Hey, what do you think about this?
Researchers have proved that the smell of bread baking actually will make strangers behave in a kinder manner towards each other.
Scientists actually did research on this issue! They found that shoppers were more likely to act in a kind manner if, at the time, they were also passing a bakery giving off the mouth-watering aroma of freshly-baked bread. As a control, they planted the same situation near a clothing store and found that the incidents of kindness were much less there.
These findings, published in the Journal of Social Psychology, suggest certain smells trigger a positive mood that leads to a greater degree of altruism, or unconditional concern for the welfare of others. You can read more about the study right here.
Several studies have already shown how pleasant smells can make us feel happier. But the psychologists behind this latest experiment wanted to see whether this translates into something more tangible, such as a being more kind and considerate towards strangers.
And to this here Mama–-who is feeling that winter’s getting a little long in the tooth, and whose kids are starting to act like they feel the same way–the best strategy for today, to increase general good feelings and kindness toward each other, may be just simply to bake some bread.
It might be a simple fix, for today, don’t you think? Hot bread, butter, maybe some hot chocolate? Smiles all around!
I’ll share one of my favorite (and easy!) bread recipes with you, and maybe you’ll be inspired to increase the happiness and altruism in your home, too! My Chicago Wheat Bread is a lighter wheat bread and is easy to mix up, and is perfect to make into toast or sandwiches. Yum. 🙂
- 4 cups unbleached white flour
- 6 to 8 cups whole wheat flour (white whole wheat, preferably)
- ½ cup wheat germ
- 2 Tb dry yeast
- ⅓ cup high-gluten flour
- 4 cups warm water
- ⅓ cup oil
- ⅓ cup sugar or honey
- 1 Tb salt
- Place white flour, yeast, wheat germ, and gluten flour in mixer bowl with kneading arm.
- Add water and mix well.
- Turn off mixer, cover bowl, let sponge for 15 minutes.
- Add oil, sugar, and salt.
- Turn on mixer and add whole wheat flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough forms a ball and cleans the side of the bowl.
- Knead in mixer or by hand for 5 to 6 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 150 degrees.
- Lightly oil hands, and divide dough into four equal portions, and form into loaves.
- Please in greased bread pans and turn off oven.
- Place bread in oven and let rise until double--20 to 25 minutes.
- Leave bread in oven; turn heat to 350. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until loaves are golden brown and there is a high level of altruism in your home. Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks. Have soft butter ready!
Here’s the deal, my Gentle Reader: the world is full of disappointments and perplexing problems, and your life may be, too, from time to time. If something as simple as baking a batch of bread can make your friends and family happier, then . . . why not? Happy, happy baking!
I’ll give you a virtual *hug* if you’d share this post with your friends!
*hugs* and thank you!
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