by Avery on September 26, 2011

Avery Olund-Smith is entering her sophomore year at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, where’s she’s studying English. She’s from Cincinnati, Ohio, where she attended the School for Creative and Performing Arts. She loves biking to Findlay Market and writing with the Cincinnati organization Women Writing for (a) Change, and considers food, writing, reading, and the beauties of both the city and the natural world amongst her passions.

Follow Your Nose . . .

Fun fact: one of my favorite smells in the whole world is the smell of a brewery. Living near the Christian Moerlein brewery in Cincinnati, I’ve spent my whole life breathing in the rich, yeasty smell that comes wafting through the city periodically, which it does particularly frequently on cool September and October days, so that I connect the smell most vividly with the return of early mornings and back-to-school.

Driving down one of Cincinnati’s steep hills with the window down, heading nearer with every second to both my high school and the brewery, the smell would hit me full-on, knocking even thoughts of upcoming tests or plans with my friends from my mind.

I had no idea making Deb’s bread would have just about the same effect on me. I mean, the smell of basil is one of my favorites, too, and I pretty much expect to be bowled over with that happy green tang when I make pesto, say, or Margherita pizza. But this bread was a surprise. The ingredient list is so simple, each one included seems to bear more weight––the yeast, therefore, is really given a chance to shine.

Furthermore, the hands-off (pun intended) approach to making this bread allows the yeast to do all the work. Do as I did and combine the basic ingredients for this bread the night before you intend to bake it, and you’ll awake to find the yeast has been busy working all night long, puffing up the dough into a most delicious-looking orb, as pale gold and speckled with craters as a harvest moon.

And for fellow yeast-lovers, the smell is simply superb–– almost matched by enticing smell of the bread as it bakes, or the first warm bite of the bread itself.

What smells do you like to “cook” with?