Because who doesn't love bread?
Bread. It's arguably the lifeblood of Egypt. We just love it and we put literally anything inside it to make a sandwich - cheese, French fries and even koshary. The thing is that truly great bread is something of an enigma in Cairo. So, you can imagine our delight when we found out about a little artisanal baker, Leaven Bakery, which is run by a couple that bakes everything themselves from scratch. Having opened the online bakery several months ago, founders Sally Abdel Aziz and Khaled Samy, specialise in sourdough bread. How is sourdough different than normal bread, you ask? Well, it's healthier in that it's easier to digest, lower in sugar and higher in protein. But either way, bread is bread and we love it regardless. That's not all the couples bakes though, as they also offer a range of freshly baked pastries to nibble on with your morning coffee. The bakery, which delivers to certain locations, was not something the couple initially had in mind.
While Abdelaziz does loves to bake, this particular field of it was never in the plan.
"I’ve always loved baking, but I’d always thought I’d open up a bakery that’s more focused on cakes, cookies or whatever was 'in' at that point, she told CairoScene. "But my husband and partner was like, why not bread? There aren’t a lot of places here that serve fresh bread.”Abdel Aziz, who is a banker by trade, admits that she still has more experience and knowledge to gain.
“Honestly I got to learn more about it," she said. "It seems a lot more fun when you get the know-how. Sometimes it is stressful and I wonder why I’m even doing it, but then I remember that I've always wanted to be a baker - I just didn’t know how to get there and the environment in Egypt doesn’t make it easy for women."
Both Abdel Aziz and Samy got a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel abroad and learn the art of baking in Germany. They would bake from 3AM to 11AM, and that experience helped them back in Egypt as they started practicing the techniques and developing more recipes.
One of their most popular items is the Dates and Walnut Loaf and one of their best sellers is the 50 percent rye bread.
“I had to do something different and I enjoy the kneading process for sourdough bread. It's different than regular bread in that it takes about 24 hours to rest. But the best feeling is once you're done. You’re starting off with nothing and you end up with something - which ends up being something people enjoy tremendously. We give people fresh bread, good bread. Seeing them enjoy it is what I look forward to the most and it makes my day."