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Scarborough Fair Bread Machine Cheese Bread

Updated on October 22, 2013

Are You Going to Scarborough Fair?

Take some of this bread with you!

This is an easy herb bread recipe that uses the four herbs listed in the lyrics of the old folk song "Scarborough Fair," popularized by Simon and Garfunkel in the 1960s.

Why the combination of parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme? Is it a love potion? Is it a medicinal/spiritual poultice that will ward off evil spirits and/or the Black Plague? Who really knows?

One thing’s sure, though. When you combine those four spices in a homemade bread, you have a real treat for the senses of taste and smell. And when you put cheese into the mix, it makes this bread machine herb bread even better.

So dig that bread machine out of the back of the cabinet and make some today!

Listen while you read (or bake). It's a great song!

Interesting Music History Sidenote

The original song "Scarborough Fair" dates back to the 17th century, but the familiar refrain "parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme" was not added until much later. Earlier incarnations of the song had the following refrains instead: "sober and grave grows merry in time"; "every rose grows merry with time"; and "there's never a rose grows fairer with time."

None of these would make for a very good bread recipe, though, so I'm glad somebody changed the lyrics!

What You'll Need to Make the Bread

  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons Ideal sweetener (white)
  • 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Map of the United Kingdom

And before Scarborough Fair...

There was "The Elfin Knight", a Scottish ballad originating sometime before 1650, which contains these lines (among others):

"For thou must shape a sark to me,Without any cut or heme," quoth he.

These words are spoken by the knight to the maiden who longs to marry him. He tells her that she can marry him if she performs these impossible tasks. She follows up by requesting that he perform some impossible tasks himself, thereby winning his heart and the right to claim her place as his bride.

It's not surprising "Scarborough Fair" bears a close resemblance to "The Elfin Knight". "Scarborough Fair" is, after all, said to originate from Yorkshire, a county in Northern England that borders Scotland. News of the song wouldn't have had to travel far, and it was only a matter of time until the Englishmen adapted the song to better fit their own culture.

Need a bread machine? Try This One!

Sunbeam 5891 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker, White
Sunbeam 5891 2-Pound Programmable Breadmaker, White

I love my Sunbeam breadmaker! It does everything the higher-priced models do, it comes with an easy-to-understand instruction book, and it makes a perfect loaf every time!


How to Make the Bread

  1. Warm the milk in a saucepan on medium heat until bubbles just begin to form on the surface, stirring constantly.
  2. Pour the Ideal into the milk and keep stirring.
  3. Add the yeast and mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour the milk mixture into the breadmaker.
  5. Let the mixture sit for about 10 minutes until the yeast is completely dissolved. It should be foamy.
  6. Add the eggs, olive oil, bread flour, salt, herbs, and cheese.
  7. Set the machine on Basic (or French, if you prefer a crunchier crust).
  8. Set the crust color to light or medium.
  9. Press Start.

Wait for the breadmaker to do its magic, remove the bread, and enjoy!

Homemade Made Simple

Bread machines are great tools because they make it easier for today's busy families to enjoy the same homemade bread goodness our ancestors did in less than half the time. And models like the Sunbeam have a delay timer, so you can set it to start up to 13 hours after you put all the ingredients in. You're completely in charge!

Now you have no excuse not to make homemade bread for those you love. And this is a great bread machine recipe that will taste like you slaved for hours to make it. So quit reading (or listening to the music), and start baking!


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    • workingmomwm profile image

      Mishael Austin Witty 6 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I highly recommend getting one! It does simplify things so much! You're welcome. :-)

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      I am very tempted to get a bread machine, simply because I love bread so much and it can be quite a bit of work to make-so I don't.

      This looks delicious - thanks for sharing!