Using Herbs and Spices in Bread

Herbs and spices add a delicious flavor to bread. Here are some tips for using them in your bread.

Dried herbs and spices

Use them straight from the jar. There is no need to crush dried herb when using a bread machine, the kneading action of the machine will distribute them throughout the dough. Be sure your dried herbs and spices are fresh; they should generally be stored no longer than three months.

Five-spice powder

This spice powder, available in the Asian section of supermarkets or in specialty markets, is a wonderful substitute for cinnamon or nutmeg in your bread recipe. It's a combination of anise, fennel, Szechuan pepper, ground cinnamon, and cloves, but may also contain a dash of ginger.

Fresh herbs

Use these wherever a dried herb is listed. Follow this equivalent: 1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs = 1 teaspoon dried herbs. When using fresh herbs, use the leaves only, not the stems.


Fresh garlic tends to inhibit yeast action, so use garlic salt to add garlic flavor.


An expensive spice, saffron is harvested from the autumn crocus. marketed in "thread" form, it needs to be dissolved in the warm liquid that's called for in the recipe in order for the spice to be well distributed during kneading. It adds a golden color and a distinctive flavor to bread. You can substitute turmeric for the same yellow color and a bit of the same flavor.

Related Links:

Bread Machine Tips for Success

Bread Machine Cycles

Bread Making Flours & Grains

Bread Making Leavening Agents

How to Test or Proof Yeast -- Testing Yeast for Freshness or to See if it is Active

Sweeteners Used in Bread Making

Using Chocolate and Cocoa in Your Bread Machine

Fats and Oils in Bread Making

Using Fruits and Vegetables in Bread

Using Nuts and Seeds in Bread

Slicing and Storing Homemade Bread

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