(3/2018) The smell of baking bread. Is there a better smell? These days you can google absolutely anything. As I started to write this article, I decided to google the scent of smell and learned a few interesting statistics.
• Some of the most favorite odors are vanilla, cinnamon and cookies. (I’m going to extend that list to include bread!!!)
• Women have a better sense of smell than do men.
• The sense of smell is highly emotive. Think back to your childhood and try to hone in on a scent. Is it a good memory? Or is it bad? It can go either way!
• Dogs have nearly 44 more scent cells than humans! (I wish I could be a dog for a day!)
• Loss of sense of smell can mean an impending illness; early onset of Anosmia (absence of sense of smell) can be a precursor to Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s and can be diagnosed (and perhaps treated) long before other symptoms arise!
These are just a few of the things I learned as I read, but I still like to think that bread is right up there at the top of the list – coming in as number one! In addition – for me at least – would be some of the smells of spring. A gentle rain, daffodils and hyacinth, apple blossoms – to name a few. Likely you are pining for spring as you even imagine those springtime
On the farm right now, we are ordering seeds and will be laying off ground very soon for spring plantings. Along with the smells listed above, I happen to love the smell of newly turned over soil – ripe and ready for planting. Sadly – the smell of newly mowed grass is not far behind when we hit this time of year! Our crew continues to prune our 100,000 trees – moving from
apples very soon into peach and nectarine and apricots. We will burn off our asparagus fields during the month of March – and there is yet another smell! The asparagus is left to go to seed in the fall and remains a sad-looking, tangled mess all winter. We burn it off each March to serve as an organic means by which to cleanse the soil. The rapid burn rids the soil of insects
that might have overwintered allowing us to use less (or no) pesticides as we wait for the tender little green shoots to arrive. This is one fire that I enjoy the smell – knowing the end result. I love asparagus, and it is the first crop we harvest every year – a sign of what is to come!
As we head into the month of March, I am hopeful it will come in as a lamb AND go out as a lamb! Regardless - we’re not going to change the weather, but we can control some of the smells that we enjoy. I’ve provided some bread recipes – ranging from time-consuming and a bit tedious – to super simple, super good! I hope you enjoy the recipes AND the smells that will
undoubtedly accompany them!
I tried this bread on a whim years ago, and now it’s an annual tradition to make it every year for New Year’s Dinner! ~Ellie
- 1 pkg. (1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
- ¾ warm water (110-115 degrees)
- 1 cup warm milk (110-115 degrees)
- ¼ cup butter, softened
- 2 tbs. sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 ½ tsp salt
- 4 to 4 ½ cup. all-purpose flour
- 1 egg white
- 2 tsp. water
- 1 tsp. coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- 1 tsp. dried minced onion
- 1 tsp each: sesame, caraway, and poppy seeds
In a measuring cup, dissolve yeast in warm water. Set aside. Next, in large bowl, mix milk, butter, sugar, egg yolk, salt, and 2 cups flour until well combined. Carefully stir in yeast liquid until fully incorporated. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a firm dough. Turn onto a floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl,
turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Punch dough down. Turn onto a floured surface and divide dough into thirds. Shape each third into a 20-in. rope. Place ropes on a large, greased baking sheet and braid. Pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Combine egg white and water; brush over
dough. Combine salt, onion, and seeds; sprinkle over bread. Bake at 375 for 22-28 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool.
Applesauce Oatmeal Bread
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- ½ cup old-fashioned rolled oats or quick oats
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- ½ tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- ¾ cup smooth applesauce
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup sour cream, buttermilk, or plain yogurt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract (1/2 tsp)
- 1 ¼ cup peeled and finely diced apple
- 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries
Grease a 9 x 5-in loaf pan. Combine the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Mix well by hand or with a whisk. Next combine the eggs, brown sugar, applesauce, oil, sour cream, and vanilla in a separate bowl. Beat wet ingredients by hand or with a mixer until well mixed. Make a well in the dry mixture and add the liquid mixture. Stir
well by hand until everything is dampened. Let the batter rest for 3 or 4 minutes. Add the diced apple and raisins, folding them into the batter until it’s evenly mixed. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spoon. Bake for 1 hour, until a tester inserted into the middle of the loaf comes out clean. Allow to cool and serve!
Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread
Soda bread is a variety of quick bread traditionally made in a variety of cuisines that uses sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) instead of yeast. Traditional ingredients of soda bread are flour, baking soda, salt, and buttermilk.
- 4 cup all-purpose flour
- 4 tbs white sugar
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 tbs. baking powder
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ cup margarine, softened
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup butter, melted
- ¼ cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a large baking sheet. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and margarine. Stir in 1 c. buttermilk and egg. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter w/ ¼ c. buttermilk;
brush loaf w/ this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an "X" into the top of the loaf. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45-50 minutes. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. Optional: you may continue to brush the loaf w/ the butter mixture while it bakes.