BEETROOT SOURDOUGH FOR THE HOLIDAYS

This gem of a recipe comes from one of my favorite bread books, which I reviewed in a not too distant past: How to Make Bread. Such a simple and straightforward title, but it says all that matters.  You will learn how to make great bread following the careful instructions of Emmanuel Hadjiandreou.    This bread is perfect for the holiday season, its crumb decorated with intensely red dots of beets, that are coarsely grated and incorporated raw in the dough.

You may wonder if the bread turns out too sweet or with a strong flavor of beets?  Not really. It is a sourdough still, but with a background of sweetness that is just enough to surprise your palate and act as the perfect supporting actor for a slice of Roquefort cheese.  Sharp cheeses,  eggplant relishes, anything with a nice bite and some saltiness will go extremely well with this bread.  I happen to like it all by itself, slightly toasted.

For this large boule I used two beets, one medium, one small.  One of the things I loved about this dough was the change in color as the dough proofed, starting with a gorgeous, intense purple, and getting more and more subtle as the fermentation went on.

The recipe for beetroot sourdough is very similar to the one I published with Emmanuel’s permission last May, except for the inclusion of grated, raw beets in the dough.  But a more detailed step by step photos of the full process of making this bread can be found with a quick jump to Garlic Buddha blog, a nice virtual spot!

I like a plain and simple sourdough, but every once in a while it is nice to explore different flavors and stretch the horizons a little.  Beets… who would imagine? ;-)

I am submitting this post to Susan’s Yeastspotting

ONE YEAR AGO: Cod Filet with Mustard Tarragon Crust

TWO YEARS AGO: Soba Noodles: Light and Healthy

THREE YEARS AGO: Potato-Rosemary Bread

38 thoughts on “BEETROOT SOURDOUGH FOR THE HOLIDAYS

  1. Sally! I think of all the gorgeous loaves I’ve explored on your site, this one hits me as the most inventive and beautiful… not only for the stunning beet (what a success!) but also the cover design… so, so, great! I can just imagine a warm slice of this beaut with a sharp blue cheese melting at its mercy… oh my goodness, I’m suddenly starving!! Gem indeed.

    • My crumb was not as open as yours, one day I want to be able to bake together and learn from your technique! Wouldn’t that be fun? Well, it would be great for me…

  2. I’m amazed that you can get such a colourful looking cake with the humble beetroot. I still can’t even imagine what the taste would be like even though you said it’s still reminiscent of regular sourdough bread.

  3. This bread is beautiful! As you know, we’re not fans of beets in my house, but I would try a slice of this bread. It might be a way that I would enjoy beets. The color in the bread is just lovely and perfect for this time of year. :)

    • Phil is also the anti-beet by default, and he still loved this bread. I see recipes that use beet puree and the result is totally different: the color tends to be more intense in the crust. Very interesting…

  4. Fabulous ! I keep meaning to try this one as you and Ray at Garlic Buddha rate it so highly and I can’t quite imagine how it would taste. I just made beetroot and onion dill salad, and the beetroots are a bit bland right now, so I might wait till we have had some frost and they sweeten up :)

  5. I am crazy over breads and have made many, but have never seen this idea! Beautiful, brilliant and I can imagine how the minerally earthy flavour of the beet pairs with the sour dough! YUM! :)
    V

    • Yes, indeed – the change in color was mesmerizing! I haven’t had luck with adding color to pasta using beets, but maybe I should give it a try, I might be on a better beet path ;-)

  6. Thanks for the mention. I do like this bread and post about it again in August. However, people may be disappointed if directed to my blog as I have not given a recipe as I respect Hadjiandreou’s copyright. So I would suggest people add a handful of grated beet root to their favourite white sourdough or, better still, buy this wonderful book!

    • I will rephrase that on the body of my post – like you, I don’t like to post a full recipe unless I get permission (which he gave me for the previous bread I blogged about). I still think you did a very nice job with the step by step photos, it is “almost” a full recipe ;-)

      • :) have you tried many of the other sourdough recipes? The chocolate sourdough is really unusual. But the cheese, chilli and coriander leaf is divine. My wife likes her chillis so I used extra fresh green chillis – lovely!

        I do not live far from the School of Artisan cooking where Emmanuel works so one day I hope to do one of his courses.

        • Oh, I hope you get to go and tell all about it, so I can live vicariously through you… :-) I had my eyes set on the chocolate sourdough, but now that you mentioned the cheese and chilli, I might go for it first. So many breads, so little time….. (sigh)

  7. Sally, this bread is so beautiful! I love the flecks of beet in the crumb, and that pre-fermented purple dough is so gorgeous! I’ve never really eaten beets before (although I did put them in a chocolate cake once…). Very nice loaf!

    • You know I’ve been meaning to make a bread with apples from your site ever since you posted. My list of stuff to try is way too long, and my days way too short. Storr of my life

  8. I love the beet specks in the sliced bread!
    For the longest time I hated beets but now I have made peace with them and in fact I buy them often but usually to roast them and use them in salads..Sourdough beet bread sounds really interesting

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