The best thing about National Homemade Bread Day might be the way it incorporates all your senses: the sweet, roasty comfort smell that lingers in the kitchen; the sight of steam rising from the top of the loaf, the warmth in your mouth, the taste of home when you take a bite, and the seemingly automatic “Mmmmm” that comes while you chew. Get baking November 17 to celebrate and break bread with your friends and family.
National Homemade Bread Day timeline
"It’s the greatest thing since sliced bread"
Comedian Red Skelton apparently coined this phrase during a newspaper interview.
The mechanical age
Otto Frederick Rohwedder invented a machine to slice bread.
- 1300 AD
Bread made an appearance
The writings of Indo-Persian poet Amir Kushrau were recorded history’s first reference to bread.
- 79 AD
A volcano preserved Pompeii’s ovens
Mount Vesuvius erupted, preserving both the Roman city of Pompeii, which had 33 bakeries, and its bakery of Modestus.
- 2650 BC
The art of bread
Archaeologists found bas-reliefs, dating at least this far back, of Egyptians harvesting grain, likely for bread.
National Homemade Bread Day Activities
Pull out a favorite family recipe or find a new favorite in a cookbook or online. And while you’re at it anyway, make more than one loaf!
Invite a friend over
Whether they act as a sous chef or simply a happy taster, food is community. We’re drawn to feed those we love, and National Homemade Bread Day is all about sharing the love.
Use the freezer
Once your bread has cooled, store a loaf (or even a few slices) in a freezer bag with all the air out. Freezing your bread will let you indulge in the fruits of your National Homemade Bread Day labor long past its typical expiration date.
5 Reasons Bread Smells So Good (thanks Science!)
It’s not just the ingredients
Bread’s aroma comes from its ingredients, the fermentation process, and reactions during the baking process.
Thank you, maltol
Maltol, which has the scent of caramel and cotton candy, and isomaltol give bread crust its flavor and aroma.
It’s also found in pickles
Certain compounds give breadcrumbs — and, strangely, cucumbers — their scent.
Fourteen is the magic number
Scientists have used 14 molecules to mimic the smell of baguettes.
Why We Love National Homemade Bread Day
You can be diet-conscience — or not
By baking your own bread, you can make it as healthy — or as decadent — as you want. Opt for whole wheat, cracked-wheat, sunflower seeds, and honey — or chocolate, peanut butter, two different kinds of sugar, and heavy whipping cream.
Avoid all the additives
Make sure you can pronounce every ingredient you add. No azodicarbonamide (which is also used in yoga mats) in YOUR kitchen (unless you like that sort of thing).
Be kind to those with diet restrictions
It can be tough to find bread for those with celiac disease or other gluten intolerances. Thousands of DIY recipes are out there, though, sure to make your belly — and your wallet— happy.