Have you ever seen bread baking in an oven? If you haven’t, just imagine two solar systems colliding together in an explosion of light and imagine the feeling you’d get from seeing that… mind blowing right? Well that’s bread making! I always try to whip up some sort of bread at least once every month, partly because I love good, healthy bread but also because I’m dedicated to becoming a better bread maker. The process is simple in hindsight but everything has to be executed correctly for your bread to turn out epic!
Yeasty breads are my favourite so this Beetroot Bread is a combo of yeast and earthy wheat to give that incredible, natural flavour! The beets send this bread over the top. If someone asked me to describe beets in one word, I’d say ‘earthy’; beets just taste of the earth to me and even though they are grown under ground like any other tuber, beets seem to absorb the very essence of the ground. This makes them one of my favourite vegetables, in fact, I’m obsessed with beetroots! And, I’m looking forward to planting my beetroot along with some other veggies I’ve got waiting to be plunged into red, rich dirt.
I made this bread by boiling and blending my beets to a smooth, liquid consistency (using the same liquid I boiled them in).
I combined my yeast with my lukewarm water, added olive oil and honey and mixed it together before adding salt and my flours in batches; I had a mixture of all-purpose and wheat. Then I added the beet puree and brought it all together with a wooden spoon. I had to knead mine by hand since I am electric mixer-less but you go ahead and use a mixer with the dough attachment and knead the dough for about 10 minutes. You want super smooth dough with a long stretch to it; so when you pull on the dough it shouldn’t break off right away, it should stretch!
After I kneaded the dough, I balled it up and dropped it into a clean, oiled bowl. Then the waiting begun. I covered the dough and waited 1 hour for it to proof
And when it did, I punched it down, shaped it into loaves and covered it again and waited 45 minutes more for a second proofing. I scored the bread to help steam escape and added pumpkin seeds to the top. The real intricacy is in the baking of the bread. You’ll want a hot oven, preferably a hearth oven that’ll get your bread super crusty. Creating steam also helps so what many bread makers do is spray water into to oven as the bread bakes. All that steam creates beautiful charred bread with a slight hint of bitterness.
Unfortunately I don’t have a hearth oven to create that super crusty hearth bread and if you’re in the same boat as I am you might wanna get yourself a good baking stone to help the process along. That’s my next move in bread making!
This is a great every day, versatile bread that’ll be good for sandwiches, accompaniments to soups, as croutons in salads and when this bread becomes a few days old, it’s great in bread pudding!
Begin your bread journey! Check out the recipe below!
-1/4 cup lukewarm water (110°F)
-2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
-1 tablespoon honey
-2 tablespoons olive oil
-1 1/2 teaspoons salt
-2 cups all-purpose flour
-1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
-1 1/2 cups beetroot puree
-2 teaspoons pumpkin seeds
- Add water and yeast to a bowl and let sit for 3 minutes. Add the honey and oil and some of the flour and all the salt. Mix it together using a wooden spoon.
- Add the beetroot puree and the remaining flours then mix until it comes together.
- Using an electric mixer with the dough hook attached, knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is smooth and stretchy. If you are kneading with your hands, knead for 12-15 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and transfer it to a clean, oiled bowl. Roll the ball of dough around in the oil to coat all over. Cover and let proof for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 370°F.
- Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down and transfer it unto a lightly floured surface.
- Divide the dough in half and shape it into two loaves.
- Place them on a baking stone or a sheet and cover again, allowing the loaves to proof for 45 minutes.
- Score the loaves and top them with 1 teaspoon of pumpkin seeds each.
- Put them into the oven immediately and bake for 30 minutes or until tapping on the bottom of the loaves makes a hollow sound.
- Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely.
- Slice and serve.
I hope you shine today!