Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Worldwide Baking: A Gem of a Bread

Yes, my friends, it's time for World Bread Day again!! I took a few moments out of my study/stress pattern this morning to whip out a rather unique, beautiful and, may I say, girly bread dough. I mean, come on... it's sweet, light and pink of all things (what better colour for this month's Breast Cancer Awareness theme?). It's also stuffed full of goodies like fibre, folate and iron too... all due to the delicious, nutritious showstopper ingredient of BEET!

I was actually inspired by a recipe I found on the original WBD event's roundup by Alana, but I have to say I wasn't prepared for the vibrant colour of this loaf! I made a few (okay, okay, a lot) of changes to her recipe, but the amount of beet was roughly the same so I don't know what made the colour jump like that! It's mighty tasty though. Not beet-y, really, but earthy and ever so slightly sweet. It's just more fun to bring a sandwich made on a couple slices to school or work and watch the looks on people's faces!

It's ridiculously easy to make too, especially if you have a stand mixer like I do (Alana uses a breadmaker for her recipe, but I don't have one so by hand and oven it goes!). After mixing, kneading and letting the dough go through it's first rise, I punched it down and stuffed it into a loaf pan. I then shoved it into the fridge while I went and wrote midterm #2 *fingers crossed*! I didn't really let it come to room temperature before baking it off, either (it had already ballooned out of it's pan by that point). I just took it out of the fridge and let it stand out while I preheated the oven... I'm guessing it was about 10 minutes. It all worked out in the end, as you can see!

I had made the beet ingredients ahead of time and frozen them, because I knew this bread was in my future. If you're going completely from scratch, you'll need a juicer (for the beet fibre if you're adding it). I do reccommend steaming the beets rather than boiling them, partly for nutrition and partly for flavour. The ones I used came right out of my garden and were on the wee side, so I didn't even have to peel them, I just steamed them whole. A food processor for chopping the cooked beets into tiny tiny tiny pieces is also highly reccommended to avoid pink-hand syndrome.

Have a great WBD on the 16th, everyone, and don't forget to check out Zorra's blog for the roundup (and details on getting in on the bready action if you'd like... there's still time!).

Beet'n Bread
Serves 14
2/3 cups warm water, divided
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 1/4 tsp (1 envelope) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warmed plain, unsweetened soy milk (or regular)
2 cups grated cooked beet
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp vital wheat gluten
3 tbsp dry non-dairy creamer (like Coffee Mate... I used low fat)
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp beet fibre (left over from juicing, optional)
  1. Whisk together warm water and sugar. Add yeast and let stand 10 minutes.
  2. Heat milk, grated beet and syrup to "body temperature".
  3. In a large mixing bowl whisk together flours, gluten, creamer, salt and beet fibre.
  4. Pour in yeast and milk mixtures and beat until a fairly smooth dough forms.
  5. Knead for 10 minutes on a lightly floured surface, until elastic.
  6. Place in an oiled bowl, cover and allow to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Preheat oven to 375F, grease a loaf pan.
  8. Punch down dough, shape into a loaf and place into the pan, tucking ends under.
  9. Cover and let rise again for 1 hour.
  10. Bake for 40 minutes, tenting with foil after 20.

Amount Per Serving
Calories: 133.2
Total Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 81.4 mg
Total Carbs: 27.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.2 g
Protein: 4.6 g


  1. What a great idea (and cause)--gorgeous color!

  2. That color is fabulous - thanks for the reminder re World Bread Day, must get at it!

  3. Very neat! You can get the pink by adding a nice merlot, too, by the way - which is what I've done with sourdough breads - and it gives it something ... well, just plain yummy. :)

  4. Pink is one of my favorite colors, this bread! :-)

    Thank's for your participation in WBD.

  5. I was just looking at Alanna's beet bread the other day too and surprised at how red hers wasn't. Yours, on the other hand, is VERY red. How cool is that? I bet it would be really good with sharp cheddar and beet pickle.



Thanks for the feedback!