Vegetable Bread: Beetroot

Serves: Makes ~2 medium loaves
Cost: ~€1.20
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?

Beetroot Bread

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!

Beetroot Bread

Ingredients

Beetroot Bread ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. 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.
    Activating the yeast
  2. 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.
    Proving the dough
  3. 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! :)
    Beetroot Bread

Comments

  1. Veronica says

    I HATE beets, Charles, but that bread sure looks good – a little like the Vogels bread I used to eat in New Zealand.
    I made pear bread the other day – not worth repeating unfortunately – but am tempted to try this…
    I, for one, aren’t bored with your bread stories – keep them coming!
    Veronica

      • Veronica says

        Three real pears. But it was stodgy, really heavy. And it made an enormous loaf – couldn’t get through it. Shame. Still, my next bread will be beetroot :)

  2. says

    I have to say I’ve never had beetroot bread but now I’m dying to try some. What a gorgeous looking loaf. I know we’re friends on FB but I don’t think I’m getting your updates. I’ll look into it xx

    • says

      Hi Charlie – the beetroot flavour didn’t come through strongly alas (I love it so I was really hoping it would) but it gave the loaf a lovely rich colour! Hope you get to try it :)

  3. says

    I love beetroot and find this rather intriguing. It’s too bad the colour wasn’t retained through baking, it would have been would incredible! Would the flavours be stronger if you had oven roasted the beetroots?
    Hmmm, how about a roasted garlic loaf?

    • says

      Hi Eva – I think the flavours probably would be stronger if you roasted, indeed! Great idea! For me, I’d love a stronger beet flavour, but I’m wondering if it would go down so well amongst people who weren’t such big fans :D

  4. says

    wow I’ve never seen a beetroot bread. I’ve tried a beetroot cake but not a bread and I’m really intrigued now. I love how you use different vegetables in breads. It is a shame that the bright colour disappeared after baking but it still looks delicious!

    • says

      Hi BA – I’ve seen beetroot cakes too… usually mixed with chocolate I think, right? I’m a big fan of making breads out of veg though – it’s a really fun series of experiments!

  5. says

    Well, I for one greatly enjoy beets and their greens and the simplicity of this recipe makes me think that I could even pull it off!! :). The dough is such a pretty colour… it’s funny how it bakes darker and the intensity fades. I remember when I made beet muffins – I was so delighted with the rich colour only to see it turn brown in the oven! Ah well, it’s the taste that counts, right? Your loaf still retains a nice mauve hue. Lovely Charles.

    • says

      Thanks Karen – I couldn’t agree more… it’s a fab way of “tricking” people into eating more vegetables, although, to be honest, by the time it’s been boiled, puréed and baked, I’m not sure how much nutrients from the original veg are left anymore :D

  6. says

    Beautiful loaf of bread, Charles. As I’ve never tasted beets, I don’t have a real concept of ‘beety’ flavourwise, but it doesn’t sound like it would be bad at all and if I didn’t know ahead of time what it was, to negatively influence my expectation, I think I would enjoy it. I can see these veggie breads in William’s future. :)

    Vegetable (puree) bread is such an interesting concept that I can see where your obsession came from. :) Like the other posters, I share your disappointment that the vibrant pink of the proofing yeast mixture and the finished dough is lost during the baking and look forward to your future attempts.

    You mentioned fruit in the future … can we expect the ubiquitous blueberries to show up? A vibrant colour to start with. I wonder what it will end up looking like. Maybe it will end up in french toast.

    • says

      Hi A_ – well, if you’ve never tried beets, or don’t want to try beets then I think you’re safe with this. It’s really not “beety” at all ;)

      I’m not sure how well fruit breads would turn out… I’d be eager to try for sure. Blueberries would make a great ingredient, but they’re expensive as hell here, and also… they’re… blue on the outside, but the inside is white-ish. It must be a weird variant or something, because I always thought blueberries were blue and juicy all the way through, with juice which stained. Not so much with French ones :p

      • says

        Blueberries regularly go on sale around here (as do fresh strawberries). Blackberries and raspberries are more expensive though I love to buy them, especially the raspberries, and eat them fresh.

        I know what you mean about the blueberries and hadn’t really thought of the inside though coulis are fairly evenly coloured. My strangest experience with blueberries was the almost maroon/reddish brown colour they turned in the blueberry buttermilk ice cream I made. Though that may have been due to the lemon juice added.

        http://a-boleyn.livejournal.com/100764.html

        • says

          Eek, I can’t stand store-bought blackberries. I’ve never had a good one. They always seem so sour. I get mine direct from the hedgerows for free in early autumn… Makes for a nice little family outing. My parents and my sister and I used to go into the countryside armed with baskets and some tea and cake and spend an afternoon picking boat loads of the things… cue blackberry jams, tarts and crumbles until they were coming out of our ears :D

  7. says

    Charles, what a lovely bread! I am a huge fan of beetroots, actually everyone in my family is. I haven’t made bread, but I’ve baked some other things with beetroots. juice in it. I follow a very old recipe (goes back several centuries): to bake beetroots. I just wrap it in the foil and bake for about an hour (until it’s soft). All flavor and color is in that beetroot. Works for me. :)
    You made me hungry for a slice of that bread with freshly made horseradish sauce (with some beetroot in it too!), and beef… mmm, I am hungry!
    I love that cake on FB, looking forward to see the whole thing and a story behind it. :)

    • says

      Hi Marina – that sounds really lovely… part of me wants to add a bit of olive oil and some rock salt in to the foil wrap and bake it a bit like a baked potato, haha – I think it would be delicious, but I promise to try your original way first. My only problem is finding raw beets… they’re almost always pre-boiled here… drives me nuts!

      It would definitely make a good bread for sandwiches though – it has a lovely malted flavour which goes really well with cold meats and some nice strong cheese!

  8. says

    As you know, I’m not a beet fan, but I do love the color and look of this bread! Also love the concept of putting vegetables in bread, decreasing some of the gluten and carbohydrates probably as well. HUM – this looks quite appealing and may just end up in my oven! BTW – I apparently am not in the 10% of followers that see your FB posts because I never see any of your post. So frustrating!

    • says

      Hi MJ – did you “Like” me on FB with your own account or through your page for your site? If you did it through your site page then I think they changed some things so you don’t get updates from sites you “Like” anymore alas.

  9. says

    I somehow thought the bread will turn an even more startling shade of red, hehe. But oh gosh this stil looks and sounds gorgeous! APart from teh colour, I bet it adds a yummy earthy sweetness, and I like that you can get away with using less fat and milk etc which you’ll usually need for a softer, moister sort of sandwich bread. Am going to make this. Have all th e ingredients I need. (Thanks for the short list of ingredients!) But will try using spelt flour (: Good luck to me!

    • says

      Hi Shuhan – you know, I was hoping it would, but sadly not. It does have a really earthy sweetness though, absolutely! Good call on using spelt flour – I bet it’ll be even better!

  10. says

    After a long long time of hating beets, I now love them! and I have to say that I too was surprized to see the final color of the bread!
    I was expecting a bright pinkish purple color.
    I have half a pumpkin that I am saving to try your pumpkin bread over the weekend and now here is another bread to add to the list :)

    • says

      Hi Sawsan – I’m surprised to see such a complete conversion! Normally people hate (or love) beets for life! Let me know how the pumpkin bread turns out… that was a real winner in colour!

    • says

      Hi Nami – I think I might try broccoli next, yeah – that or maybe that cauliflower-like stuff called… er, romanesco? That’s very green, so it might make a nice colour!

  11. says

    What a lovely recipe, Charles! This is something I would enjoy with my morning eggs or for lunch as a sandwich. Clever using beets! I must try this so my picky 6 year old can get beets into his diet!

    • says

      Hi Lisa, I’m not sure how much nutritional value of the beet is left after it’s been boiled, puréed and baked, but it’s definitely a start. Besides, then you can say to him: “Haha, you’ve been eating beets every day for breakfast for the last week” :D.

      Makes a great sandwich, and is also really nice toasted too, so hope you get to give it a try :)

  12. says

    Awwwh, that pinky dough is so gorgeous! :) My grandma asked me what she can make with beetroot. I think she’s had enough of boiling them/pickling them. I told her about your blog, and all the things I’ve seen you do with beetroot, and she said she’ll look into it :) I hope she makes this for us :)

    • says

      Hi Fati – I hope she decides to give this a try. I love beetroot, but if you eat them always the same way it can definitely get too much! This is a great way of using them up!

    • says

      Thanks Chica – I was surprised by the final taste… not “beety” at all, and the colour was a bit disappointing, but generally a very tasty, fun bread :)

  13. says

    I was going to make the same suggestion as Eva, bake the beets instead of boiling. Also wondering, what if you added some diced roasted beets (like adding raisins to raisin bread) as well?????

    • says

      Hi Norma – it’s indeed a great idea to bake or roast the beets. As for adding it in – I think it could work, although I’d probably shred/grate the beets, instead of adding cubes because I don’t think chunks would work so well and may affect the rising of the dough.

  14. says

    Beetroot bread! What an inspiring idea! I still remember your pumpkin bread and promise of future experiments (I have been waiting for by the way). It looks fantastic, like Polish or German-type bread really. Moist, filling and I already see it with pickled herrings or herring salad… I am also surprised it didn’t keep the beetroot colour, but this way at least there is a chance beetroot haters (and they are not rare) would enjoy it without fear. Very creative, tempting bread!

    • says

      Hi Sissi – I’d never thought of it until now, but that’s a fantastic idea. I’ll be sure to visit IKEA soon and pick up some herring specifically to eat with this bread. I think the fish and bread would go together amazingly! Thank you for the suggestion!

  15. says

    Hmmm. So do you really think beet haters will like this one? I suppose I should give it a try. Afterall, you got stuck with the pumpkin in your ingredients. ;) I’m really surprised that it didn’t keep it’s color. I always thought of the beet as having pretty permanent stains. Interesting that it cooks out (or mixes in). I actually probably would like this bread if it has a hint of sweetness to it. And I’ll never tire of bread recipes. I wish I was better (read had more patience) at making it because I too could live off of the stuff. I hope you had a great weekend Charles! Here’s to a great week. :)

    • says

      Hi Kristy – if beet haters *don’t* like this bread then I’ll eat my hat! Satisfaction guaranteed! Plus it’s a great way of tricking kids (and yourself in this case) into getting your daily dose of beets! Go for it! :D

  16. says

    Honestly… I like beetroot only because of its color. ok I have to admit its really healthy too, but I usually avoid it. The Indians like to add it into their chilli/onion/tomato/coriander salads, so I had my dose for now, except if I am up for a healthy abc juice, then I ll tolerate some beetroot. Interesting idea with the beetroot bread. I can’t promise you that this is going to come up to my to try list soon Charles. I think so you ll have to make me some to convince me entirely. ;)

    • says

      Hi Helene, you needn’t worry – it doesn’t really taste of beetroot at all. It just gives it a beautiful earthy flavour, so I do recommend giving it a try! Beetroot, carrot and celery juice (oh, with tomato too) is incredible though… I love it!

    • says

      Hi Marta – it’s a tiny little bit pink – not too much, it’s a very delicate shade though… didn’t come out too well in the picture :)

  17. says

    Wow,
    Never heard of beetroot bread before but sure looks and I am sure tastes fab! We love beet root and I usually juice them or roast them and add it to a salad. This bread sounds wonderful!

    • says

      Thanks Asmita – it was a shame the colour didn’t stay through the baking, but it was a really nice bread! I really recommend giving it a try if you can :)

  18. says

    I hate the Internet sometimes. I’m happily typing away and the screen disappeared and there I was with I LOVE. :)

    anyway, I love beetroot but I’ve never tasted it in a yeast bread before and would love a sandwich on this bread today.

  19. sankarcharles says

    i must say you are right about beetroot it was a pleasure and joy to eat the bread mix with carrot beetroot almond and coconut milk

  20. says

    I thought I’m going to make your beet carpaccio this week then I spotted this recipe. I hope I have enough fresh beets I just bought from market to make both. Looks great!

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