Smell of the Day: Homemade Bread

Homemade bread

Homemade bread

Smell of The Day is about noticing and appreciating the smells around me. Just one smell. It might be a perfume, a fragrant flower, the odour of something cooking, an unpleasant smell. All smells are equal. All smells are interesting. All smells affect us. Smell of The Day posts will feature one smell that made an impact on me that day.

Smell of the Day: Homemade Bread

Yesterday Olly Technic, my partner in crime, made bread. It’s a recent obsession of his. Olly’s always been a mad connoisseur of bread, beer, and all things yeasted, but recently has immersed himself in the art of making bread, thanks to the discovery of James Morton’s book Brilliant Bread in a local remainder book shop a couple of weeks ago. So yesterday, with Olly making a wholemeal wheat loaf, the house smelt of bread for four hours.

First, the measuring and mixing stage, during which the scent of dusty, grainy wheat flour predominates. The yeast and salt are dry until the water is added, and don’t really permeate the air as smells yet. Once the water is added and the yeast is left to do its microbial thing, the smells of salt and yeast fill the kitchen, fungal and wet, slightly funky, a bit cheesy. Through the various stages of rising and shaping the smell of yeast gets wetter and stronger. Finally, the baking of the bread, and a smell so good, so toasty, warm, a tad salty and reeking of nourishment, that I want to devour the whole loaf.