Using a variety of herbs to flavor home-baked bread is a great way of adding flavor. There are many possibilities and inspiring recipes if you want to use up extra rosemary or basil before it loses flavor.
When stocking your pantry, try to buy only items you know you’ll use. Herbs are not only expensive, but they only keep their full flavor for a few months, even when properly stored. As you gain bread-baking experience and experiment with different flavors, you can add ingredients to your kitchen cupboard and then peg them down to the ones you prefer.
Herb and cheese bread is densely packed with dried herbs and Parmesan cheese. The flavor combinations are limitless, and fresh herbs would work just as well.
Nothing beats the taste of freshly baked bread infused with herbs. This herb list is ideal for those who want to know which herbs, dried or fresh, to use in making herb and cheese bread.
Basil leaves, a widely accessible herb, can be added to either dried or fresh bread dough. Basil pairs well with garlic, and you can use them to make a delicious herb and cheese bread and a garlic basil loaf.
This biennial plant is cultivated for the flavorful seeds it produces. Caraway seeds are commonly used in rye and pumpernickel bread.
These herbs are hardy perennials that grow well in the garden. You can add chives to bread dough fresh chopped for a mild onion flavor. Chives can also be added to toasted garlic bread to make it more flavorful.
The dill plant, like caraway, is cultivated for its spicy seeds. Biscuits and bread are flavored with seeds. You can whip the seeds in butter to make a tasty spread when finely ground.
This herb is a perennial that can be grown from seed. The seeds are collected and dried before being used to flavor biscuits and bread.
You can use lavender flowers to infuse bread dough with a delicate floral perfume.
Rosemary is a popular herb among gardeners. You can add a tiny proportion of finely ground leaves to flavor bread dough. Another way of flavoring white bread with rosemary is to bake it with a sprig of rosemary on the baking sheet; it will flavor both the bread and the kitchen.
Another popular herb for the garden is sage. It adds a delicious flavor to bread dough and scones, whether dried or fresh.
Perennial garden thyme can be grown to flavor biscuits and bread. Due to the strong flavor, you only need a small amount when using it fresh. When dried and finely ground, thyme can be whipped with butter to create a delicious spread for bread.
Regional Herb Blends that Work Well in Bread:
Here are some regional herbs that you can also add to your herb and cheese bread recipe:
- Tuscan Herbs: Rosemary, Thyme, Basil, Oregano (pair well with parmesan and garlic)
- Provincial Herbs: Tarragon, savory fennel, rosemary, thyme, basil (and sometimes lavender)
- Greek Herbs: Greek Oregano, dill, marjoram, mint (pair well with peppers and lemon)
- Fines Herbs: Chervil, chives, parsley, and tarragon (pair well with cracked pepper and gruyere)
Making Herb and Cheese Bread
You’ll never want to make bread again once you’ve tried this herb and cheese bread recipe.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. sugar
- chosen herbs
- 1 pkg. active dry yeast
- Sift your salt, flour, and baking powder together. Slice your herbs with these tips for cutting and preparing herbs, add them, and mix well.
- Mix the packet of yeast and sugar in a bowl. Stir in a small amount of warm water. Set aside for activation (five minutes or so.)
- Add it to your flour mixture once activated (you’ll see the mixture bubble up). Slowly begin adding the water, only enough so that the dough is wet but not soaked (you should have around a quarter cup of water left over at the end). Incorporate the cheese until well combined.
- Allow the bowl to rise for 30 minutes, covered. Allow the mixture to rise for another 30 minutes after punching or stirring it.
- Preheat your oven to 400°F and modestly grease a bread pan.
- While the oven is heating, place the dough in the pan and allow it to rise again. You want it to float to the surface of the pan without spilling.
- Bake for 40 minutes, then remove from oven.
- Allow it to cool completely before slicing.
Optional: Melt 1-2 tablespoons butter and stir in some basil, dried oregano, and garlic powder before smearing it on top of the hot bread. Finally, top the bread with more Parmesan cheese!
Recipe for Parmesan Herb Bread
- 1 pkg. active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp.; ¼ oz.)
- 3/4 c. 105-115 degree water
- 2 tsp. sugar
- 2 ¼ c. unbleached flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- 4 tbsp. fresh rosemary (chopped and divided)
- 2 tsp. fresh oregano (chopped)
- 2 tsp. fresh basil (chopped)
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme (chopped)
- 6 cloves mashed roasted garlic (hard parts removed)
- 3 tbsp. grated parmesan
- Mix the sugar, yeast, and water and set aside to proof in a medium bowl.
- In a separate mixing bowl, combine the salt, flour, thyme, basil, oregano, and two tablespoons of rosemary.
- Make a well in the center of these ingredients and add the yeast mixture.
- Turn the mixture onto a floured work surface and knead briefly, incorporating flour as needed, until a sticky dough forms.
- Clean and oil the bowl.
- Return your dough to the bowl, loosely cover with a tea towel and plastic wrap, and station it in a warm place to double in size. Punch it down, form it into a 12 inch-long loaf, and place it on a baking sheet to rise again.
- Combine the garlic, parmesan, and remaining rosemary in a mixing bowl. Sprinkle on top of the loaf.
- Bake for 45 minutes at 350°F.
Making Cheesy Dill Wheat Bread
- 1 pkg. active dry yeast (2 ¼ tsp.; ¼ oz.)
- ¼ c. 105-115 degree water
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- ½ c. dry milk solids
- 6 c. whole wheat flour
- 2 c. warm milk
- 1 tbsp. salt
- 6 tbsp. fresh dill weed (2 tbsp. dried)
- 6 tbsp. dark molasses
- 3 tbsp. melted butter
- 2 c. mozzarella, shredded
- Sprinkle the brown sugar and yeast on top of the water and set aside to proof.
- Combine the flour, salt, milk solids, and minced dill in a large mixing bowl.
- Combine the melted butter, milk, and molasses in a completely separate large bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture to combine.
- Incorporate the flour mixture and beat until well combined.
- Place the dough on a floured surface. Knead for a few seconds, adding flour as needed.
- Allow the dough to rise twice: once in the bowl and again on the baking sheet.
- Bake in your oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.