Beetroot Sourdough


Definitely one of my favorite breads.  Give this a try you will not be disappointed.

Inspired by txfarmers blog on the TFL, I decided to give beetroot sourdough a try on the week end.

I kept it simple and used a basic formula.

The Dough: 
Strong Flour
Beet Puree
Starter 100%

a)   Prepare the Beet Puree

To prepare the Beet Puree I took three medium beetroots, gave them a light coating in olive oil and then wrapped each beet in tin foil.  The prepared beets where then roasted in the oven at 220 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove the beets from the oven and allow to cool for 20min.  Remove the beets from their foil wrapping and then under a tap with cool running water the beets skins should rub off.  I then placed the beets in a bowl and when to work with the potato masher.  The colour and flavour of beetroots prepared this way is absolutely stunning.

b)   Mix the starter, water and cooled beet puree

c)   Add starter mixture to flour and salt

d)   Autolyse for 20 min and then stretch and fold

e)   Stretch and fold every 1/2 hr x 3

f)      Bulk rise for 5 hours at room temp, approx 22 degrees

g)   Shape and complete final rise, approx 2 hours

h)   Bake at 240 degree with steam for 15min, then 220 degrees  for 25 mins


The final loaf had a reasonably good rise with a nice open crumb.  It was very moist and still fresh a few days later. I am not sure if I can taste the beetroot, perhaps it sweetened the loaf a bit, it definitely was only slightly sour loaf. But it was very moorish, I usually like butter on my bread but to add butter would have been a waste, the bread was that yummy.  I will definitely be making this bread again.

13 users have voted.


BleuCheesy 2012 May 12

Interesting that the purple color seems to collect in the crust, or is that just a trick of the light?

farinam's picture
farinam 2012 May 12

Hello bleucheesy,

I suspect that the effect is real.  Probably due to migration of water carrying the colour and concentrating it at and under the surface during baking.

Only a theory, but the effect is nice regardless.


TimmyB 2012 May 14

Farinam, I think you are probably correct.  The color in the crust is definately real and not a trick of the light and probably from the migration of the water during baking as you suggest.  It is a lovely effect and adds interest to the loaf.

Warmest Regards,


BleuCheesy 2012 May 17

Very nice indeed!  I would like to try it someday, although circumstances have conspired against me lately.

pgh13 2012 August 16

I've made beetroot bread a few times but with yeast. On those occasions I've peeled and then grated the raw beetroot. The result is a very pink loaf with red flecks and taste is delicious

tranquillity's picture
tranquillity 2012 September 18

I've tried this recipe three times now and the singular consistent result is a silky textured bread like no other.  I've become convinced it's the most delightful bread on earth. 

I overproofed it on the second try and while it did not have the oven spring the other batches had, it was still silky textured. 


Very difficult to work with for me, very sticky, but worth the struggle.  I'll continue making this bread until my beet supply is exhausted.  Thank you for sharing. 

Julsa 2014 August 16

I have made this bread a few times and it is sensational.  Particularly good straight out of the oven when it is sweet and flavoursome. 

greg_au 2015 October 1

I made this bread last weekend and while it was really delicious, I found that my dough remained really sticky and soft even after adding quite a bit more flour than the recipe called for. The result was a ciabatta shaped loaf as opposed to the nice high loaf in the pics above. Should I have just added even more flour until I had a stiffer dough?

farinam's picture
farinam 2015 October 2

Hello greg_au

One of the problems with adding things like the beetroot is that the amount of 'water' that they add can be quite variable even though the weight is specified.  For instance the texture could range from wet and sloppy to quite dry depending on the variety, age and season of the beetroot.  And, of course, your flour might be capable of absorbing less (or more) water than that of the recipe developer.

So, what is probably the best bet for this (and any recipe that you are doing for the first time - or even in general) is to hold back on some of the liquid addition until you get a feel for how the dough is going to turn out and then add more water if necessary.

The problem with adding flour to a wet dough is that the flour takes some time to absorb water to its capacity and so it is easy to add too much flour to get what seems to be a handleable dough but to finish up with a dough that is too low in hydration and stiff.  The other potential problem with the adding flour approach is that you have flour at varying stages of development in your mix which can affect the texture and structure of your finished product.

Good luck with your projects.


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