My mind was full of ideas of things I wanted to make and post this weekend. The only problem is, when you’re in classes every day, you literally have a window of a weekend for cooking. Add into this mix the fact that it’s dark by around 3pm then you need to get the cooking finished on the Saturday and then use Sunday for the photography. In the end I decided to go for something a little easier. It was still something I’ve never specifically tried before but it was a long time since I added to my list of “Vegetable Breads” – the first of which being, of course, the pumpkin bread I made for Kristy’s winning ingredient submission for my two year “blogiversary” some time ago.
Being very pleased by the results at the time, I decided to move on to other vegetables and opted next for beetroot – thinking, wrongly, that it would yield a wonderful red or purple colour. The end result was more of a “dirty brown” but the bread itself was still good and then after that I just seemed to… “stop”. I had such big plans! I wanted to try more… tomato, broccoli, cucumber, but I just never got around to it, so I decided it was high time that I fired up the oven again and start cranking out some carrot bread. We were out of soft bread anyway, so I got a post subject and a replenished supply of bread in the house to boot
The concept is simple enough; make a yeast bread the way you’d normally make it, but replace the water with cooked, puréed vegetables. It works surprisingly well and delivers beautiful colours and delicate background flavours and fragrances in the loaf. Carrots were no exception and resulted in a glorious orange hue. Vegetable haters – fear not. The flavour of the vegetable is not strong. I’ve never tried making bread out of, say, puréed sprouts or cabbage. Perhaps that wouldn’t be so tasty, but for vegetables which have a good natural sweetness, such as carrots, it works really well. You have a delicately sweet flavour – I suppose one could say it’s a bit like a good brioche – but it’s still very “bread-like” – you’d have no problem at all making a sandwich out of carrot bread, that’s for sure.
I’ve made this bread using my “two-hour no-knead” technique – still the most awesome recipe for bread I know and it works great with vegetables.
I’m hoping to head out soon and take some photos so I hope I’ll be able to share some with you soon to show you all a little more about “my area”. We’re finally getting a winter it seems. After some weeks of temperatures hovering around just under the freezing point they’ve finally sunk to -20 degrees Celsius. Half an hour outside and you really appreciate having a warm home to go back to: a roof over your head, clothing, and food. I feel fortunate.
I’ll sign off for today, but enjoy the carrot bread and I’ll be back soon.
- 1kg Plain Flour
- 900g Carrots
- 22g Quick Acting Yeast
- 1tbsp Salt
- ~200ml Water to bind the dough
- Start by placing a large pot of water on to boil. Peel the carrots and remove the tops and bottoms. Slice into chunks and place into the water. Boil for about 20-30 minutes until soft.
- Strain the carrot, discarding most - but not quite all - of the water. Transfer the carrots into a food processor and blitz until puréed and smooth, adding a bit of the water if necessary.
- Place the flour into a large bowl and stir in the salt. Mix in the yeast and then, if sufficiently cool (it should be warm but not too hot as it will kill the yeast), pour in the carrot purée to the flour and mix well. Add a bit of extra water if needed to bind the dough. Mix well and set aside in a warm place, covered with a cloth, to prove for an hour.
- Punch down the dough and turn out onto a floured surface. Divide between 2 or 3 greased loaf tins, or alternatively form other shapes (rolls, etc.) and set aside again, covered with a cloth, to rise for about 45 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius and transfer the risen dough into the oven. Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and it sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Set aside to cool and then enjoy!