Smelling Fresh Bread Makes People Nicer

Study shows people more spontaneously helpful around fresh bread

Wikimedia/Peggy Greb

No wonder bakers always seem like such friendly people, according to a new study the smell of freshly baked bread can actually make people be nicer to strangers.

The study, which was recently published in the Journal of Social Psychology, looked into the idea that aromas can inspire better moods to see if they could also inspire people to do good deeds.

To conduct their investigation, researchers from the University of Southern Brittany in France had volunteers stationed in front of bakeries and clothing stores. The volunteer would step in front of a passerby and pretend to accidentally drop an item like a glove, handkerchief, or packet of tissues.

According to The Huffington Post, 77 percent of strangers in front of the bakery stopped to give the dropped item back to its owner. In front of the clothing boutique, only 52 percent of people stopped to help.

“In general, spontaneous help is offered more in areas where pleasant ambient smells are spread,” the study summarized. “This experiment confirms the role of ambient food odors on altruism.”

A bread-scented perfume suddenly seems like a good way to get strangers to be nicer to a person. Check out some of our best bread recipes to get the altruism effect the old-fashioned way.

Bread Quotes

“If I survive, I will spend my whole life at the oven door seeing that no one is denied bread and, so as to give a lesson one is denied bread and, so as to give a lesson of charity, especially those who did not bring flour.” – Jose Marti”

“I am proud to be an American. Because an American can eat anything on the face of this earth as long as he has two pieces of bread.” – Bill Cosby

“Men can starve from a lack of self-realization as much as they can from a lack of bread.” – Richard Wright

“A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.” – Omar Khayyam

“Acorns were good until bread was found.” – Francis Bacon

“Without bread all is misery.” – William Cobbett, British journalist

“Bread for myself is a material question. Bread for my neighbor is a spiritual one.” – Nikoli Berdyaev

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” – Mother Teresa

“Deliberation, n.: The act of examining one’s bread to determine which side it is buttered on.” – Ambrose Bierce

“The bread that you store up belongs to the hungry the coat that lies in your chest belongs to the naked the gold that you have hidden in the ground belongs to the poor.” – St. Basil

“Bread is the king of the table and all else is merely the court that surrounds the king. The countries are the soup, the meat, the vegetables, the salad, but bread is king.” – Louis Bromfield, American novelist (1896-1956)

“Where there’s no law, there’s no bread.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Bachelor’s fare: Bread, cheese, and kisses.” – Jonathan Swift

“I understand the big food companies are developing a tearless onion. I think they can do it — after all, they’ve already given us tasteless bread.” – Robert Orben

“Remember, man does not live on bread alone: sometimes he needs a little buttering up.” – John C Maxwell, American author

Our Favorite Bread Proverbs:

Avoid those who don’t like bread and children. – Swiss Proverb

With a piece of bread in your hand you’ll find paradise under a pine tree. – Russian Proverb

Rather a piece of bread with a happy heart than wealth with grief. – Egyptian Proverb

Better dry bread in peacetime than meat in wartime. – Hungarian Proverb

Cinnamon Bread

If you’ve finished the process of making your Amish Friendship Bread starter, this is going to be the first bread you want to make with it. It’s an absolute classic and it never seems to stick around long in our house. We can barely get it out of the pan before it’s devoured! It’s reminiscent of a coffee cake and has the most divine cinnamon sugar flavor, but you don’t need to go to all the trouble of making a filling and a crumb top.

This is a quick bread that everyone should have in their recipe file, hands down. It’s a simple bread, but it’s totally delicious in its simplicity. It has the most amazing crunchy sugary crust and a soft and moist center. And it mixes up in one bowl! There just aren’t enough words to describe how delicious it is. Get the recipe here!

Keto Bread Recipe



  • 2 tsp Dry Yeast
  • 1 tsp Inulin
  • 2 tbsp Warm Water
  • 7.5 oz Almond Flour
  • 1 tbsp Psyllium Husk Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
  • 1 pinch Salt
  • 4.5 oz Unsalted Butter melted
  • 7 large Eggs




New and Improved Keto Bread Recipe – The best homemade version you’ll find.

Most keto bread recipes lack a special ingredient that most high-carb baked doughs have. An ingredient that when it wafts past your nose instantly turns your senses on and also makes your keto bread light and fluffy.

Secret For The Best Keto Bread

The secret ingredient that makes this keto bread so good is yeast. Yeast is what gives this keto bread recipe a cut above the rest.

Yep, we know, “yeast”. The reason that yeast is left out of keto bread recipes is that commonly it requires sugar to rise.

What most people don’t know is that you can bake using a natural product called inulin instead.

Inulin (not “insulin”) is a soluble prebiotic fiber that is food for the yeast to consume (like it also feeds on sugar) allowing our keto bread recipe to rise and become soft and fluffy.

Why Add Yeast To Keto Bread Recipes?

There are three reasons we like to add yeast to some of our keto baked goods.

  1. Keto Breads are typically dense and often grainy and dry. Yeast won’t make it as light and fluffy as the high carb bread that we’re used to in the supermarket. But it does make it lighter and more doughy than other low-carb bread.
  2. Inulin that the yeast feeds on is a super prebiotic and has a multitude of health benefits.
  3. The aroma. We have used yeast a number of times in our keto recipes purely for the aroma.

Your sense of smell is every bit as important as taste when it comes to the desirability of food and yeast does that with bread.

We tested that theory with our famous ketogenic soft pretzels recipe.

How to Have Nice Smelling Breath

This article was co-authored by Ritu Thakur, MA. Ritu Thakur is a healthcare consultant in Delhi, India, with over 10 years of experience in Ayurveda, Naturopathy, Yoga, and Holistic Care. She received her Bachelor Degree in Medicine (BAMS) in 2009 from BU University, Bhopal followed by her Master's in Health Care in 2011 from Apollo Institute of Health Care Management, Hyderabad.

There are 21 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.

wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. This article received 11 testimonials and 100% of readers who voted found it helpful, earning it our reader-approved status.

This article has been viewed 300,397 times.

Bad breath is a problem that affects most people on occasion, whether during an illness or after a meal. And over 40 million people in the United States alone have a more serious condition: chronic halitosis (persistent bad breath), which may lead to a lack of confidence and fear of socializing. [1] X Research source Luckily, keeping your breath fresh is usually easy if you keep your mouth clean, eat right, and use breath fresheners as needed.

The Smell Of Fresh Baked Bread Makes Us Kinder To Strangers, Says New Study

The aroma of freshly-baked bread has more than just the power to make your mouth water. According to a new study, it can also make you a kinder person.

According to the Daily Mail, researchers at the University of Southern Brittany in France found that shoppers were more likely to alert a random passerby that they had dropped a belonging if, at the time, they were also passing a bakery giving off the sweet scent of baking bread.

The findings, published in the Journal of Social Psychology, suggest that certain smells can trigger a more positive mood, which leads to a greater degree of altruism in strangers.

While other studies have connected pleasant smells to better moods in the past, the new study sought to make a concrete tie between aromas and good deeds.

The researchers recruited eight young men and women to volunteer to stand outside either a bakery or a clothing boutique, reports Zee News India.

The volunteers then pretended to be looking for something in their bags as they stepped in front of a passing shopper. When they walked a few feet in front of the shopper, the participants dropped a glove, handkerchief or packet of tissues, while two researchers observed from about 60 ft. away.

According to the Independent, the experiments -- which were repeated about 400 times -- found that when the volunteers dropped the items outside the bakery, 77 percent of strangers stopped to help recover the lost item and hand it back to the owner.

Outside the clothing store, however, only 52 percent of strangers helped.

The Independent quoted one researcher from the study who said that the evidence “shows that, in general, spontaneous help is offered more in areas where pleasant ambient smells are spread. This experiment confirms the role of ambient food odors on altruism.”

The researchers also assumed that other smells widely regarded as pleasant would also trigger similarly benevolent behavior from strangers.

Costco is Selling Bake-at-Home Sourdough Because Yes, We’re Still Making Bread in 2021

Look, we’re all here for sourdough starter and the homemade bread trend that emerged out of our quarantine boredom. Nothing beats the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven, and when you make it yourself, it always seems to taste better. But will we be continuing this trend in 2021? For the time being, it seems the answer is yes. Do we hope that, a few months from now, the amount of free time we dedicate to baking that scrumptious bread will be limited replaced by, oh, you know, everything else we used to do? Also yes. But leave it to Costco to present the perfect happy medium: organic, bake-at-home sourdough bread! Biting into a crunchy, warm piece of sourdough just became way less time-consuming, and we’re ready for it.

The popular Instagram account @costco_doesitagain shared the find, captioning the post “The BEST #organic sourdough! 🍞😍 #costco #costcodoesitagain” and people in the comments seemed very excited about it. One user tagging a friend, writing: “I wanna try this lend me your Costco card lol” while another commented, “Its like they made this for me!”

The best part about this bread is that the only step to enjoying it is heating it &mdash you can bake it, toast it, or even grill it. It also comes in packs of three, so you’ll always have fresh bread on hands for whenever you need it.

Bread making is loaves of fun (sorry, couldn’t resist), so here’s to hoping this popular obsession never dies. However, it’s totally okay to ditch that sourdough starter for a stress-free, delicious bake-at-home option, too.

Satisfy your sweet tooth with more awesome Costco bakery items seen in the gallery below.

10 Clever Ways to Make Your Home Smell Like You've Been Baking

Nothing is better than the smell of fresh cookies (especially when you don't have to make them in the first place).

Take a shortcut to comfort with spices, pinecones, and other secret helpers.

A subtle way to bring the warm aroma of winter spices to the air (and your cup of joe) is to sprinkle in cinnamon, nutmeg, anise, ginger, or pumpkin pie spice into your grounds before you brew.

A few dashes of vanilla extract (or, if you're fancy, essential oils) on a cotton ball acts a bit like a mini-diffuser or a mini bowl of potpourri. Place the cotton balls behind curtains or other little-noticed areas &mdash just keep them out of the way of children or pets. You can also toss a few into your vacuum cleaner canister to help scent your home as you clean.

Whether you buy them by the bag at the grocery store or go the DIY route, cinnamon pinecones can make your whole home smell of spiced cookies. If you have a fireplace, you can toss a few into the fire for a more powerful fragrance.

Baking soda forms the base of this super-customizable carpet deodorizer recipe. For that "fall baking" scent, incorporate cinnamon into the mix. Once you get the blend down, sprinkle on to your carpet, let sit for a couple hours, then vacuum up.

While most incense smell of your former college roommate's ex-boyfriend, this DIY version is way more comforting. To make it, just blend cinnamon and water into a paste, then bake. Wary of burning the spice? You can stop the project after the baking stage &mdash your home will already smell of cinnamon at that stage of the game.

Infuse your home with a warm sugar cookie fragrance by baking two tablespoons of vanilla extract in a dish at 300 degrees for twenty minutes. (You could also skip the container and just wipe the oven interior with some vanilla extract, too.)

Dab a little bit of vanilla, almond, or maple extract on a (cold) light bulb, then flick the switch to diffuse the scent.

Recreate the aroma of baked apples by simmering the fruit in water with cinnamon, anise, cloves, and a little orange peel. (You can also use a slow cooker if you'd prefer not to keep an eye on your stove.)

Unscented candles become scented candles with the help of the non-alcoholic extract of your choice. Simply light the candle, let a little bit of the wax melt, extinguish the flame , (and carefully) add a few drops to the melted wax and re-light. Just note that because the extract is watery, it'll change the appearance of your candle when it dries.

If you have a wax warmer, you make your own custom scents by blending coconut oil with pumpkin pie spice. Just mix, then spoon into the warmer.

Generally speaking, the bread I make, if it's just plain bread, with nothing added, and especially if it is white bread, tastes of nothing very much. It has a decent texture, usually, and is passable when used in sandwiches and so on, but it's really not as good as the majority of shop bought bread I've had and even often I would say, inferior flavour wise to the pre-sliced white bread variety available in the UK from the likes of Hovis or Warburtons. It just lacks something!

This applies to a variety of recipes I have used for plain bread, including the plain ones on the Fresh Loaf site ‘lessons'. Preparing the sponge the day before and then adding it the next day really didn't improve things at all.

I read all these books and articles that mention how lovely homemade bread tastes, how very much more flavoursome and wholesome and generally better and so on it is. And I wonder if it's just that they have lower standards or excessively terrible supermarket bread, or if there's actually something I could be doing to make my bread better and live up to the hype.

The only 'plain' type bread I have made that has been tasty has been granary bread, and the only way I could get a strong taste with that was to add more sugar than was strictly speaking recommended in the recipe, which gave it a rich, slightly sweet flavour.

I do use a breadmaker to do the kneading of the dough if not the baking itself usually, but I don't see why that would actually make any significant difference to flavour.

I have used many different sorts of flour over the years- organic and non organic, including Canadian flours that are generally well recommended. I have also experimented with using fresh yeast instead of instant yeast which didn't seem to make any difference at all.

I've read the instructions on this site, and I know that rising times, and prepared sponges, are supposed to improve flavour, I just have not actually ever experienced this for myself when I have tried.

Am I expecting too much? Is bread just generally not that tasty when made at home without a sourdough starter?

Your advice on stopping bread being tasteless without the use of a starter would be appreciated!

I HAVE tried doing sourdough bread before. I used a starter obtained from an American site that sends out sourdough started samples for free, and my starter behaved well for a while. Unfortunately the bread made with that, even when risen for around 24 hours in a cold room, was tastier but just not tasty enough to warrant the extra mess, effort, and waste of maintaining the starter (plus the starter started smelling like paint). It certainly had nothing like the sour flavour I want from sourdough bread!

Taste is very subjective as a recent post here from BellesAZ demonstrated:

Exactly what is taste for you? What is missing? The acidic tangy taste of sourdough or graininess of whole wheat or the aromatic roasted flavors? I tend towards the last, which is enhanced by appropriate proofing times (slightly under proofed to leave some residual sugars in the dough) and by longer cook times giving deeper color and carmelization of the loaves. Tangy sourdough flavors require not only cold, but the right temperature of cold to encourage the lactobacillus. Your bread machine should have different settings or programability to vary kneading, rising and cook times. Components too are important, like salt. The few times I've accidentally baked without salt, the results were awful.

What do others say about the taste of your breads? Do they have the same opinion, or is this your personal taste expectation?

Make sure you are using enough salt.

My experience has been that small differences in the amount of salt in the recipe make large differences in the final taste of the bread. I'd suggest trying a loaf with half-again as much much salt.

Particularly if your recipes assume "table salt", you're measuring by volume, and you actually have some fancy "sea salt", you may be getting quite a bit less than the recipe assumes. (Because sea salts typically have larger crystals, there's more air space in between the crystals, and volume measuments can easily be off enough to taste [or not taste:-] the difference.)

(Another way to get "more flavor" is to use beer instead of water.)

Or all those unpronouncable things listed on bread labels? Maybe that's it.

A heavy smoker, will probably notice no changes in bread tastes until smoking has stopped for some time. If on medication, the medicine could also be affecting taste sensibilities. Illness can also affect taste. Also being in love. Everything tastes better when in love.

It could also be that your body doesn't crave bread and it doesn't appeal to you at this time. No big deal. Life goes on without bread too. It is not an essential food.

"Life goes on without bread too. It is not an essential food."

:-O <blink> <blink> Thats blasphemy! :-)

I am just so suttle! :) Blasphemy? . no

I have no really useful info, only more questions—so, I beg your pardon!

Salt? [How much, what kind. when added. ]

Have you tried no-knead bread and, if so, with what results?

Do you have an oven thermometer? (Better is a couple of oven thermometers that agree reasonably with each other. )

Do you ever replace 30-60g (1-2oz) of the bread flour with rye, or whole-wheat or durum semolina, Indian chapatti flour, etc?

Are you familiar with German 'bread spice' or with 'Seitenbacher' natural sourdough? (You can find these for sale online. )

Have you ever tried seeds [sesame, quinoa, amaranth, poppy, millet, etc. ] in your dough, or on your loaves?

*****Does your Bread Machine automatically heat the dough at various phases during the "dough only cycle"?*****

I'm really looking forward to seeing your formula(e) and usual methods. The folks here at TFL will definitely set you on the right path to flavour!

I haven't tried it myself because I can't stand white bread, but a friend of mine with your same problem and very high expectations told me that the only way to get a tasty bread was to let the shaped dough 2 whole days in the fridge after having made an overnight preferment.

Based on your post I think the answer is clear but I can appreciate why it has been difficult for you to see it or accept it.

The key to home baked everyday white bread is simple ingredients, combined, risen, shaped and proved by hand, the rise must be for atleast one hour, the prove must also be for atleast one hour and baked in a very hot oven with added steam for at least 30 minutes.

NOT using a bread maker plays a HUGE part in imrpoving your flavour and allowing yourself plenty of time to rise 1, 2 or even 3 times, ferments the dough and infuses the flavour. A sourdough starter is a nice touch, but it is not required and as you have found, it can be very time consuming (stress wise) and if not kept it a great condition, it goes rancid. White bread is arguably the hardest to make as it relies on the baker to get the flavour into it, where as other breads, the ingredients play the biggest part.

Put simply, take one very large bowl (at least 2-3 times the volume of the total ingredients), weigh 500g of white bread flour (any type, i like Tescos own brand if you are in the UK, but any basic white bread flour will do) into the bowl, weigh in 10g of salt (table or fine ground rock or seas salt) to one side, weigh in 10g of castor sugar to the other side and weigh in 10g of Instant Dried Yeast to the middle. Mix the dry ingredients together with a spoon then make a large well in the middle.

Add to the well 3 tablespoons of your favourite oil. I use Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but if you are looking for the shop bought taste, try Rapeseed Oil and a jug of water (tap or use mineral to remove the chemicals and improve taste) consisting of 150ml very cold water and 150ml of boiling hot mixed together to get a more realistic luke warm. Some sites recommend 200ml cold 100ml boiling, but I find the yeast prefers the warmth of mine.

Working around the edges of the well first, slowly combine the liquid mix with the dry mix with the spoons edge until it starts to come together. Put the spoon down. Flour your hands and get in there. Bring the mix together, lightly kneeding and turning to pick up all the crumbs then tip out onto a lightly floured surface.

knead the dough (compress and strech) for a minimum of 5 minutes while turning the dough 180 degrees and folding in half between each knead. Keep it up and over time you will find your rythum. I like to think of it as my daily excercise. Every now and then, pick up the dough and slam it down, toos in the air, hey, go all out Tom Cruise in Cocktail if you like, but an occassional throw down is essential, and if the neighbours dont jump you are not doing it hard enough!.

Once kneaded, spin into a simple ball, lightly oil the bowl, place inside and lightly oil the top of the dough too, cover well with cling film and make a small cut in the cling film to allow air to escape. Place bowl in a draft free cupboard. Rememebr, Yeast likes it slightly warm (no more than room temp) to imrpove rise speed, and the dough like NO draft to stop it drying out preventing or slowing the rise.

Now to get a level one flavour, leave to rise for one hour, then tip out onto a floured surface and knock out the air. To level up the flavour to level 2, put back in a lightly oiled bowl and lightly oil the top, cover, pierce and rise again for one hour. How do you get to level 3 I ask? Repeat the rise and knock. I would experiement on the level of your choice, but I used level 1 for some many months, then tried level 2 and I hevent looked back. I think I might even be ready for level 3 soon. Tastebuds activated! lol

Once knocked out, shape how you like (If I am making rolls or batons, I weigh the dough evenly. When shaping, go ahead and use a rolling pin to flatten then to a standard turn twice to help with the final rise), place in the required tray (loaf tin, roll pan, baguette rack etc), pop into a plastic bag and put back in the cupboard for one hour to prove.

30 minutes before prove ends, preheat your oven to 210 Fan or 230 Convection and add a large pan to the bottom of the oven. 5 minutes before prove ends, fill up your kettle and switch it on. Once proved, slash your dough how you like it, a few cuts diagonaly across the top usually works just fine, lightly sprinkle top with flour, pop in the oven and set your timer to 30 minutes.

Providing you have followed this exactly, not tapping required, just take it out, remove bread from tray to a wire rack and leave for atleast 1-2 hours to cool and firm up. Although it is best eaten the next day, once it is completly cooled, go ahead and tuck in. Use salted butter to make it really sing.

If you prefer dry active yeast instead of dry instant yeast, just prepare your water and add the same quantity of yeast and sugar to the jug of water, mix, cover and set aside while you get everything in the bowl, mix and make your well.

The amounts will make one high rise 2lb loaf, up to 4 foot long batons or 8 full sized rolls. Want to make a loaf and 4 batons, just double the ingredients, want all the above, tripple it and so on. Just make sure your bowl is always 2-3 times the size of the total volume of ingredients.

To put that extra enhancment on your flavour, add up to a total of 6 teaspoons per 500g of flour of dried herbs to the dried mix before adding the liquid. You can also add nuts, seeds and even spices but use your common sense on the amounts.

Last year, for Mother’s Day, my daughter made me a flower bookmark. On the back, she wrote, Dear Mom, Thank you for making bread. Love, Elly. I don’t need flowery poetry or a string of xoxo’s. This bookmark was perfect.

I have similar happy memories of my mom baking bread. Even now, the smell takes me back to my mom’s kitchen, where everything was good and warm and right. I want to create those same memories for my kids. Maybe when they are adults, it will remind them to call their mother.

I have often been surprised how certain scents can instantly transport me back to specific points in time. For me, most of these memories are happy and many are connected to food. One whiff of my mom’s meatloaf and I’m home from college on winter break. Peppermint gum seats me back in my grandma’s meticulous little Honda. Watermelon smells like summertime, and I am running around the backyard, spitting seeds at my brother.

According to extensive brain research, the sense of smell triggers our memory more than any other sense. Smells are processed by our olfactory bulb, which starts in our nose and runs along the base of our brain. This is connected to two brain areas, in the limbic system, which are responsible for emotion and memory. Our other senses do not travel the same route. One smell can spontaneously trigger a long-forgotten experience and the emotions connected to it.

I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure the smell of bread baking is one of the strongest happy memory triggers. This recipe is one of my favorites for soft, simple, sturdy bread. It is perfect for toast or sandwiches or (preferably) just cutting into thick slices warm from the oven. The molasses and brown sugar give a subtle sweetness (you could also use honey), while the oats and whole wheat flour give it a nice heft and texture.

Baking from scratch might not be your thing. No problem! Pop open a can of cinnamon rolls. Grab a tub of cookie dough. You can still create amazing smells & memories for the people you love. Or… make baking from scratch your thing. You can do it and this bread is a great place to start. (You can also try our AMAZING No-Knead Bread. So easy, so rustic and delicious, yet looks like you spent all the time in the world.)

Oatmeal Molasses Bread
yield: 2 loaves

1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c. water
1 1/2 T. active dry yeast
3 T. brown sugar
2 T. molasses
1 1/2 t. salt
1/4 c. oil or melted butter
1 1/2 c. quick oats (I also use old-fashioned oats and they work just fine)
5 c. unbleached white flour
1 c. whole wheat flour

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine the milk and water heat until warm (about 2-3 minutes). Pour into the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast and sugar on top and stir once. Let it sit until the yeast dissolves and becomes bubbly, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the molasses, salt, oil/butter, and oats. Stir until evenly combined.
  4. With the mixer running, slowly add the flours, one cup at a time, until a dough ball forms. Continue to knead (by hand or in the mixer) for about 5 minutes, until an elastic dough forms. Add a little more flour, if needed, to prevent it sticking to the bowl. (The dough should be manageable but slightly wet/sticky.)
  5. Coat the inside of a large bowl with butter and transfer to the dough ball into it. Cover and let rise until doubled, about an hour.
  6. Shape into 2 equal loaves, tucking the dough underneath to create a smooth top. Place into greased loaf pans, cover, and let rise, about 40 minutes.
  7. Bake at 375-degrees for 30-40 minutes.

My cast iron collection/obsession is coming along nicely, thanks to my newest addition: a seasoned Camp Chef Cast Iron Loaf Pan (Amazon). I love the look and weight and function of this little black beauty.

Looking for more delicious bread recipes?

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