Bread to Bedouins is like honey to bees.
It is a fundamental food staple in their nomadic culture; as a handy nourishment in their journeys; as offering to wandering herdsmen and guests; as an ingredient to Fattah dishes; as utensils for eating; as food for their poultry stock; and as the product of a deeply embedded art.
In Bedouin culture, bread making is a basic part of childhood, as well as a prelude to every meal. It is an ancient skill handed over by their parents from the early age of four, initializing their role in the household chores and orienting them in desert survival.
The list of Bedouin breads is extensive. Most are based on secret recipes that are exclusive to the family, while a few are shared with friends and acquaintances. All are prepared with a whole-wheat flour, called bulgur.
In their spare time, the Bedouins collect the bulgur wheat and grind it with a mineral rock until it becomes a flour fine enough for making breads. It is also an ingenious way of enhancing minerals to the breads, like the commonly baked Libbah, Farrasheeh and Moraras.
Libbah is an aromatic bread made with flour, spring water or milk, and a dash of salt. It is rolled flat on the sand or on an iron pan and buried in the sand with hot coals, turning it once, to completely cook and absorb the sand’s strong and distinctive flavor. It is then tapped with a wooden stick to determine if it is ready for eating, which is noted from the detachment of sand on the stick.
The Farrasheeh, on the other hand, is the most common bread done in Bedouin tours. It is a thin, holed flat bread that is hand-tossed and flattened with a rolling pin, then spread over a concave piece of metal covering the fire.
The last is Moraras, a sweet flat bread mixed with ghee or butter and sugar or honey, baked in clay oven.
As a race founded by nature, the Bedouins also have a knack of adding herbs and spices growing around their territory or sold to them by merchandise caravans, such as thyme, oregano, basil, and rosemary, with a sprinkle of
virgin olive oil and/or chopped olives.