Roasted Beet Bread

I know this post is coming a little bit late to the game, but there were many things to celebrate in October, like Vegetarian Awareness Month, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Halloween.  Surprisingly, I think I managed to honor all three with this recipe for roasted beet bread from CookingBread.com.  This all came about when we got some beets in our CSA box.  And for me, beets are one of those vegetables suffering from the “Mom made me take three bites when I was little, and now I’m a grown up and I don’t have to eat my beets if I don’t want to, so there!” syndrome.  But I couldn’t let them go to waste, so I had to find something to do with them.  And then I found this recipe which makes pink bread!  Pink bread! Pink!

This bread is made in a few steps, so it takes some planning ahead, but the active prep time isn’t that bad, especially if you have a stand mixer with a dough hook.

Night Before:

  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 1 cup bread flour
  • 1 cup lukewarm water
Combine all ingredients together in a large bowl (or the bowl of your mixer) and mix with a wooden spoon. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit on the counter for 12 to 16 hours.
After 12-16 hours

Day of:

  • 2 3/4 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat Flour
  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 1 cup roasted beet puree (3-4 beets, roasted at 375 for about an hour, then pureed)
  •  juice from the roasted beets if any
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped thyme

Method

Add the pureed beets, whole wheat flour and instant yeast.

Mix with a wooden spoon till smooth. Allow to sit for 10 minutes uncovered.

Add in the thyme and salt; mix till smooth.

Attach the bowl to an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook and turn it on at low speed.  Start to gradually add in the bread flour (I didn’t have bread flour, so I used all purpose.  It seemed to work out fine).  Knead for 10 minutes.

After the dough is finished kneading, add a little olive oil to a separate bowl.  Place dough into the bowl and turn over a few times to very lightly coat all sides of the dough.

Cover with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to rise for 1 1/2 hours or until it doubles in size.

After the dough has risen, pour out onto a flat surface cut it in half.  Shape it into whatever shape you like.

Place the shaped dough onto a piece of parchment paper sprinkled with cornmeal. Spray the tops with a little cooking spray and cover with plastic wrap for 1 hour or until it doubles in size again. Move to a baking pan and sprinkle the top of each loaf with a little flour and slash an x on top of each. Place into a preheated 400 degree oven with a cast iron pan to create steam (create steam by placing a cast iron pan on the bottom of the oven when you turn on the oven. When you put the loaves into the oven, pour a cup of boiling water into the preheated cast iron pan and close the door). Bake for 30 -35 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

I forgot to take a picture of the finished loaves, but I did make this tasty sandwich out of the bread.  You end up with a loaf with a crusty outside, and a soft, chewy, holey inside.  And you get the nutrition benefits of a bunch of beets in a delicious loaf of bread.

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