July 15, 2013 by Meg G.
Yep. You read that right. There are beets in this bread. You’d never guess it from the color, right?
Have I mentioned that I really dislike the flavor of beets? Have I also mentioned that we’ve gotten them in our CSA for three weeks straight? Yeah. Poor Heather has been responsible for eating them all by herself, although at least I helped her to make beet and goat cheese pierogi with the first two weeks’ worth of beets (recipe soon)!
Determined to find a way to eat beets, I took to the ol’ internets and searched for “beet recipes for beet-haters.” Enter…beet bread. I was curious, skeptical, and hopeful all at the same time. Last week I decided to go for it, despite the fact that it was already a little toasty in our apartment.
Beet-hating, bread-loving friends – rejoice! This is the recipe for you. The beet flavor is subtle and the bread is crusty on the outside and soft on the inside. Ready to fall in love with beets (or at least beet bread)? Here goes!
Beet Bread – via Tablespoon
- 3/4 cup warm water
- 3 medium or 4-5 small raw beets, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup milk (I used almond milk)
- 4 – 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
- To make the beet purée: peel your beets and chop into 1/4-inch pieces. Purée in a food processor with 1/2 cup milk until mixture is smooth and free of lumps. You want to have about 1 1/2 cups of purée when you’re done.
- In a small bowl, combine yeast, sugar and water. Let rest 5 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment, combine flour and salt. Add in yeast mixture, beet purée, and olive oil. Mix until just combined.
- Knead, by hand or in a stand mixer fixed with the dough hook, about 10 minutes or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Remove risen dough from bowl and shape into a round ball. Place dough on a baking stone or parchment paper-lined baking sheet and cover loosely with a lightly greased piece of plastic wrap. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees with an empty broiler pan placed on the rack beneath where you’ll put the baking stone or sheet. Before baking the bread, sprinkle the top with a little flour and make an X shape on the top with a serrated knife.
- Place the bread in the oven and pour 1 cup hot water into the broiler pan, closing the oven door immediately. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted in the bottom center of the loaf reads 190 degrees F.
- Allow bread to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing or serving.
The original recipe suggested starting with 3 1/2 cups of flour, but I definitely needed at least 4 or 4 1/2. When I took the dough out of the mixing bowl to knead it by hand, it was a wet, sticky mess.
I just added more flour (1/4 cup at a time) and kneaded away until it looked more like this.
I probably could have worked hard to make sure my beet purée was completely smooth. As a result, the inside of my loaf was speckled with beets, rather than a uniform fuchsia color.
This stuff is fantastic! I swear. I wouldn’t lie to you. I’m a beet-hater, remember?
We toasted it up with some mozzarella cheese, pear slices, and balsamic vinegar as a simple sandwich alongside of a fresh salad.
I also schmeared it with ricotta cheese and some honey and cinnamon. Oh yeah.
Beet success! Enjoy!