Herb Breads from Your Bread Maker Machine

Fresh herbs in any bread recipe in your bread machine can take the taste of your home baked bread to a whole new level. Here’s how to make the best of fresh or dried herbs.

5 dill bread whole loaf

If you have an herb garden just about any herb from the garden can be incorporated into a bread recipe. But even if you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, dried herbs work just as well to impart a fresh and fragrant flavor to any bread you bake.

We’re going to explore a bit and make a dill bread, a sweet mint bread and a basil bread. We’ll also explore variations for each with the addition of other ingredients like onions or chopped dill pickles in the dill bread, a splash of maple syrup in the sweet mint bread, and chopped tomatoes and mozzarella to make a Margherita basil bread. The Margherita style is named for Queen Margherita of Italy and the 3 ingredients of basil, tomatoes and mozzarella define the flavor profile of the pizza made in her name. The only difference is we’re putting these ingredients into a traditional loaf of bread.

You can skip these added ingredients and just go with the pure bread and herb recipe, but you have the variations as an option.

Dill Bread Recipe:

(Makes a 1.5 pound loaf)

5 dill bread whole loaf

This is a great bread to have with a hearty meal from pastas with sauce to meats and poultry. You can use either fresh dill or dried dill. If using fresh dill, strip the leaves from the stems and chop it finely. You can also add other ingredients. I added some dried onions to this recipe. What’s wonderful about dill bread is that it will fill the kitchen with the fresh, fragrance of dill while it’s rising and baking.

Other surprising variations include the addition of chopped dill pickles, which makes a great hot dog or hamburger bun. For that variation select the dough course and shape into the bun shape you want and let rise on an oiled baking sheet. Bake at 375° F. /XXX° C. for 20 minutes or until browned. We’re going to keep it simple for now and go with the basic dill and onion recipe in the bread machine.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 eggs
  • + 1 cup and 1 tablespoon of water at 110°F./ 43° C.
  • 2 tablespoons of oil or melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon of dill weed (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tablespoon of dehydrated onions
  • 2 teaspoons of bread machine yeast

DIRECTIONS:

Put all of the ingredients in the bread pan in the order indicated in the INGREDIENTS and select the basic or white bread setting, 1.5 loaf, medium crust. When the bread is done, remove from the bread pan and let it rest on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

1 dill bread sliced

Sweet Mint Bread Recipe:

(Makes a 1.5 pound loaf)

1 - Sweet Mint Bread Loaf

If you have mint growing anywhere in your yard or garden you probably have too much of it. Mint spreads faster than most weeds. But it is a wonderfully aromatic herb and comes in varieties ranging from spearmint to peppermint. Fresh mint has the most flavor, but dried mint delivers the mint flavor notes for as much as you would need for this bread recipe.

We’re also going to add a variable and that’s maple syrup. Mint seems to go well with sweet things so let’s make a bread that has the sweetness of maple syrup and the flavor accent of mint.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of water at 110°F./ 43° C.
  • ¼ cup of oil or melted butter
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons of salt
  • 3 cups of bread flour
  • 1 cup of dry oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon of mint (chopped fresh or dried)
  • 2 teaspoons of bread machine yeast

DIRECTIONS:

Place the ingredients in the bread pan in the order indicated in the INGREDIENTS section and select basic or white course, 1.5 loaf and medium crust. When done remove from bread pan and cool on a rack for 10 minutes. Slice and serve. This bread is great with salty or savory dishes as a complement to lamb, veal, pork or beef and can also be enjoyed as a dessert or thinly sliced for tea-time.

2 - Sweet Mint Bread - Sliced

Fresh Basil Bread Recipe:

(Makes a 2 pound loaf)

Let’s have some fun. It’s easy to make a basic bread and add basil and that’s okay. Fresh basil is a wonderful herb and I’m sorry to say that its dried version is a disappointment. If it’s winter and fresh basil is not available, fear not. Just add more dried basil and we’ll tell you how much. But there’s another possibility:

I’ve added some chopped tomatoes and mozzarella cheese to this bread recipe with either fresh or dried basil and it has the flavor profile of a pizza Margherita or a classic New York style pizza. For the record, this is not about making a pizza dough but a traditional white bread loaf with all of the ingredients.

You can go the simpler route and just add dried basil or fresh basil as indicated, but we’ll give you some additions in the INGREDIENTS list you might want to consider as an experiment.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup of water 80° F./ 27° C.
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 cup of chopped, canned tomatoes drained
  • ¼ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 ½ tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 ¾ teaspoons of salt
  • 4 cups of bread flour
  • 4 teaspoons of shredded fresh basil or dried basil
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons of bread machine yeast

DIRECTIONS:

Put the ingredients into the bread pan as indicated in the INGREDIENTS list and select the basic or white course, 2 pound loaf, medium crust. When the loaf is done remove it from the bread pan and let it rest on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Slice and serve. Great to eat on it’s own and wonderful with a pasta course or with a large green salad.

Don’t Stop Here

If you have fresh herbs growing in your garden they’re easily incorporated into any bread recipe. Just chop and add a tablespoon and it should no effect on the overall outcome of the loaf other than to add a fresh flavor accent. This could include chopped chives, lemon balm, oregano, lovage and just about any other fresh herb. It’s a great way to add a bit of variety to basic breads and it’s always fun to see if the family can recognize the “secret” ingredient you’ve added.

Steve Nubie

Steve Nubie has been writing professionally for 38 years. He is a Chef and has traveled across Asia and Europe studying language, culture and cuisine. He instructs culinary classes in the Culinary School at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn, Illinois and has written extensively on cuisine, cooking, diet and nutrition. He is a published author of 10 books including a cookbook and continues to write on subjects related to culinary trends.

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