September is a busy month for me at home with all the veg ripening at the same time. Last year I grew beetroot for the first time – dead easy and there is loads more that it can be used for than simply pickling it. This year they have done well too and they also seem to be available everywhere, making something of a resurgence. I’ve made chocolate cake with beetroot in it but not bread, so I asked Vanessa if she could try it in an everyday loaf. I wanted a simple, no fuss kind of recipe that tastes of sweet earthy beetroot to go with some goat’s cheese – so here it is. If you bake it them do share your recipes – we love to see what you bake at home.
Vanessa (aka Sourdough Queen) will share her top tips for Sourdough September. Are there any sourdough questions that you would like her to answer? Send in your sourdough questions to Vanessa@bakerybits.co.uk.
This loaf was a joy to bake. I have a glut of beetroot in the garden right now, so anything to use them up is great. To cook beetroots leave the skin on, remove the leaves, wash them and boil in water until they are soft. This can vary depending on the size of your beetroots – but mine take about 30 - 40 minutes as a guide. Test with a skewer and when they are soft, drain and leave to cool before peeling and grating. I find that the skin slides off in a very satisfying way when they are cooked. You can do this a couple of days before you want to bake your bread. If you keep the beetroot in the fridge though be sure to have it at room temperature before you bake as the reduction in temperature can slow the rise of your dough down a little. You may also find that this stains your banneton, so use a generous amount of flour when dusting.
The key item that really helps in baking this in the Cloche - it deepens the colour of the crust in a steamy atmosphere so it is sweet rather than burnt.
In a large bowl mix the flour, yeast and salt. Add the beetroot and mix, then add the water and bring the mixture together with your hands to form a rough dough.
Cover with a damp cloth and leave for 30 minutes. After this time, lift, stretch and fold the dough in the bowl for a minute. Cover again and give the dough another rest for 20 minutes.
Gently remove the dough from the bowl with the help of a scraper and shape into a boule (round loaf) and place it seam-side up into a well dusted banneton. Cover and give it a final prove for another hour or so until it has doubled in size.
Place your La Cloche into your oven and heat to 180C. Lightly dust the loaf with flour and cut slashes in the top with a lame.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown and your loaf sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Turn out while warm and cool.
Nuttimalt is a coarsely milled malted wheat that gives that malty flavour when added to your favourite bread flour.
Tiptree Real Bread Awards
Entries for the Tiptree World Bread Awards, which closed last week, were up 20% this year. They will be judged by 70 judges in Westminster Cathedral in a couple of weeks time (including Patrick and Vanessa). Did you get your entry form in? Good luck – the top prize is for £1000 + £1200 kitchen equipment.
Stop your bread getting sweaty by keeping it in our attractive and washable bag rather than in a plastic one. High-grade natural cotton bag 40x50cm, made for us with a draw-cord perfect for keeping your artisan bake fresh.
Goldrush San Francisco Style Sourdough Bread Starter, the perfect way to start sourdough bread baking