Herbs and Spices can be used as the main ingredient in bread or to enhance other ingredients.
Fresh herbs will provide the most potent flavor, but if they are not available, you can use dried herbs or ground herbs. Use sage, dill, oregano, rosemary and thyme to add flavor to savory breads. Keep in mind that dried herbs and ground herbs will lose their taste if they sit on the shelf too long.
Spices are the dried, intensely aromatic, seeds, pods, stems, bark, buds or roots of plants. It is best to use fresh spices for a better flavor. However, if you want to use ground spices, make sure you don't leave them on the shelf too long. You can add saffron, nutmeg, cinnamon, anise, all-spice and cardamom to sweet or savory breads. Use cumin and coriander in savory breads and ginger in sweet breads.
Dried herbs have a more concentrated flavor than fresh so use about a third of the quantity recommended for fresh.
Cinnamon can break down the structure of the dough which affects the size and texture, and garlic will inhibit the activity of the yeast. So measure carefully when you use these.
Do you enjoy using special bread ingredients? Please share your tips for increasing the flavor in your bread recipes.
Brody, Lora and Apter, Millie. Bread Machine Baking: Perfect Every Time. William Morrow & Company 1996.
Shapter, Jennie. Bread Machine - How to prepare and bake the perfect loaf. Hermes House 2003.