Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Homemade Whole Grain Bread

Full holiday mode has filled our life for the last few weeks, and as such, I've been living the life of indulgence.  But with schedules bouncing us from even to event, I'm embarrassed to admit I've occasionally considered a whole grain peanut butter cookie to be lunch (protein and whole grains... right??).  Needless to say, my menu planning has been a bit sketchy.

However... thanks to an offer from the fabulous people at Kroger, we've been the lucky recipient of their new line of Private Selection Finishing Butters.  And thanks to this offer, my meal planning suddenly took a turn for the better.

Receiving their entire line on a Monday, our busiest day of the week with Liv's schedule putting her through a 14 hour day of school and dance rehearsals, I needed to have dinner on the table perfectly timed for her 1 hour break.

With chicken being a frequent request, I had a beautiful bird ready to roast, but I had forgotten to make the rub.  Enter Kroger's Lemon, Garlic and Herb Butter!

Quickly melting the already seasoned butter I simply rubbed it onto the chicken and had him in the oven and me out the door to gather Liv in no time.  Arriving home to the house filled with restaurant-like aromas, Liv tucked into the chicken and proclaimed it "One of the best ever."  When she asked how I made it so good, I simply told her it was a new recipe I put together, to which she replied, "Good... make sure not to lose this one!".  (Sorry Kroger... I didn't tell her how easy it was!!  Nor did I share the recipe credit...)

Thanksgiving week brought a little extra time along with homemade dinner rolls, and a brush of the Roasted Garlic and Herb Butter lent a nice touch to the top of our freshly baked rolls, again, making me look good.  Leisurely mornings with French Toast?  A dollop of the Cinnamon and Brown Sugar Butter gave breakfast a special touch, and once again... cooking kudos for me.

But my favorite of the week had to be this Homemade Whole Grain Bread topped with Premium Selection Honey Butter.  I've always had a weak spot for a sweet honey butters, but I have to admit I don't always take the time to make them.  With Kroger's Honey Butter sitting already prepared in the fridge, a simple brush of the melted butter proved to be the perfect finish.

I can't thank Kroger enough for giving us the opportunity to try the butters, but even better... Kroger providing us a giveaway that includes a Private Selection Kit filled with a sweet and savory inspired selection of Private Selection Items along with a $100 Kroger (can also be used at Ralph's) Gift Card to one of our readers!

-This Giveaway is Closed-

Private Selection Sweet  Savory Kit and Kroger Gift Card Giveaway Rules
  • No purchase necessary
  • Open only to residents of the United States
  • Duration:  Tuesday December 3rd through Monday, December 9th at noon PST
  • Use PromoSimple Widget to enter
  • Winner will be selected by PromoSimple within 48 hours of the sweepstakes closing and contacted by email. Winners have 24 hours to respond to their notification email to claim their prize. If they do not respond, another winner will be chosen by PromoSimple. All prizes will be awarded.
  • Prize Description:  The giveaway includes a Private Selection Kit filled with a sweet and savory inspired selection of Private Selection items and a $100 Kroger family of stores gift card.
  • Giveaway sponsored by Kroger
Many thanks to Kroger for making me look good these last few weeks even though my schedule hasn't really allowed for special planning.  We appreciate the opportunity to try the finishing butters and also to share them.

But, how about that bread recipe??  Deemed a new favorite in the Liv Life household, we've had 3 loaves in the last week alone and I can't see our love stopping any time soon.  Filled with whole grains, this bread provides soft, tender slices for sandwiches and also toasts like a dream.  Enjoy!

Homemade Whole Grain Bread
Soft and tender, this bread makes fabulous toast.  A new Liv Life favorite, the kids have been asking, "Mom... do we have fresh bread today??" as they walk in from school, and I'm happy with the serving of whole grains.

If you prefer a lighter bread, adjust the whole wheat/all-purpose flour ratio to your taste.  Note that different amounts of flour will be required depending on humidity levels as well as flour measuring techniques.  If your dough is too wet towards the end of mixing, add more flour by tablespoons until your reach the proper texture.
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1 1/3 cups warm water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (we prefer Red Star)
1 Tbs oil or melted butter
2 Tbs pure maple syrup
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 3/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cup oat bran

1 - 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3-4 Tbs sprouted wheat berries (optional)
melted butter for brushing

Add the water and active dry yeast to the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add the oil or butter, maple syrup and salt.  Add 1 cup whole wheat flour and begin mixer. Add oat bran and continue to mix.  Switching to dough hook (unless you started with it) now add the remaining whole wheat flour and mix to combine.  Add the all-purpose flour 1/2 cup at a time until the dough forms a ball.  Allow to knead for 6-10 minutes or until the dough becomes smooth and supple, adding the sprouted wheat berries towards the end of kneading if desired.

Place dough in an oiled bowl and cover with a clean dish towel.  Allow to rise in a warm place for an hour to an hour and a half (dough may not fully double in size, but will rise and become "puffy").   Punch dough down and place into a lightly oiled 8 1/2-inch by 4 1/2-inch bread pan.  Cover again with the clean dish towel and allow to rise - about 1 hour. 

Toward the end of the rising time, preheat oven to 350ºF.  When dough has risen, place pan into the oven and bake until bread is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped, about 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and immediately brush with a tablespoon or so of melted butter.  Allow to cool.  Enjoy!

Liv Life Note:  If your house is anything like mine this time of year, finding a warm place for the bread to rise can be difficult.  I heat 1 cup of water to boiling in my microwave,  push the cup to the side and place covered bread into the microwave (do not turn on).  I'm always amazed at the perfect temp that 1 cup of water makes that little space!


  1. Looks like a yummy week at your house Kim. I'd love a peanut butter sandwich on that wonderful looking bread!

    1. Chris... I can tell you from personal experience that PBJ on this bread is fabulous! :)

  2. Heavens, I'm loving that bread. I also have to admit that I'd be like you and take the credit for the chicken without citing the finishing butter. I love that you did that. :)

    1. It's all about making mommy look good... right?!!

  3. I want to slather these butters on just about everything, starting with that fabulous, fluffy loaf of bread!

  4. Great giveaway Kim! Thanks for the tip about using the microwave to allow the bread to rise.

    1. :) You might not need that tip in Hawaii though!!

  5. The cinnamon sugar butter looks great

  6. I had issue after issue with the form to enter this. I think it might be the firefox browser, but none of the buttons were there to make anything easy, but I did the tweet and FB likes by going to the pages themselves in another window and liking... hope you understand my little notes ...
    One thing even took me to a norwegian translate page!

    1. I'm so sorry Johannah!!! Norwegian translate??? Goodness! Where did that come from!! I'll get you into the contest!

  7. There's nothing better than a warm slice of homemade slathered in honey butter!

  8. Those finishing butters sound so good!! I'd love to taste test every one slathered on warm slices of your gorgeous bread. :-)

    1. I'd love to share a morning with you and a loaf of bread Krista!!

  9. BRead, the best thing when it come out the oven and slathered with some butter, oh so yum.

    1. I know we are supposed to wait until it cools to cut it, but I never can!

  10. What a gorgeous loaf!!! I love that it uses a bit of maple syrup for sweetness. And those Kroger butters sound terrific, too!


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