How 'dough' you like your bread?

How dough you like your bread?
How do you celebrate bread?

It's been turned into a trend with a pretty mermaid toast. It's made 'bread face' an Instagram celeb. Bread is certainly celebrated. It has led to debates in the health circles - brown vs. white? How are you celebrating the staple dish?

By Disha Dadlani & Rachel Dawson

Published: Sun 21 Jan 2018, 2:14 PM

Last updated: Sun 21 Jan 2018, 5:01 PM

Gluten free, multi-grain, rye, paleo, and sourdough. Naan, ka'ak, and abud. Bread is a staple dish across house- holds and cultures. There's a kind for the health conscious, and also for those who don't prefer watching what they eat. 'White or brown?' - you're asked at the counter while placing your sandwich order. We're eating bread all the time, and our bread meals are de - nitely not limited just to breakfast; a breaded fish fillet for lunch and an indulgent bread pudding post dinner. We've gone beyond the good ol' conventional sandwich. It's not only our daily meals that include bread, we've also begun using bread in our regular vocabulary. Do you know which side your bread is buttered on? Break bread with a friend, today!
The Middle East loves its bread. It's a one-man army that can be relished on its own, but bread sure does enjoy some good company. Complete your cup o' tea with Ma'arouk, a Syrian delicacy of a sweet and soft fragrant bread. With the fast-paced UAE work culture, an on-the-go style Lebanese Man'ousheh serves as the perfect breakfast and is best when topped with za'atar, labneh, cheese, and meat. It's almost sinful to walk past a bakery on the streets of the UAE without indulging in a steamy hot bread treat.
Bread has also undergone a glamorous make- over in 2014 when a Spain-based bakery was rumoured to be selling bread loaves with a sprinkle of gold shavings. More recently, food stylist Adeline Waugh created the 'mermaid toast', a food trend on Instagram that splashed ocean-inspired colours on toast with beet juice, cream cheese, and spirulina. In 2015, the Internet was introduced to Bread Face, an unconventional blog that shared videos of a blogger smashing her face with different kinds of bread. The blogger reportedly translated her obsession for food onto Instagram and amassed over 1,80,000 followers.
Bread has been celebrated at various festivals and fairs globally, such as the Asheville Bread Festival, Artisan Bread Fair, and National Festival of Breads. How 'dough' you celebrate bread?

In 'loaf' with these phrases

Bread and butter
The phrase is used to refer to one's basic source of income. In a separate context, it also stems from an age-old superstition. When two friends or a young couple walk while holding hands, but are forced to let go in order to go around an obstacle, they may utter the phrase. Just as bread and butter are treated as a food (and word) pair, the combination is considered to be inseparable. Thus, while 'separating' for a brief second, the two people say 'bread and butter' for a similar sense of togetherness.
Breaking bread
To break bread with someone means to share a meal with the person. The idiom draws its roots from an ancient text - during a meal, the tough bread was broken, not torn.
Know which side your bread is buttered on
When you learn 'which side your bread is but- tered on', you learn what works in your favour and what is advantageous for you. The proverb dates back to the 1500s, when it was first used in John Heywood's A dialogue conteinying the number in effect of all the prouerbes in the Englishe tongue, where he wrote, "I knowe on whiche syde my breade is buttred."
Bread and circuses
"Panem et circenses," wrote Roman poet Juvenal, which is Latin for "bread and circuses." It stands for convenient methods or short term alternatives to pressing issues and grievances; appeasing through entertainment, and hence, causing temporary distraction.
The best thing since sliced bread
Sliced bread, i.e. sliced with a machine and pack- aged, was first sold in 1928. The bread was adver- tised as 'the greatest step forward in the baking industry since bread was wrapped." Today, the idiom refers to an invention or development of great significance, almost revolutionary.

Beyond khubz: Middle Eastern treats

Topped with za'atar or meat, paired with mahyahwah (fermented dried fish sauce), dipped in an Ethiopian stew, and generously layered with cheese - the mighty Middle Eastern bread finds gracious company in most ingredients.Ma'arouk
A Syrian delicacy during Ramadan, this soft, sweet and fragrant bread is made of anise, fennel, and mahlab (aromatic spice made from seeds of a cherry). Relish it as a breakfast meal or a snack with some tea and white cheese slices in its simplest form or with fillings such as chocolate or honey fresh cream.
This Yemini bread is the result of a fusion between the American pancake and
the Middle Eastern pita bread. Tear the spongy bread, make a pocket out of it and scoop some shakshuka.
Apparently, a diamond shape (the shape of the flatbread) is painted outside shops in Iraq so that people know samoon is sold at the place. This Iraqi flatbread is best relished when paired with Gaimar (clotted cream) or cheese. You can also pair it with flavourful Middle-Eastern dips such as hummus and baba ghanoush.
Aish Baladi
In Cairo, this staple handmade bread is delivered to restaurants by agalati or bread carriers, who brave crowds on a bicycle while carrying large double decker trays of bread on their heads.
This Palestinian bread is baked in a 1.5 ft deep hole in the ground that is covered with pebbles from the inside. Taboon is served with olive oil and thyme. Today, a similar style baking method is replicated with the help of conventional ovens and the use of a baking sheet full of pebbles.
Experience the authentic taste of Jordan on your plate with this chewy Bedouin bread. Abud is baked in an interesting manner - by burying the unleavened bread under hot ashes.
This Emirati bread hits home - the wafer- like textured bread is prepared using butter and sugar, or even porridge or gruel. It is generally eaten with white cheese or grilled meat.
Don't confuse this round Ethiopian spongy flatbread with a crepe, pancake or a dosa. When you dig into an injera, you'll feel like you're also eating the utensil that the injera rests on. Your meal is over when you've eaten the dish that lines the tray just as a tablecloth does. Vegetables, stews, and meat are placed on the bread.
There is no one agreed upon spelling; khoubz, khobez, khubez, khobz, or khubooz. But, the one thing that's certain is that it's delicious. Khubz takes various forms and was traditionally baked in a tannur or tandoor; a cylindrical or clay oven.
This on-the-go style Lebanese breakfast favourite derived its name from the Arabic word na'sh - the dough engraving style. The Middle Eastern spin on the pizza is usually topped with za'atar, labneh, cheese, and meat.
Quiz yourself: Did you score a 10/10?

Yummy stopovers: Exploring UAE's bakeries

The smell of freshly baked bread is hard to ignore once you step into any of your community bakeries. Whatever be the season - go the extra mile and order yourself a warm loaf. You won't regret it, just give the slice one bite.
"I would most definitely recommend the BQ Res- taurant and Bar Sourdough Loaf served during the Versailles Brunch at the St. Regis Dubai. It's baked with Applewood cheddar and caramelised onion. I also recommend the Brioche loaf from Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery," says Cornelia Suhr, Chef de Cuisine, BQ Restaurant and Bar, St. Regis Dubai. Local eateries will have you spoilt for choice when it comes to the best baked goods in town. Break some bread with your friends at these spots in the UAE.
French Bakery
The brown country bread, Dh13, is much loved in the city. The natural blend of yeast, rye flour, and Atlantic sea salt is a perfect treat. Top it with roasted or baked meat. Munch on their cereal bread made of maize, millet, sesame, barley and oats to enjoy the best flavours. This bread is healthy, no doubt, but also, crunchy, and goes perfectly with mixed salads - tomato and mozzarella or meat and melon. If you're into traditional, dark breads, you'll enjoy digging into the leavened European style sourdough rye. The bread is perfect for breakfast and to make sandwiches with pastrami.
Modern Bakery
This community bakery has some excellent breads just waiting to be discovered. Take, for instance, the quinoa, protein, chia, gluten and yeast-free breads - all filled with healthy ingredi- ents that also taste delicious.
The bakery claims that it 'knows bread', and that 'baking is an art, science, and passion' at Bakemart. The variety of croissants is incredible.
Choose from their tumeric, dill, mustard, saffron, date, walnut, and Za'atar ciabatta. Fancy some Irish soda bread? Or, perhaps, a rye polish and long fermented baguette? Pick from a variety of their breads - Toscana capricha, seeded rye, dachstein, granary, and pumpernickle.
Al Jadeed Bakery
Ube ensyamada, Dh2.5, is a sweet and tasty bread that's popular at this joint. Ube is sweet bread that's filled with sweetened ube (purple yam), shaped like a scroll, and topped with creamed butter, sugar, and grated cheese. Pandecocoa, Dh1.5, are Filipino rolls stuffed with desiccated coconut and condensed sweetened milk. You can't give the Spanish bread, Dh2.5, a miss.
Katrina sweets & Confectionery
Wish to go beyond everyday sliced bread? Try their vanilla bun, Dh8.5; brioche bread, Dh16; and zebra toasted bread, Dh8. You can also sample the raisins bread, Dh8 or the country bread, Dh8.

Garnishing with gold

In 2014, rumours spread that a Spanish bakery was selling the most precious bread loaves in the world. Turns out, each 400g of bread baked at the Pan Pin~a bakery consisted of whole wheat flour and dehydrated honey. What made this ordinary loaf out of this world, and got people to take notice, was its 250mg sprinkle of gold shavings. The gold loaf amounts to 117 pounds and is exported world- wide. Juan Moreno, baker and owner, Pan Pin~a admitted to Daily Mail that although the loaf doesn't have a special flavour or ingredient, it exudes royalty and glamour.
Then, there's Robert Didier's 23-carat gold loaf that he likes to call 'The Royal Bloomer'. It was made at his bakery and showcased at the Hamper Llangollen Food Festival. It costs up to 75 pounds in North Wales.
The loaves, Robert told Daily Mail, are prepared only once a month, and usually just for special occasions. Ever thought of the simple and inexpensive process of baking bread as an expensive a air?
Tom Herbert's 'The Shephard' is a loaf created using a 55-year-old family sourdough recipe. No gold dust falls over this one; it's just flour, spring water and Cornish sea salt. Yet, the baker tells Everyday Sandwich that his bread is a work of art made with unique flour brought to Britain by the Romans. What makes the bread even more special is that it takes two days to bake two kg of this Shephard loaf. The next time you go bread shopping in the UAE, observe how the prices vary, starting from the regular white and brown bread to the specialty breads; oat, chia, and pumpkin seeds.

Snack o'clock: What's your pick?

Bread is like that versatile actor that can get into the skin of any character. At Bait Misk, Jumeirah 1, it takes a sweet form with Um Ali, and it turns into a savoury snack as Bread Pakoda at Bombay Bites, Mankhool. Indulge in a sweet breakfast by digging into an OMG TOAST!!! at Julie's Restaurant & Pastries, Al Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi. Enjoy the taste of Italy with the perfect antipasto at MATTO, The Oberoi, Business Bay - the Bruschette. Expect the perfect combination of feta, mint, poached eggs, and asparagus on toast with the Smashed avocado at Bystro, Al Safa. A bite into a cheesy za'atar ka'ak (Arabic bread) at Ka'ak Al Manara, Jumeirah will explain the UAE's love for bread just right.

Right from the toaster oven

How big, according to you, is the bread culture in the Middle East?
Bread is a big part of the Middle Eastern culture. In fact, it was a staple for Bedouins in ancient times. The popular Arabic flatbread tells an interesting historical tale. Since Bedouins would move from one place to another, it was easier to stack flatbread in their caravans, and thus, it became a staple.
Is the Arab bread culture different from what you see in Europe?
If you look at the Arab food culture, you'll notice that they like their bread warm. In Europe, bread is usually had cold. As a part of the law, the bread is made to rest for two hours after baking; Arabic bread is served steaming hot. The Arabs use bread in interesting ways - the base of the Egyptian Fattah, for instance, is crispy bread soaked in the stock of lamb.
Have you faced a baking disaster with bread?
I started my career as a pastry chef in a bakery. I remember once I had mixed 50 pounds of flour with dry yeast. At the end of it, I had a lot of dough and didn't know what to do with it, especially because the yeast was defective. But, I added some milk and butter to the dough, and it turned out to be a wonderful accident. I use the recipe till today.
Tarek Ibrahim
Corporate Master Chef

Does bread count as a good carb?
Bread made with minimal ingredients using a simple traditional method counts as a good carb for most healthy individuals. Most commercial breads are full of preservatives, additives, chemical dough conditioners, etc. The grains need to be prepared by soaking, sprouting or sour dough leavening; this isn't followed in most of the commercial bread making processes. Due to this, bread becomes completely toxic for our health.
Which bread is the best in terms of nutritional value?
A traditional bread recipe is simple. It requires only three ingredients - flour, water and salt. Bread made with a traditional method using the natural fermentation process (sour dough leavening) lends itself to pre-digestion of the flour, releasing micro-nutrients. This type of bread is nutritious and also easy to digest.
How unhealthy is white bread? Do you believe that "The whiter the bread, the sooner you're dead"?
Whole food is always better in terms of nutritional value than its refined version. Most of the commercial dark coloured breads are as bad (or sometimes, worse) as the white ones. This is because if you look at the ingredients label, you don't see just the three basic ingredients, but a list of chemicals. Don't be fooled by the buzz-words like whole, sprouted, and/or gluten free on the front packaging. Take into consideration how that bread was made, how the flour was made, and the preparation of the grain itself. The closer the method is to the traditional slow recipe, the healthier is the bread.
Manpreet Pannu
Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

"There's so much more to bread than just sandwiches. Some of my favourites are bread and butter pudding, cinnamon French toast, bread and potato fritters, mozzarella and tomato bruschetta, garlic and herb sticks, bread and egg frittata, and baked beef franks with multigrain bread. When I think of bread, I'm always reminded of one of my baking escapades; I set the baking temperature of sliced bread for bread rolls and ruined the dish."
Rajender Singh Sous Chef, Dunes Delights
"Rye bread and multigrain bread are in demand because they are high in fibre and nutrients, and support a healthy lifestyle, which is increasingly becoming popular with the UAE consumer."
Cornelia Suhr Chef de Cuisine, BQ Restaurant

Chef Tarek Ibrahim
Chef Tarek Ibrahim
Manpreet Pannu, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Manpreet Pannu, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach

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