German Bread Spice Mixture

Art of spices
zeljkosantrac / Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 5 mins
Servings: 10 to 12 servings
Yield: 3/4 cup
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
21 Calories
1g Fat
3g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10 to 12
Amount per serving
Calories 21
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 2mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 1mg 7%
Calcium 50mg 4%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 90mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Brotgewürz refers to a variety of bread spice mixtures often used in German bread making. Made of some staple spices, with the occasional addition or change in amounts depending on tradition, taste, and the type of bread that the spice is made for, brotgewürz is a natural flavor enhancer that brings to your homemade loafs the warming flavor of classic German breads. Used most often in southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, as well as South Tyrol province in Italy, this mix is easily found in German supermarkets and online retailers, but it's really simple to make it at home. Besides, by mixing the spices yourself you don't get the unnecessary additives, anti-caking agents, and sometimes high amounts of sodium that premade spice mixtures contain. Our bread mixture can be used with rye, whole wheat, or white flour doughs and can transform your classic bread baking into a new and delicious adventure. These spices make for excellent rustic loaves and sandwich loaves alike, and the delicious fragrance and flavor pair perfectly with strong cheeses, cold cuts, and bold spreads.

Caraway, anise, fennel, and coriander, with optional fenugreek, make an easy-to-use mixture that you can add to your dough in one to three tablespoon amounts. Caraway is commonly used in bread making and adds a citrusy and nutty flavor that's slightly pungent. Anise provides its well-known licorice touch and a makes for a fragrant bread. Sweet and warming fennel provides an extra layer of mild licorice. The burnt sugary taste of fenugreek complements the other spices to make for a mixture that creates a boldly flavored loaf of bread. Some recipes will call for more or less of the spice mixture, but if this is your first time making and using this kind of seasoning, start at the low end and go from there as these are potent spices that some people find overwhelming at times.

These spices add a special character to the bread and make bread baking fun for newbies who are interested in learning the craft and the vast amount of possibilities that come with bread. Whenever possible, buy your spices whole and grind them at home, as this conserves their flavors and strength for longer periods of time than using ground spices. As a general rule, unless indicated by the recipe, dry spices are mixed with the dough at the beginning of the kneading process to allow for proper development of the flavor. If using a bread machine, follow the manufacturer's instructions for when to add the spice mix.


  • 5 tablespoons caraway seed

  • 3 tablespoons anise seed

  • 3 tablespoons fennel seed

  • 1 tablespoon coriander seed

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons ground fenugreek, or sweet trefoil, allspice, or cardamom, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Grind all seeds together in a clean coffee grinder or with a mortar and pestle. Store with other spices in a dark, dry area of the house. If you prefer, you may instead mix together the whole seeds.

  3. Use 1 to 3 teaspoons of the spice mixture per loaf of bread.