I love the smell of freshly baked bread, and the way it sticks to your knife when you cut it too soon . I wonder if there’s a bread scented candle on the market somewhere. I would imagine it would have a savory fragrance– possibly poignant, but popular. That smell that hugs you, causes you to smile, and then makes you cry over childhood memories.
I started baking my own bread after stumbling upon a bread machine at a yard sale. It was a bright and sunshiny Saturday in Paradise (i.e. Hawaii) and our complex was having a yard sale day where any renter could set up shop and sell whatever they wanted. Everyone was outside either sitting on the grass selling their trash, or strolling the streets looking for treasures. I met one young lady who had this bulky bread machine on her table listed for only $15. I chatted with her for a spell to see what was wrong with it and why she was so eager to get it off of her hands. Her reason was simple. She didn’t consider herself domesticated enough to bake bread. She purchased it with high hopes of living the stay at home mom, super resourceful dream. She had goals of being the cloth-diapering, jelly-jarring, hang-dry your clothes type of Mom that still found the time to do yoga, bake bread and enjoy a green smoothie with her bilingual toddler, who potty trained at 20 months, in only three days.
Well, things weren’t going as planned for her. She was using Pampers, buying smuckers grape jelly, and used the dryer even though her clothes would have dried faster with the Hawaiian sun rays. She sold it to me with the instructional manual, recipes and gratitude for absolving her guilt. My purchase ended her guilt trip of not being the perfect, bread-baking Mom. Poor thing. It seems that many of us Mothers put ourselves through these overtly harsh, mental guilt trips due to disappointing ourselves for some unrealistic goal we made after a late night of comparing our lives to bloggers on Instragram (#proudstayathomemom). I felt sorry for her, she caved under her own pressure. I also felt happy for myself, getting this kitchen appliance that would usually run anywhere from $70 to $200+ for only $15. She only used it two times before she realized that this was not for her. I was so glad she was a quick learner.
I gave her the money and freed her of her burden. Ever since, I’ve been enjoying the sweet aroma of homemade bread. However, I don’t enjoy it often, because eating french bread daily isn’t the healthiest thing for my body, yet it’s so comforting to my soul. Looking at that fresh loaf on the cutting board, surrounded by crumbs, and with a halo of steam — you can almost hear it calling your name. It demands your attention, your butter and sometimes, your jelly. Only homemade bread and Puerto Rican “Pan Sobao” has this pull on my palette. Even while surrounded by freshly baked bread in Spain, my nose doesn’t pick up the scent the same. The local bread here is okay, but doesn’t have that same moist, chewy, gentle crunch when toasted or the crumbs that melt in your mouth.
I decided to put on my big girl-baking panties and make a spelt loaf in lieu of the usual french bread. I usually don’t like baking whole grains, since I always figure out a way to mess up the recipe. Today, I didn’t mess up anything, except my carb intake. My little loaf came out hearty, warm and scrumptious within the hour. This deliciousness can bake as your brushing your teeth and getting dressed. By the time your done getting ready for your day, your loaf of delicious ancient grain goodness is ready for you. Spelt bread is not the most common item in the grocery store and can be difficult to find if and when it’s in stock. This is a shame since spelt flour is less acidic and more tolerable to those with a gluten intolerance. Consider making your own. It’s easy, yummy and will make your house smell heavenly 🙂
Homemade Spelt Bread( in a Bread-maker):
1 1/4 cups warm water
1 1/2 tsp sea or Himalayan salt
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp agave syrup
3 1/2 cups of spelt flour
1 3/4 tsp bread machine yeast
Simply add ingredients in the order listed. Make a small well or indention in the spelt flour and place the yeast in there. Plug in your bread maker and turn on the rapid 1.5 pound loaf setting. You could also use the whole wheat setting, but that one take much longer than 59 minutes, but it’s up to you which one to choose. They’ll both yield you a beautiful small loaf of homemade spelt bread with gut friendly gluten.
Enjoy this bread warm with just butter, or homemade nut butter spread on top. The crunchy crust and chewy center is just perfection and reason enough to go out and buy your own bread machine. Whether it be an expensive and shiny brand new one, or a second hand one like mine that was waiting for a couple of years to be appreciated.