© 2013 Can Caramelo

Make your own Bread!

The smell of bread in the oven fills the whole apartment. I think it is a few years now that I hardly ever buy bread. I bake it on the weekends, cut and freeze it and then we take it out by slices and toast it during the week. Some time ago I thought kneading the dough a lot would make this bubbles that one knows from French or Italian rustic countryside bread. First I tried to knead it energetically by hand, then I even got a machine and let it knead for 15-20 minutes. Until a recipe by Jim Lahey inspired me and I found out that the easier way actually gives the better results. Now I do it all by hand and I almost don’t knead at all. Just enough to bring all the ingredients together. Then I let it rise for many hours while I forget about it.
If you want to find something similar in taste and texture you’ll have to find a very fancy bakery and spend a lot of money. And you don’t have this smell spreading out in your home… Speaking of smell, I think that most of you know that with our tongue we only taste bitter, sweet, salty, spicy and sour and that flavor really depends on smell. When I was a kid I didn’t like most cooked vegetables. The mother of my best friend was against our friendship and I think she made these quiches full of cooked vegetables (which I would love nowadays) only to make me suffer. I was very shy and never dared to tell this woman I didn’t like cooked vegetables. Anyway, my trick was to hold my breath when I was swallowing and then quickly drink some Apple juice right after, and only continue to breathe after the juice.
Maybe fewer of you know that it is the retronasal smell that makes us perceive flavor. It is when we exhale that we get the aroma of the food that we consume through the cavity that connects mouth and nose. Curiously, this retronasal smell is especially developed in humans. Animals on four legs need a good filter system in order to filter out the dirt coming through their nose when they are sniffing the floor. But walking upright brought us away from the floor and reduced our need of an effective filter system, allowing for less distance between the nasal cavity and the back of the mouth. That is the key point for facilitating that odors from food in the mouth reach the smell receptors in the nasal cavity and therefore for flavor perception. But of course flavor is more complex, because the “normal” (orthonasal) smell also influences the flavor perception and so do the look of the food, the sound it produces when chewing it and it’s texture. Enjoy the smell of this bread, its looks, the sound its crust produces when you cut and bite it and the soft and full texture in your mouth…plus the feeling of having made something so substantial to our diet yourself!


White bread:

• 4 cups of all purpose flour or light spelt flour
• 25g (0.88oz) of fresh yeast
• 2 tsp salt
• 2 cups of lukewarm water
• 1 tbsp of roasted malt flour (optional)

Brown Bread (feel free to use only whole wheat flour, or make different combinations):

• 2 cups of light spelt flour
• 1 cups of whole spelt flour
• ½ cup of oat flour
• ½ cup of rye flour
• 25g (0.88oz) of fresh yeast
• 2 tsp salt
• 2 cups of lukewarm water
• 1 tbsp of roasted malt flour (optional)

Instructions (the same for both)

Put the flour(s) and salt in a big bowl and whisk them together. Make a little well in the middle and crumble the yeast in. Add half the water and stir carefully with a wooden spoon to dissolve the yeast. Add the rest of the water. Start stirring with the wooden spoon, then use your hands to bring all the ingredients together until they form a homogenous ball. Let the dough rise for 6-18h. After that, put the dough on a slightly oiled surface and carefully stretch it into a rectangle (see pictures below). Fold one half over the other. Fold again. Fold the edges next to you slightly inwards and roll into a loaf. Let rest for 30min while you preheat the oven to 210ºC (410ºF). Bake for 40min until golden-brown.



  1. Sabina
    Posted 6 Dec ’13 at 10:47 am | #

    Lenka, muchas gracias por enseñarme tu blog. Me encanta y no exagero. Te voy a ir visitando… me gustan mucho tus recetas y combinadas con la explicación neurocientífica es de un enriqucimiento óptimo! Esto promete 😉
    Un beso muy grande!!!!

  2. Posted 8 Dec ’13 at 6:35 pm | #

    Hola Sabina! Qué bueno que te guste, ya me contarás cómo salen las recetas, jeje, a ver si nos vemos pronto!

  3. Consuelo
    Posted 5 Apr ’14 at 10:14 pm | #

    Hola! Acabo de descubrir tu blog y me encanta! Yo tb. cocino mientros redacto mi PhD en Antropología. Me encanta la combinación que haces neuro-cocina. Sólo agregaría que ojalá estuvieran en español! 😉
    Te felicito por la calidad de las fotos, recetas y blog
    Saludos desde Chile,

  4. Posted 9 Apr ’14 at 12:34 pm | #

    Hola Consuelo,
    qué bueno que te guste el blog! Me alegro mucho. Cuál es tu tema en el PhD en antropología? Ahora me voy a fijar en tus recetas… viví 6 meses en Chile.
    Mis amigos también se quejan de que no escriba en español, pero resulta que la mayor parte de visitantes son de países angloparlantes… y he pensado en traducir el contenido, pero tengo muy poco tiempo (seguro que sabes bien cómo es) y prefiero dedicarlo a crear recetas nuevas. Y siempre queda el google translate 😉
    Un abrazo,

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