Pink and Earthy Beetroot Bread
ThermoHubby John is the ideas man in this house. When we plan our wine tasting dinners, it’s he who chooses the wines, does the research and pairs them with appropriate dishes. Each time he gets more and more inventive – read that as complicated! – and then hands the ball to me to interpret and execute. I manage to rise to the occasion and ensure that the food is tasty and well prepared, thanks for a good part to my trusty brigade of Thermomix sous chefs, of course!
Surfing the web on Sunday, ThermoHubby John decided to begin researching and preparing a dish based on bread flavoured with beetroot (or beets, as we say in America). He found the recipe, bought the ingredients and made it himself in the Thermomix. OK, I helped him a little by giving him times and speeds to use and generally helping to adapt the recipe by basing it on the Thermomix bread recipe from Fast and Easy Cooking and on my own recipe for beet purée, but he did it himself. Mind you, this is my wonderful ThermoHubby who every year creates an 8-course meal for me on Valentine’s Day (because there are 8 letters in “I love you!”) so it’s not unusual for him to cook some fantastic dishes. But this was his first Thermomix recipe conversion, which I am delighted to offer you here.
This Beetroot Bread is a cinch to make, and yields an amazingly light and tasty loaf. Its quirky pink colour belies the earthy, deep flavour that develops in the crumb and the crust. We almost expected it to taste sweet (a preconceived idea that all things pink taste sweet) but the truth is that it almost tastes a bit like rye bread. ThermoHubby John likes a light, airy crumb and a crisp crust, and this loaf is a real winner on that score. He’ll be making it again and again!
2 large or 3 medium raw (uncooked) beets, peeled and quartered (you can wear gloves for this!)
120 g milk
175 g water
2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast – or – 30 g fresh yeast
1 tsp sugar
600 g extra strong bread flour, plus extra if needed
30 g olive oil, plus extra for the bowl and the cling film
2 tsp salt
- Weigh yeast, sugar and water into your Thermomix bowl. Warm 37° C/5 minutes/Speed Spoon to activate the yeast. Transfer to a small bowl or a ThermoServer, or set aside and use your second TM bowl for the next step.
- Make the beet purée: add quartered beets to TM bowl and chop 5 seconds/Speed 4. Scrape sides of bowl. Add milk and purée 1 minute/Speed 10 or until mixture is smooth and free of lumps.
- Add the yeast mixture to the beet purée, then weigh in the flour, olive oil, and salt. Mix 20 seconds/Speed 3. Check consistency and if it’s too wet and sticky, add more flour. (We added another 60 g.)
- Knead 3 minutes/dough function. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with oiled cling film and let rise until doubled, anywhere from 45 minutes to about 1 ½ hours.
- Second rise: Knock back risen dough, remove 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 cling film. Let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 190° C/375° F with an empty roasting pan placed on the bottom rack. Sprinkle the top of the bread with a little flour and cut an X shape on the top with a serrated knife.
- Place the bread on the middle rack of the oven and half fill the roasting pan with hot water, closing the oven door immediately. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until the crust is crispy and the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. For an extra crispy bottom crust, slide the loaf off the baking tray directly onto the rack for the last five or ten minutes of baking.
- Allow bread to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing or serving. Serve with salted butter, eat with a goats’ cheese salad, make into sandwiches or spread with black olive tapenade. Let me know your chosen uses and accompaniments, please – we’ll need lots of ways to eat lots of loaves of this beetroot bread
Bon appétit !