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Monday, October 4, 2010

Beets can't be beat!

Okay, maybe beets can be beat.  I don't know.  Some people just really hate beets.  Which is sad.  Me, I'm actually not a lover nor a hater of the beet.  I'm open to beets.  Though, I fully admit that I ate way too many pickled beets as a child, and I no longer like those.

I saw this recipe in a Taste of Home magazine at a friend's house.  I've been collecting beet recipes to go with my collection of beets I've acquired through my CSA.  I already make bread, and it looked pretty simple, just with beets added.  Easy, peasy.

I employed the girls to help me make this.  They LOVE to make bread and I love that they help.  I definitely want them to be comfortable making homemade bread when they leave to start their own homes.  In fact, Funny said, "Mommy, I need to get good at this so I can teach my own kids."  This is something I just adore about cooking, how it's been passed down.  I know my grandma taught my mom to cook, and she taught me and my sister, and now I am teaching my kids.  I find great pleasure in knowing I am connected to my family through cooking.

Honey Beet Bread
adapted from Taste of Home

1 tbsp. regular or quick rise yeast (I used regular)
1 1/2 c. warm water (110-115 degrees)
2 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 c. peeled, grated fresh beets, squeezed dry (really squeeze them!)
1 c. warm milk (110-115 degrees)
2 tbsp. butter, softened
2 1/2 tsp. salt
6 1/2 - 7 c. all-purpose flour
1 egg white or a bit of milk, for brushing on the top
toasted sesame seeds (dry toast them quickly on the stove top)

In large bowl, dissolve yeast in water.  Add honey and let rest for 5 minutes.  Add beets (seriously, squeeze them dry), milk, butter, salt and 3 cups flour.  Beat until smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form soft dough.  Knead by hand or by machine with dough hook for 6-8 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Place in greased bowl and flip to grease both sides.  Cover and let rise in a warm spot until doubled, about 50 minutes.

Punch down dough.  Turn onto lightly floured surface and divide dough in half.  Shape into two loaves.  Place in two greased 9x5x3 loaf pans.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.

Brush with egg whites or milk.  Sprinkle with seeds.  Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes or until top begins to brown.  Remove from pans to cool.
Inside of the bread.  From my busted up loaf.  Pretty!!

I immediately popped loaf #1 from the pan, and it stuck.  I let loaf #2 rest (like a quick bread) for about 5 minutes, then removed it with no problems.  I also forgot about the egg wash and so used milk during the last 5 minutes to just help with browning, and tossed the toasted seeds on top then, as well.
Also, the dough wasn't as dry as I am used to.  It was firmer than a quick bread, but not quite like a regular loaf of bread.  I suspect if I had squeezed the beets a second time, it may have helped with that.  But I did increase the flour as a result, and this recipe reflects that.  You may want to start with a quarter cup less.

I will make this again!


  1. Beets have never looked so beautiful! I love the earthy taste of these veggies and that deep, rosy color enchants all it touches!

  2. This batter is a gorgeous pink! You should try it!


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