Vegetable Bread: Beetroot
Serves: Makes ~2 medium loaves
Preparation and cooking time: ~3 hours
Calories: ~87 per slice
Hi everyone! For those of you who saw the photo I posted recently on my Facebook page and now wonder where the post is – fear not, I’m posting that shortly. It’s coming up in my next update in fact, but I wanted to post it on a specific day, and when you read my next installment you’ll understand why. For now though, you get to join me in my latest adventures with vegetable bread! I decided that these breads were too fun to not write about. Ever since my pumpkin bread post (real bread too… not this quick stuff) I’ve found the idea of different veggies in the breads very enticing, and while I had considered writing just the one, original post, as I try different vegetables (and perhaps fruits too one day), I thought that it would be very fun to show you the results from each attempt and evaluate each one, as the flavours and colours can vary so wildly. I do apologise if you find my incessant babbling on vegetable bread boring – there will likely be quite a few posts on the topic over the coming months, or even years. I’m an avid bread lover and could pretty much live off the stuff, but if you hate it, or get annoyed with my little series on the stuff don’t feel bad about skipping over these posts.
So, here we are today with beetroot. Loved by some, hated by others, I thought beetroot (or beets as they’re known to some) would be a wonderful thing to try inside bread. It has such a rich colour and delicate sweetness and I was eager to see how that would translate into a loaf. Well – the results were pleasing. Beetroot-haters – fear not, I think you can eat this bread without a care. The final flavour is not “beety” at all. The bread retains a slight sweetness, and a gorgeous earthy, almost malted, flavour. The colour of the bread is surprisingly “normal”, considering the pinkish hue of the dough – I was almost disappointed to see that it hadn’t kept on such a rich colour – only a slightly pink tinge to it – and it makes me wonder how other vegetables will fare: broccoli for example. Will it remain green or simply turn brown?
I originally used a little too much yeast. I was concerned that the beetroot purée, which was very thick, might cause problems with the raising of the dough. As a result the bread was a little yeasty in flavour, although the purée made no impact on the raising process, and I’ve corrected the amount in the ingredients below. The texture of the finished bread was surprising too. It was very springy and airy – much more so than the pumpkin bread before.
I never got around to it as bread seems to vanish in my house, but this is the perfect kind of bread to make a sandwich out of. Nice bit of roast beef, some horseradish sauce, lettuce, sliced tomato, and some slices of decent cheddar – the flavours would complement each other very well. Anyway – I’ll be back in a few days with something yummy and I wish you all an excellent remainder of the week!
- 500g plain Flour
- ~400g Beetroot, boiled until soft and then puréed
- 3tbsps Olive Oil
- ~20g Dried Yeast
- 2tbsps Sugar
- 2tsps Salt
You will also need
- An Immersion Blender
- If your yeast is not quick acting, then start off by placing the yeast into a bowl. Add in a couple of tablespoons of beetroot purée and a few tablespoons of warm water and mix together well. Set aside for 15 minutes until the yeast mixture starts to foam on top. If you’re using quick acting yeast then you can add the yeast directly into the flour and thus skip this step.
- Place the flour, sugar, salt, and olive oil (and the yeast if you’re using quick acting yeast) into a large bowl and blend together well using a balloon whisk. Make a well in the centre and pour in the beetroot purée, which should ideally be slightly warm, and the prepared yeast, if you followed step 1. Mix well with a wooden spoon. You should have a manageable dough but if for any reason the dough is very dry or wet, don’t hesitate to add additional water or flour to correct it. Once you have a good dough, turn out onto a floured surface and knead well for a good 10 minutes before returning to the bowl. Cover with a clean cloth and leave in a warm place for 1 – 1.5 hours to rise.
- Once the dough has risen once, punch it down and turn out of the bowl. Divide into two and form loaves with the dough portions. Slash the tops with a sharp knife and cover once more. Allow to rise again for 45 – 60 minutes, and meanwhile preheat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Carefully transfer the risen loaves into the hot oven and bake for 20 – 25 minutes, until they are crusty and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Allow to cool and enjoy!