Sourdough beetroot bread step-by-step recipe with photos.
About this recipe
The slight tang from the sourdough when combined with earthy beetroots and the nuttiness from poppy seeds makes this sourdough beetroot bread absolutely delicious. This unique combination of beetroot and poppy seeds combined with sourdough is something you don’t want to miss. Even though the colour of the dough would be bright pink, the bread itself will not have this colour. For a bright pink/red bread, you may choose to add some food colours.
I have shared earlier how to make the no-knead sourdough bread. This bread is a slight variation of the same with the addition of beetroot and poppy seeds. The earthy beetroot and nutty poppy seeds, when baked in the naturally leavened bread, tastes so wonderful.
See the recipe for basic no-knead sourdough bread here.
Step by step instructions
Combine water and starter. Slowly add the flour and mix well making sure there are no dry bits of flour. Let it rest (step 1).
Next add salt, grated beetroot, and poppy seeds to the dough. Mix well, making sure they are incorporated well (step 2).
Perform stretch and fold at regular intervals (steps 3,4).
Continue to stretch and fold until the dough develops good strength (steps 5,6).
Let the dough sit for bulk fermentation. The dough rises and almost doubles after bulk fermentation (steps 7,8).
To shape the dough, pick one side of the dough and bring it to the centre. Pick the other side and bring it to the centre (step 9).
Roll it to form a log. Place in a well-dusted banneton for cold proofing (step 10).
The next morning remove the dough from the fridge and score it (step 11).
Place in the hot dutch oven and bake with the lid on. Next bake without the lid (step 12).
Tips and tricks
The colour of the dough will be bright pink but the colour will not be retained after baking. If you would like to bread to be pink/red, add a few drops of red food colour. I prefer not to use any food colours.
The amount of poppy seeds can be altered depending on your preference.
Add the grated beetroot and incorporate it as much as you can initially. The dough will be uniformly incorporated as we continue to stretch and fold.
Make sure the starter is active. The night before you plan to make the dough, take the starter from the fridge and feed it in 1:1:1 ratio of starter:flour:water. See the detailed process on how to prepare sourdough starter for baking here.
It is important to note that the time taken for the starter to activate depends on many factors. For example, the ambient temperature, the nature of the starter itself, etc. If your starter activates at a much faster rate, you can activate it the same day you are making the dough. Or, you can use either less starter or cold water to slow down the activation.
I have made this sourdough with a combination of bread flour and atta (Indian whole wheat flour), but you can choose any flour – for example, a combination of plain flour and whole wheat flour.
Sourdough Beetroot and Poppy seeds Bread
- Combine active starter and water together
- Slowly add the flour and mix well making sure there are no dry bits of flour. Let it rest for 1 hour
- Next add salt, grated beetroot, and poppy seeds to the dough. Mix well, making sure they are incorporated well
- Perform six sets of stretch and fold at an interval of 30 minutes. Wet hands, grab a portion of the dough and slowly stretch it taking care not to break it and fold it towards the centre over the dough. Keep turning the bowl and repeat the process until all parts of the dough is covered. Carefully flip the dough and round it up. This completes one set of stretch and fold. Repeat this process six times at an interval of 30 minutes. See the pictures below or the video here to see the technique
- Let the dough sit for bulk fermentation until it is almost double and has bubbles on the top
- Dust the banneton well with rice flour
- Shape the dough. Flip the dough onto a well-dusted bench. Pick one side of the dough and fold it to the centre. Pick the other side and fold it to centre. Now hold the dough gently and tuck it to form a log. Carefully place the dough seam-side up on the banneton
- Cover the dough loosely and place it in the refrigerator overnight for cold fermentation
- Next day, place the dutch oven in the oven and preheat at 230 C (450 F) for 45 minutes
- Take the dough out of the fridge once the oven is preheated
- Score the dough using a blade or sharp knife
- Place in the dutch oven and close the lid. Bake for 20 minutes
- Take the lid off the dutch oven and bake for 20 minutes
- Turn off the oven and let the bread sit in the oven for 15 minutes for curing
- Cool completely, slice and serve