The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Italian Herb Bread

kscove's picture

Italian Herb Bread

I am looking for a recipie for bread that has Italian herbs baked into it.  I don't care if it is "swirled" into the bread or just kneaded into it. I thought this would be easy to find but the amounts of herbs used, in the few recipies that I found, vary greatly. Help !!


bakinginQuito's picture

an perhaps for this reason, for instinct, I'd use use origano..if you plan to use a blend of herbs, you shoud be careful to mantain a balance of tastes....other italian herbs very common in italy? Thyme, sage, majoram..I suggest to make about 2 pounds of dough and divide in 3 portions so you can use different herbs...good luck and cheers from Quito. Paolo

nicodvb's picture

To say the truth I've never seen a bread with herbs over here, but rosemary is the most common herb you can find on the surface of focaccias (not inside).

lumos's picture

I'm not Italian, obviously :p, so I can't claim I'm an expert on Italian food, but I teach cooking (on a very small scale) and Italian food is the love of my life, have baked a few breads with some Italian twists. I think one thing you can do is to choose of the recipes from the ones you've found and try baking it anyway and see how you like it. You may find you want to increase/decrease certain herbs or maybe you want to add other herbs or didn't like one of herb in the recipe. You just play around like that and gradually develop your own favourite combination.

Personally, my current favourite is the combination of rosemarry and lemon zest with lots of freshly and coarsely ground black pepper and generous sprinkle of good quality extra virgin olive oil (I sprinkle it when I letter-fold the dough while shaping and also on the surface before I bake). But sometimes, especially during summer when I grow my own herbs, I use basil a lot, too, as well as fresh oregano or marjoram and Italian flat-leaf parsley.  Lots of them!  I tend to make my herb bread very herby during summer than in winter, so even with the same recipe, I slightly change how I bake it, depends on a season or what I plan to eat it with. 

  What I wanted to say is....Just plunge in and play around. As long as your dough is good and you can bake it well,  you can get a good herby bread and you'll know how you want to tweak it next time. The world is your oyster! :)

Cheech's picture

If I may suggest you are overthinking if.  Try starting with a receipe you like, add some herbs to get a flavor YOU enjoy and go from there.  I use parsley, basil, marjorom (less intense than oregano), rosemary, garlic, onion, black pepper, sea salt; fresh or dried. Dried are more intense and concentrated so use less of them,  dried are not as pretty as fresh in the finished product.  You do not say how much dough you will be making, so assuming enough for one or two 12-14 oz loaves: Start with a teaspoon fresh chopped parsley, 1/8 teaspoon granulated garlic, onoin powder and black pepper and see where that takes you.  Jump in and try different things. Its only food, enjoy making and eating it, Have Fun! after all who's gonna yell at you?!?

kscove's picture

OK ! You people have given me the courage to

jump right in :)  Thanks so much for your help and encouragement!