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How to Make Bread Spice for German Bread

When it comes to baking bread, I will sometimes refer to “Bread Spice”. If you want the rich taste of German Bread, you will need this!
A bread can have a really good taste of it’s own and bread spice is not really necessary. However, many bread recipes recommend bread spice to enhance the taste or steer it into a certain direction. Now, the ingredients of bread spice are not really my favorite spices, so the more surprising it was to me, that they don’t take over the flavor of the bread.

Don’t like Caraway Seeds?

Well, I hear you! When I first started to make my own German bread spice, I used less if the caraway seed, just to make sure it will not come out too strong. Also, I was careful with using the spice in the dough. Little by little I started to use more, asking my family first what they think about adding more spice. You should probably start with a teaspoon and check back with your family how they like the taste and add more if they don’t know what you are talking about. For us, it had turned out that 2 to 2.5 teaspoons on one bread is the minimum we need – depending on the loaf size. If the bread is for sandwiches with ham etc. I use 3 or more teaspoons of the bread spice. 1 Tablespoon per 1 kg dough is usually recommended. But if you are planning to use the bread with sweet toppings like jam, Nutella or honey, then I would recommend to use less of the bread spice. Experiment with it!

Bread Spice

Please do not mix up bread spice with bread dipping seasoning. That is a total different thing.

I happen to have some packages of bread spice in my pantry since my father in law and my daughter just brought them for me from Germany. That’t how it is sold in Germany.

But you really don’t need friends in Germany to send you this stuff. It is so easy to make it!

Spices for Bread


Making Bread Spice for German Bread

4.25 from 8 votes
Cuisine German


  • 2 tbsp fennel
  • 2 tbsp caraway seed
  • 2 tbsp aniseed
  • 2 tbsp coriander


  • Add all spices to a mortar or coffee grinder and grind until you have a nicely ground bread spice.
    Bortgewuerz / bread spice
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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22 thoughts on “How to Make Bread Spice for German Bread”

  1. Hallo Barbara. Zuerst, vielen dank für die Rezepte, die you tube Videos und diene Website. Sie siehen alle so gut aus. I am going to try my 1st ever shot at making my sourdough starter as well as the Rye bread afterwards. I am nervous but sooo looking fwd to this new cooking and baking passion that I just recently discovered. May I ask what bread or breads the spices can be used with? I believe I read that it is not quite for Rye bread? I have read so many of your notes and recipes, I may have gotten confused.
    Thank you and Danke Gott fur dich und deine Talente!

    1. Hi Mariane,
      the bread spice can be used in rye bread. I personally don’t use it there though because I like how the bread tastes without the spice … but that might be just me. You can use it in any savory bread, don’t use it in sweet bread or rolls though.

  2. If using whole spices, it helps tremendously to give them a light toasting in cast iron just before grinding. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Heather Pendragon

    My husband is a huge European bread fan having traveled a LOT. He loves all rye breads and I am THRILLED at the prospect of surprising him with this. I think it is JUST what he has been trying so hard for almost 30 years to communicate to me. Can’t WAIT to make it! Thank you SOOO much!

  4. Laura H Justice

    Have searched for years for small town dunkelbrot. Getting closer! Hoping this bread spice is the key. Thank you.

  5. 4 stars
    Thanks for all the answers – I have Coriander seeds – can I use those instead of ground coriander?


  6. Question, On the package shown is a picture of “star anise” and in your recipe is anise seed. These are not the same, albeit with similar qualities, but in culinary terms not the same. So which is it? Thanks in advance of any clarification

  7. Do you use the whole of that amount in one loaf? I bought a small tun of Farmer’s Bread Spice and that suggested 2 tsp per loaf.

    1. No, this is just a recipe for a batch of bread spice. You only use one to two teaspoons per loaf.

  8. Thank you for the recipe! I have been looking for the recipe since my best friend’s mother passed many years ago. She taught me to make it when I was a teenager, and once I saw how hard it was to stir, I lost interest. I thought I could never make the bread. I’m stronger now. This looks very close to her bread.

  9. 5 stars
    It is 2020 and I just now found this recipe.
    I ground them up and it smells heavenly. It reminds me of growing up in Detroit and eating Polish rye bread. Thank you.

  10. 5 stars
    Hello Barbra,

    I just found you.. been looking for more than 4 years to make a good authentic German brot!!

    I’m so grateful dear :) Thank you so very much :)

  11. William Stewart

    I have two questions: 1) Your recipe calls for four ingredients, but the picture shows five; did you leave something out? 2) I see you use both anise and fennel; aren’t their flavors basically the same? (I know they are different plants.)

    1. The jar in the center of the picture is the finished bread spice. I can see now how that can be confusing. Fennel and Anis: They taste very much alike, I agree. But this is the standard recipe and I have actually nothing else to say in its defense. I never tried to remove one for the other so I am not sure how much different it might taste. The question is probably if they change their individual taste in the heat of the baking. Not sure.

      1. William Stewart

        5 stars
        Thank you for introducing me to Brotgewürz, Barbara! It was just what I needed to perfect my Jewish Rye Bread recipe. Anise is rather stronger and more pungent than fennel, with an almost musky flavor; the fennel is milder with a hint of sweetness, so they are enough different to both contribute to the blend. I used equal parts of the whole spices, as you suggest, and added another part of whole allspice to the grinder (allspice was suggested in some of the Jewish rye recipes I consulted before coming up with my own recipe–I have also seen it in other Brotgewürz recipes). Now I will have to try your Mischbrot, which is what brought me to your site in the first place.

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4.25 from 8 votes (3 ratings without comment)
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