bread, like shafoot or fattah. I wanted to share with you something that is very basic but also very essential to daily meals.
Many people who are not familiar with Yemen might not now that now the country is facing a famine and that basics like bread and rice are not found. The numbers suffering from food insecurity are are in the millions, and estimated to be half of the country. It is sad to see a country which was once so hopeful to be now in such a dire situation.
3 cups of bread flour
1 1/4 cup of warm water
2 tsp. yeast
1 tbsp. oil
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1. Add all ingredients into a large bowl and knead it together. You can use a mixer, as I usually do, or to mix it by hand. Measuring flour by volume is not 100% accurate, so if the dough is sticking to the bottom of the bowl, as it was for me, then you need to add more flour. Likewise if it is too hard and crumbly then you need more water.
2. When the dough is soft and smooth (about 10-15 mins. in a mixer using a bread hook), then shape it into a smooth oval and place it in a bread pan. Let it rise for about 1 hour to 1 hour and a half, or until doubled in size. I find it varies greatly depending on the temperature and moisture in the air.
3. For the last 20 mins of the dough rising, preheat the oven to 350 F. Then when the oven is nice and hot place the bread in it and cook for 1 hour - 1 hour and 10 mins., until it is brown on top.