Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is one of my favourite herbs, particularly at this time of year. It grows as a tall, bushy, common weed in cities. It is easy to identify by appearance and scent and I love to add it to cooking, several remedies and household herbal products. After one of my recent Herb Walks, two of the group reported back that they had incorporated some Mugwort into homemade bread. Today I had a go at the same, adding a good heaped tablespoon of fresh, chopped Mugwort leaves to my usual bread recipe. I think it tastes very nice and I’ll use it this way again. Mugwort bread is not as dramatic tasting as using Mugwort as a vegetable but it is pleasantly savory and quite aromatic. It also seems to add to the moistness of the bread. Very agreeable. I have just enjoyed a few slices, loaded up with peanut butter, not a bad combination!
I’ll add my bread recipe another time but there are plenty to find online and in cookbooks. I make mine with half Speltflour and half Wheatflour, 4 cups in all, plus 1 teaspoon dried yeast, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 3/4 cups water. Simply add the chopped herb at the start of the dough making process.
Mugwort used to be a popular culinary herb but has fallen out of fashion. The herb is bitter and aromatic and can be substituted for similar, more familiar herbs such as Tarragon (Artemisia dracunculus) and Sage (Salvia officinalis). As with all familiar culinary herbs, it should be used in small quantities and introduced gradually into the diet, keeping an eye out for personal reactions. You should also be aware that Mugwort is said to be unsafe for ingestion during pregnancy (although in China it is sometimes recommended to prevent miscarriage).
So if you like making bread and you have properly identified some Mugwort near your home, maybe give Mugwort bread a try. Thank you Daniel and Amalie for the tip!