Whole Story

The Official Whole Foods Market® Blog

Mom's Cooking Experiment: Broccoli Bread

In this ongoing blog series, Christine, a budget-minded mom and Whole Foods Market® team member, explores ways to create healthy, organic foods that appeal to both child and husband. Read the other posts in her ongoing series.

I love bread. I love broccoli! Why not broccoli bread? I was excited to see what would happen when I combined the two. This recipe for Broccoli Bread is simple and affordable and provides my family with another unique way of eating vegetables.

I once made lovely, gluten-free banana bread, but I have not experimented much with savory breads, so I searched a whole bunch of bread recipes online to get ideas for what ingredients to include and they all used sugar. Since I wanted to make this a healthier bread, I left out the sugar and added whole wheat flour. Needless to say, the first time that I tried making this recipe it was an epic failure! The dough did not rise and when I baked it, it was a scorched on the outside and uncooked on the inside.

It turns out there’s a science to making bread rise. For the final recipe I kept it simple and yes, I included the sugar.


1 (1/4-ounce) package active dry yeast

1 teaspoon organic cane sugar

2 1/2 cups organic all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1 cup finely chopped cooked broccoli

Start this recipe by adding the yeast and sugar to 1 cup warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes.

Then, place the mixture into a food processor using the plastic bread blade or a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Slowly add the flour, olive oil and salt and mix the dough until it begins to form into a ball. Once thoroughly mixed, place the dough in a warm place and cover it with a cloth. Let the dough rise for at least 1 hour.  

After 1 hour of time has passed, check to see that it has risen. This is my son’s job. He loves to see the bread rise. If it has, it’s time to bake your bread. Pre-heat the oven to 475°F. Place the bread on a floured surface and begin to knead it. Now, the key ingredient – the broccoli.

This recipe calls for cooked broccoli. It’s a great way to use up leftover broccoli from last night’s dinner. If you don’t have any in your fridge, chop enough raw broccoli to make 1 cup and cook it for 7 minutes in boiling water. Steamed broccoli works, as well. Chop the broccoli into really small pieces. Then, knead it into the bread.

Form the bread dough into a circle and place it on a greased surface. Bake for 14-16 minutes.

The bread smells so good when it’s baking in the oven. My son ate it with organic butter and my husband and I dipped it in organic extra-virgin olive oil. Even I was pretty amazed at how good the bread tasted. I love this recipe – it’s now one of my favorites. It just goes to show how fun and worthwhile experimenting in the kitchen can be!  

Have you ever added vegetables to your homemade bread? I’d love to hear how it turned out. Tell me about it in the comments below.