There’s nothing quite like the satisfying aroma of freshly baked goods wafting through your home. But have you ever considered adding herbs to your baking? Yes, I said herbs – those little green things that usually just sit in your spice rack collecting dust. Trust me, they’re not just for savory dishes anymore.
Using herbs in baking can add a whole new level of depth and complexity to your sweet treats and breads. Plus, it’s a great way to use up any extra herbs you may have hanging around in your kitchen.
Now, before you scoff at the idea of putting rosemary or thyme in your cookies, hear me out. So put on your apron and let’s explore some unusual uses for herbs in baking that you might not have considered before.
Introduction to Using Herbs in Baking
If you’ve ever wanted to add a little extra something to your favorite baked goods, but weren’t sure how, then this section is for you. Herbs are a great way to add flavor and depth to your baking, and they can also provide some unexpected health benefits.
Using herbs in baking is an age-old tradition that has been passed down through generations, and it’s easy to see why. Not only do herbs like rosemary, thyme, and lavender add delicious flavors to your baked goods, but they also have medicinal properties that can help with everything from digestion to anxiety.
Some of the most popular herbs for baking include cinnamon (great for adding warmth and sweetness), basil (perfect for savory dishes), and mint (known for its refreshing taste).
So next time you’re whipping up a batch of cookies or muffins, consider adding some fresh or dried herbs into the mix – you might just be surprised at how much it enhances the overall flavor!
Savory Herb Baking
Savory herb-infused breads and pastries have become increasingly popular in recent years, with sales of herb-flavored baked goods up 25% since 2015.
One of my favorite savory herb baking recipes is herb and cheese bread. In this recipe, I use a combination of rosemary, thyme, and garlic to infuse the dough with a delicious aroma and flavor. Once baked, the bread has a crispy crust and a soft interior that’s perfect for sandwiches or served alongside soups.
Another savory herb-infused pastry that I enjoy making is herb-infused savory pastries. These delicious treats are made by mixing chopped herbs such as basil, parsley, or cilantro into the pastry dough before baking.
The end result is a flaky pastry full of fragrant herbs and spices that pairs perfectly with savory fillings like sausage or cheese. Whether you’re looking to add some variety to your baking repertoire or simply want to experiment with new flavors, incorporating herbs into your savory baked goods is an easy way to take your baking game to the next level!
Sweet Herb Baking
I absolutely love experimenting with herbs in my baking, and two of my favorites are lavender and lemon verbena.
Lavender adds a beautiful floral flavor to cakes and cookies, and pairs especially well with vanilla.
Lemon verbena is a bright and citrusy herb that works wonderfully in tarts and pies, adding a zingy freshness to the filling.
Lavender in Cakes and Cookies
You’ll be surprised how delicious lavender can taste in your cakes and cookies. Not only does it add a unique floral flavor, but there are also several benefits of using lavender in baking.
Lavender is known for its calming properties and can help reduce stress and anxiety. It also has anti-inflammatory properties that may help with digestive issues.
When it comes to using lavender in baking, not all types are created equal. English lavender is the most commonly used variety because of its sweet flavor and fragrance. However, French lavender has a stronger scent and flavor, which may overpower other ingredients if not used sparingly. It’s important to use culinary-grade lavender as well to ensure that it hasn’t been treated with any harmful chemicals or pesticides.
Incorporating lavender into your baked goods is relatively easy. You can either infuse the flower buds into a liquid like milk or cream before adding them to your recipe or sprinkle them directly on top of the batter before baking.
Some popular recipes include lavender shortbread cookies and lemon-lavender cake. So next time you’re in the mood for something sweet, give lavender a chance to shine in your baked creations!
Lemon Verbena in Tarts and Pies
If life’s a bowl of cherries, then adding a dollop of sunshine on top comes in the form of lemon verbena tarts and pies. Lemon verbena is an herb perfect for desserts due to its bright lemony flavor. Adding this herb to custards infuses a refreshing twist to traditional dessert recipes.
To make the perfect lemon verbena tart or pie, keep in mind the following three tips:
1. Use fresh lemon verbena leaves for maximum flavor.
2. Brew the leaves in milk or cream before making the custard filling.
3. Pair your dessert with a lemon verbena cocktail to enhance the herb’s citrusy notes and create a well-rounded culinary experience.
Incorporating herbs into baking allows you to experiment with unique flavors and elevate classic recipes. Lemon verbena, with its vibrant taste and versatility, adds a touch of sophistication to any dessert menu.
Herb Infused Liquids
I love using herbs in my cooking, especially when it comes to making herb infused liquids.
One of my favorite ways to use these is by making herb infused syrups that can be used in cocktails or desserts.
Another great way to incorporate these liquids into your baking is by substituting them for traditional ingredients like water or milk, adding a unique and delicious flavor profile to your baked goods.
Making Herb Infused Syrups
Get ready to take your sweet treats to the next level with some delicious syrups infused with a variety of flavorful herbs. Making herb infused syrups is an easy way to add depth and complexity to your desserts. These syrups can also be used in herb-infused cocktails or as medicinal herb syrups.
To make a syrup, start by combining equal parts sugar and water in a small saucepan. Heat the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Add your desired herbs, such as lavender, thyme, or rosemary, and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until the flavors have infused into the syrup. Strain out the herbs and allow the syrup to cool before storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
The possibilities are endless when it comes to using these flavorful herb-infused syrups. Drizzle them over pancakes or waffles, mix them into yogurt or oatmeal for added sweetness and flavor, or use them as a glaze on baked goods like cakes and cookies. With just a few simple steps, you can elevate any dessert with these deliciously versatile herb-infused syrups!
Using Herb Infused Liquids in Baking
Discover the unexpected flavors that can be added to your baked goods by incorporating herb infused liquids.
Herb infused milk is a great way to add subtle yet distinct flavors to your cakes, muffins, and other sweet treats. To make herb infused milk, simply heat up milk in a saucepan and add your desired herbs. Let it steep for 10-15 minutes, strain out the herbs, and use the flavored milk in your baking recipe.
Another way to incorporate herbs into your baked goods is by using herb extracts in frosting. Mint extract pairs perfectly with chocolate cake or cupcakes while lavender extract goes well with lemon or vanilla flavored desserts.
You can easily make extracts at home by soaking fresh or dried herbs in vodka for a few weeks and then straining out the solids. Add a few drops of the extract to your favorite frosting recipe for an extra burst of flavor that will take your dessert game up a notch.
Tips for Using Herbs in Baking
Make your desserts even more delicious by incorporating fragrant and flavorful herbs into your recipes with these helpful tips!
When it comes to using herbs in baking, it’s important to consider the herb pairing. Not all herbs work well with every type of dessert, so it’s important to choose herbs that complement the flavors you’re working with. For example, lavender pairs well with lemon and vanilla flavors, while rosemary goes well with chocolate and fruit-based desserts.
Another useful tip is to use herb substitution when baking. If a recipe calls for a certain spice or ingredient that you don’t have on hand, try substituting an herb instead. For example, if a recipe calls for cinnamon, but you’re out of it, try using ground nutmeg or cardamom instead. These substitutions can add unique flavor profiles to your baked goods and make them stand out from the crowd.
Incorporating herbs into your baking can be a fun way to experiment with different flavor combinations and take your desserts to the next level. By following these tips for herb pairing and substitution, you’ll be able to create delicious treats that will impress all of your family and friends.
As a seasoned baker, I’ve experimented with various ingredients over the years. However, using herbs in baking has been one of the most exciting ventures yet.
The subtle and unique flavors that different herbs bring to baked goods can truly elevate them to another level. From savory herb bread to sweet lavender shortbread cookies, there are endless possibilities when it comes to incorporating herbs into your baking.
Just like adding spice to a recipe, herbs can add depth and complexity to your baked goods. It’s like creating a symphony of flavors – each herb playing its own instrument in harmony with the others.
So next time you’re in the kitchen whipping up some treats, don’t be afraid to reach for those jars of dried or fresh herbs on your shelf. With a little creativity and experimentation, you might just discover a new favorite flavor combination that will impress even the most discerning taste buds.