The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

yet another intro, also "bread smell"

fromage2323's picture

yet another intro, also "bread smell"

Just want to say hi, when i first came to this forum i did a lot of searching for "bread smell" and never found an answer that lead me anywhere. I had made some large number of loaves that looked ok but never had the 'bread' smell i was searching for. People asking similar questions in the forums got replies that had to do with yeast or ingredients, but this wasnt what i wanted. The closest comparison i can think of is if you have ever smelled roasting coffee or been close to a roastery. It is not brewing coffee but roasting coffee. It is an intense smell that drives coffee lovers crazy. Bread also has a comparable smell, and the smell is not "baking bread" but, as i have found "roasting flour" if you heat your oven to 500* and simply throw a small amount of flour in there, in short order you will get a wonderful "bread smell" that fills your whole house. The same smell cant be achieved from lower temperatures, and likely even high temps than this will produce better smell but i wouldnt know as i am limited by my consumer gas oven. Some people might complain that it smells like it is burning, but if you bake your bread in an oven full of this smell, and after it cools and you bag it, the smell will sink into the bread and smell even better a few hours later. I found this smell by accident after searching many many times unsuccessfuly for "bread smell" or variations of it online. Then when i tried out a sandstone paving stone which i got from Home Depot, i accientally slid in a bit of extra flour, and i finally found this smell. Im sure for some people, this smell is obvious but if you follow most random bread recipes you will never quite achieve the kind of smell i was looking for. Rather it can be done by throwing in a bit of extra flour next to the bread on the stone. It is for me the definitive "bread" smell and makes me want to smash the bread into my face and inhale deeply. Im not at least one person on this forum will know what im talking about.

Anyway just wanted to say hey to everyone and share a piece of my bread journey.

MANNA's picture

I think the smell your looking for comes from pre-fermenting the wheat. Whether its from a poolish or levian. When you bake with some kind of preferment is when you get that smell. Its what sets real bread apart from that stuff they try and sell you in a store.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Parchment does not give off this smell but you can dust the pan or stone with flour first.  

Ever brown flour in a pan with a little olive oil and eventually butter?  Makes me want to "stop my bechamel!"  Sort of kills it when milk is added.  But the aroma lingers all through the kitchen and sneaks into other rooms.  While the flour is browning adding fresh black pepper sends another wave of great aroma.   Add garlic, another!   Ah, the joys of standing in the kitchen!   

Bread smell comes from baking bread.  Roasting smell comes from roasting grain.  You sound like a good candidate for a wood fired oven.  That way you can throw some flour or cornmeal into the oven before the bake to check for hot spots and then basque in the aromas while you load the oven with dough.  You can also roast your coffee beans in there.  :)