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Volume I
January 28, 2003

Spicing Up Breads

         When dating, I thought I'd impress my future husband with homemade, fancy bread. Before shaping the loaf, I buttered the dough rectangle and sprinkled it with that unopened jar of Jamaican pepper that I'd picked up at an outlet store. I beamed as I imagined him enjoying gourmet sandwiches with that peppery swirled bread and falling in love with the provincial girl that made it. Shattering my mind's love story, he never commented on the fresh baked loaf I'd made. After we were married, though, he revealed that when he bit into his first slice, it set his mouth afire. He'd never tasted anything so hot and wondered if an intended message hid behind that bread. Since then if I try anything uncommon, he quickly recalls that Jamaican pepper bread and questions my honest schemes.

Hopefully if adding herbs or spices to your bread turns out less-than-charming loaves, you'll get as great a laugh from it as we do. Nevertheless, here are some guidelines to increase your probability of success.

  • Choose the herbs/spices you add to your bread to complement what you'll be serving with the bread. You probably would get a few odd looks if you spread peanut butter and jelly on Jamaican pepper bread, for instance. On the other hand, everyone would be delighted at your clever combination of basil-infused garlic bread served with spaghetti.
  • For starters, add 2 teaspoons fresh herbs per loaf of bread, 1 teaspoon dried herbs, or 1/4 teaspoon powdered herbs/spices. Then take notes! Adjust the seasonings to your taste.
  • If your children freak out about green herbal specks in their food like mine do, you can infuse the herbs into the bread. Simply bring the liquid called for in the recipe (minus the amount used to dissolve yeast) to a boil. Turn off the heat, add a handful of fresh herbs, and let it steep for five to ten minutes. Strain the herbs and cool the liquid to 105-115 degrees F before adding to the bread.
  • Use herbal infused oils for the fat requirement in the dough. Or, brush loaves with these flavored oils either before or after baking.
  • For herb swirled loaves, roll out the dough into a rectangle, spread with olive oil or other oil and seasonings of choice. Roll up jelly-roll fashion into a loaf shape.
  • For herb-flavor throughout the loaf, add chopped herbs into the dough prior to kneading.
  • Don't forget the onions. Mince them and sauté them until tender before adding to the dough or sprinkling atop a ready-to-bake loaf.

         * DVO welcomes your kitchen hints and cooking or nutrition questions! Email us and we'll post your hints and Q/A's in upcoming newsletters! *

Tortilla Soup

The Substance Within the Loaf
Tips and Techniques of the Home Baker
Bread Making References
Spicing Up Breads

Refresh Stale Bread
Freeze Your Own Dough
Troubleshooting Bread

Pillsbury Doughboy Obituary
Software Problems
Actual Signs across the USA


Unit Abbreviations

Missing Ingredient
Missing Recipe

Falling for ...Dessert!

Copyright © 2007 DVO Enterprises, Inc.