Sometimes I feel like I should share more of my failures. From praising comments and negative reflections on ones self I get the feeling people don’t know just how hard I can fail. I fail a lot! I am absolutely terrible at making food look pretty, I experiment constantly and that doesn’t end well frequently and I make food from random things we have to avoid going shopping which sometimes comes out weird. A big factor in my fails is that I am a mother. I’m often exhausted and overworked but my desire to make things pushes through. This recipe took me four days to finish writing but I stuck with it.
This bread recipe below is an example of something I desperately wanted to do and messed up a bit. It’s ugly and flatter than expected but I made it and I’m still proud. I still wanted to share in the hopes that you’ll help me make it great!
A few months ago I stumbled upon a recipe for sourdough beet bread. Seeing as I LOVE both sourdough and beets I quickly saved it for later. When I finally came back to it I realized the recipe was measured out using the metric system. *sigh* So I looked for another instead of converting measurements. No luck. The two decent recipes I found were both metric. Converting them turned into odd standard measurements. So experimentation began. Here is my journey! Please try it out and help me test this recipe!
You will need:
*Two large beets (I used red)
*3 1/2-4 cups flour
*1 cup warm water
*1/2 cup fed sourdough starter
*1 teaspoon dry active yeast
*1 teaspoon salt (I used Kosher)
I had boiled and peeled the beets for dinner the night before so I had them already cooked and refrigerated. You can use roasted, boiled, etc beets. Prepared differently may result in a slight change in flavor.
I put the beets in our Vitamix and it took no time at all to purée. You may want to cube them for a food processor or other blender. Two beets yielded roughly 1 cup purée. Mine were cold but warm beet purée would work as well. Hot may negatively effect the yeast. Set aside once finished.
Mix the sourdough starter and dry active yeast with the warm water. The recipes I found didn’t include dry active yeast but I wanted a fluffier bread. Feel free to exclude the dry active yeast and let me know how it turns out! Let sit for 5-10 minutes. I waited about 10 as I tended to my kids.
Add the rest of the ingredients! I started with 1 1/2 cup of flour like the recipe suggested but ended up more than doubling it. I used 3 1/2 cups for mixing and almost one more half cup for kneading and flouring the dough. It took quite a while to mix in my Kitchen Aide and I had to use a medium high setting to get it decently mixed.
I almost always knead my dough a little by hand even after using a mixer. It gives me a better sense of the texture. I only kneaded it until mixed together.
Set in greased or floured bowl for 12-24 hours. I waited 6 before putting it into a floured proofing bowl but waited a full 24 to bake as I didn’t want to be up at nearly midnight making bread. There’s no need for the proofing bowl. I just forget I have it and wanted to use it more. Cover and let sit.
NOTE: I think kneading at intervals would have helped this bread a bit. Every few hours kneading a bit more before letting sit overnight. A warner room than what I had would have been best as well.
There are two ways you could bake the bread. Here’s what I did: First I moved my dough into a greased cast iron skillet and let sit while I prepped the rest. 1-2 hours would have been best to let rise again but I want to get lunch going so it only sat about 20 minutes. I also slashed it a few times with a serrated knife for aesthetic purposes that didn’t pan out.
I put a container of water on the bottom shelf of the oven then preheated it to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then I set the skillet in and baked the dough for 20 minutes. Then I lowered the temperature to 400 for 25 minutes.
Alternatively, for a crusty crust you can try putting the dough in an empty but greased Dutch oven in for 20-30 minutes, take it out to add dough and cover before baking for 30 minutes then removing the lid and baking for 15-20 minutes or until fully baked. Tap it with your knuckle to test if it’s hollow.
At one point between a teething baby and a toddler grabbing at my shirt asking for crackers I brushed the bread with oil. I immediately regretted it. It severely diminished the beauty and made me want to rush out and immediately buy more beets. Fortunately, it turned out alright. Just ugly. As usual.
The flavor once completed was amazing despite multiple setbacks. I especially loved it with overeasy eggs and then later with a kalamata olive tapenade. It came out flat but wasn’t dense as I thought it might be. Some color faded inside but the crust stayed lovely. I would definitely make this again but with more kneading and a warmer room.