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When I want to flavor my focaccias or bread loaves with spices or herbs, I add them dried to the dough instead of topping the final product before baking. In this way, I don't lose them when I slice the final product and I don't make a mess. As seeds I use sometimes fennel seeds, that I toast before use. As herbs I use oregano, thyme, herbes de Provence or rosemary. All dry store-bought (or homemade mixes of store-bought).

Does it make a difference to toast the herbs in a dry hot pan before such use? Would it amplify flavor like it does for seeds/spices?

2 Answers 2

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You just have to be much more careful about burning, but toasting dried herbs can be useful. For example, it is quite common to toast dried oregano in some Mexican preparations. There is no problem giving it a shot to see if you appreciate the effect.

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Bread swallows the flavor of herbs without using a carrier. Bakery I trained in always rubbed the dry herbs in salt first (prepared ahead); oil is also a good carrier.

Toasting would bring more of the herb's essential oil to surface but I would consider using some of your recipe's salt or oil in prepping herbs first.

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  • never heard anywhere in any of my sources (self-thought as I'm not a professional) but definitely nothing to lose in trying. Thanks!
    – David P
    Commented Dec 20, 2022 at 21:07

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