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Savory Herb Bread

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This quick bread recipe is a family favorite, passed down to me by my mom. It uses a combination of whole wheat and all-purpose flour to provide both fiber and structure, and cornmeal to add natural sweetness – eliminating the need for refined sugar. To finish off the flavor profile, a touch of honey is added. The dried herbs and fennel included in the recipe create an unusual and complex, yet satisfying taste in this delicious bread.

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x


  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, preferably unbleached
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 3/4 cups buttermilk – see substitution in Note below
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 cup organic vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9- by 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, cornmeal, baking powder, baking soda, salt, dill, oregano, basil, thyme and fennel. Set aside.
  3. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, egg, honey and oil. Stir into the flour mixture just until blended.
  4. Spoon batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle top with sesame seeds.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until tester inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  6. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.


Buttermilk substitution: Stir together 1 3/4 cups regular milk and 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons lemon juice. Let stand for 5 minutes at room temperature. I don’t recommend using powdered buttermilk in this recipe – the bread tends to come out very dry if you do.

High altitude: No adjustments necessary.

Make ahead: Bread can be made up to 2 days ahead, wrapped in foil and refrigerated.

  • Author: From "A Well-Seasoned Kitchen®" by Sally Clayton and Lee Clayton Roper
  • Category: breads, side dishes, quick and easy, pantry recipes
  • Method: Bake