Spicy Fennel Bread

Spicy fennel bread on a wooden board

The smell of this Spicy Fennel Bread is still lingering in the house making me feel so cozy! A few years ago a breakfast spot opened up downtown that started making Spicy Fennel Bagels. As an avid everything bagel lover, I was not sure at first but was quickly convinced to give it a try. Oh my goodness was I happily surprised. The spice given off by the fennel was perfection melted into the bagel. A bit later I moved and craved these bagels so I decided to make my own version, Spicy Fennel Bread.


Spicy Fennel Bread

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 1 loaf


  • 3 cups flour AP or Bread flour
  • ½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 pinch sugar
  • 1 ½ cup room temperature water
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp minced onion
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds


  • In a measuring cup add the room temperatire water, yeast, and sugar. Mix well
  • In a large bowl add the flour, salt, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, minced onion, and fennel. Mix well until combined and any flour clumps are broken up
  • Slowly pour in the yeast water mixture and stir into the flour
  • Hand knead the bread until everthing is combined well and you have an even consistency
  • Let bread rest over night on the counter with the bowl covered by pastic wrap
  • Let dough rise for 10-14 hours
  • Remove dough onto counter and knead once more, let rise 30 minutes to an hour
  • Preheat oven to 450°
  • Add a handful of flour to your dutch oven, cover with the lid, and place in oven while it preheats
  • Once oven is heated, remove the dutch oven and place the dough in the oven covered
  • Bake for 30 minutes and remove cover, bake for another 30 minutes
  • Remove from oven and place on a rack to cool!
Cut open spicy fennel bread on a wooden board

Fennel Seeds?

Fennel is one of those things that people love or hate, so I won’t take it personal if this isn’t the recipe for you. But it is a unique flavor not used often. The fennel seed gives an illusion of spice with its mild sweetness and bit of licorice. Mix in some dried onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes and this bread is killer! Make sure to let rest so the dough can rise before baking. This bread is typically pretty dense. I haven’t tried my hand at bagels yet but I crave that dense bread consistency when I make this Spicy Fennel Bread.

Cast iron pot with baked spicy fennel bread

We like to make this at least once a month and eat all week long. The Spicy Fennel Bread won’t keep much longer than that since there are no preservatives in it. Typically 5 days is our limit, but most times we don’t even make it the full 5 days before all that is left is crispy crust flakes. You can use this as a sandwich bread or anything else you use regular bread for. We like to toast the Spicy Fennel Bread and make breakfast sandwiches with it. Or toasted with a good spread of cream cheese and a coffee on a Sunday morning.

Baked spicy fennel bread on a wooden board

From our kitchen to yours, cheers!

3 comments on “Spicy Fennel Bread”

  1. 4 stars
    I made this this morning, and it is delicious. I used 1/2 tsp of red pepper flakes, because my husband doesn’t like spicy food. The strange thing about this recipe, for me, was the final step. I removed the lid from the Dutch oven after 30 minutes, and the bread appeared to be done. I removed it from the oven, let it cool before cutting, and it was, indeed, done. An additional 30 minutes of baking would have left me with charcoal.

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