Monday, 19 September 2011

An Accidental Experiment: Beet Bread

So... Keeping with my seasonality theme, I was wanting to do some baking with the carrots I bought. Seeing as I did by 30 lbs of vegetables if you include the beets and potatoes I bought, I didn't really think it would be such a bad thing to leave them out. I figure, hey, that's how you buy them in the store, so why not? Well... I've been noticing a little bit of a fruit fly problem lately, which isn't shocking, because anyone who leaves fruit out to ripen in the summer has dealt with this on some level.

Anyway, so I have this carrot bread that I adore, so when there were no subbing jobs on Friday, I figured it would be a good idea to make this fantastic bread. I open up my bag of carrots, and to my surprise, a whole freakin' family of fruit flies comes storming out of the carrot bag, leaving behind about 9 lbs of carrots with black spots on them. Needless to say, the carrot bread did not make it to the menu.

I did have 10 lbs of beets to play with, however. And recently, I heard you can grate raw beets into a salad like you do carrots, so I thought, why not just replace the carrots with beets in my delicious bread???

So I did! And it turned out great! I'll have to post the carrot bread recipe another time. I also changed up the seasoning, because, well, I just did.

Here's my recipe for a 2 lb loaf:

3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (I ended up using a good 1/4 to 1/2 extra)
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup finely shredded raw beet - 1 good sized beet
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter or oil
1/2 to 1 tsp dried thyme (depending if you like a strong thyme flavour or not)
1/4 tsp ground nutmet
2 1/2 tsp yeast

So I dumped all of this into the dough cycle on my bread machine, and it was a beautiful pink. I always feel like I'm making something good when the result is an intense, but natural colour like this.

Then I rolled it out much in the same way I would to make French Baguette, only shorter, because I was looking for a fatter loaf.

I rolled it up, put it on a pizza pan with some cornmeal, and then let it rise for about 40 minutes. I made some slits in the dough after this, just to let some air escape.

I baked the bread in a preheated oven on 400°F for about 25-30 minutes, or until it sort of sounds hollow all over when you knock on it gently. This is how it came out. My husband told me he thought it sort of looked like ground beef... I can't really disagree. It does sort of look like meatloaf when it's raw. 

ANYway, this turned out great. I loved this recipe and would definitely make it again. The strange thing about this bread is that, while the crust stays nice and pink, the inside sort of loses it's colour. Oh well, not that that would make it taste any different, but the idea of eating red bread was appealing to me. Sunday morning, I turned it into a bacon and egg sandwich with roasted red peppers, a little mayo and HP sauce... It was very excellent, I must say. 

I would definitely recommend trying this, if nothing else, for the novelty of having pink bread. Not to mention, it's a fantastic little loaf. 

Have a great day!


  1. I love the pink color on the outside. When I saw this the first thing that popped into my mind is either Easter or a girls birthday party. I could serve this at my daughters birthday and she would love it because it's pink! Great idea, very creative! And I have no idea why the inside doesn't stay pink either.

  2. I love beets. This is just my kind of bread. Thanks for sharing such an innovative recipe.

  3. Wow- this looks lovely! I expected the loaf to be very pink inside once cooked, but it just looks like a beautiful loaf!

  4. Oh that looks just brilliant! What a fabulous idea! And I never knew you could great raw beetroots on a salad! Lots to try - will have to get some beetroots at the market this week!

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  5. Ohhhhh I love it! I love beets!
    I made beet jelly this year and I love beet kvass!
    I will have to try this- looks lovely!