I recently realized that I hadn’t baked any bread in over 3 months! Isn’t that shocking! Though we are not much of a bread eating family, I surely love baking them. My daughter actually loves homemade bread fresh from the oven. As long as I don’t get carried away and bake 3 loaves of bread in a week, we mostly enjoy eating them.
As I started getting ingredients ready to bake a simple loaf of bread, I remembered the beets. I had boiled a bunch of whole beets and tucked them away in the refrigerator. I stir-fried some of them with some olive oil and thyme, made a cake but I still had a few left. I immediately thought pink bread with beets in it would be really pretty.
Two beet recipes back to back! So much for it not being my favorite vegetable! But beets are so good for you that it is worth all the efforts to get at least some of them in your weekly menu. Since I am slightly low on hemoglobin right now (third trimester!) I am making sure I eat them as often as possible.
This bread is definitely a better way of adding beets to your diet compared to the cake! It’s a ‘No-knead bread’ so you don’t have to get your hands messy. Of course the texture of the bread is not the same as the traditional bread, which involves a lot of kneading, but quick bread recipes like this are great when you aren’t in a mood to clean up an entire kitchen full of flour!
The bread came out of the oven looking and smelling beautiful. It has a mild taste and is perfect to eat just plain toasted. It also was great served along with different dips and sauces. Cut it into finger, toast it and serve it along with some hearty soups. I have been adding them to my salads and I Iove how the pink brightens everything up!
I used homemade buttermilk in the recipe but you can also use fresh yogurt instead.
I am sure you can replace all the buttermilk with more beet puree and still end up with a lovely bread. I haven’t tried this yet though.
If you don’t have fresh thyme, use dried thyme instead. Try other fresh herbs for different variations.
- ½ cup water
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- ½ cup buttermilk
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 5-6 cloves of garlic, crushed
- A few springs of fresh thyme
- ½ cup boiled and pureed beets
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- More olive oil to brush on top
Slightly warm ½ cup of water and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the active dry yeast to it and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Boil the beetroot till slightly soft and let it cool completely. Peel and puree it in a blender adding a little bit of water if required.
When the yeast looks frothy it’s ready to use. Place the yeasted water in a big bowl, add the olive oil, thyme and garlic and stir well. Now add the buttermilk, salt, pureed beets and stir once again. Slowly add the whole-wheat flour and using a wooden spoon mix everything to come together into a soft and sticky dough.
Cover the bowl with a wet cloth and place it in a warm place for it to double. Mix it with a spoon once again to deflate it fully.
Grease/line a baking sheet with olive oil and transfer the dough on to it. Wet your hands slightly and shape the dough, as you like. It will look perfect just the way it is too. Now cover it with a wet cloth and let it rise once again till it doubles in size.
Preheat the oven at 180 degree Celsius. When the bread doubles, place it in the hot oven and let it bake for 20 to 30 minutes. Bread should sound hollow when you tap the top of it. When it’s ready, remove the bread and brush it with some olive oil to keep it moist and soft.
Let the bread cool completely before you slice into it.