Beetroot Sandwich Loaf is one of the amazing breads I have baked so far. I will discuss all the techniques I used here so that even you can bake amazing sandwich loaf in your home. I have been bitten by bread bug recently! Yes, I bake breads regularly just to keep improving my skills. Recently I baked a super tall sandwich loaf with beets puree and I must admit, it was one of the best breads I have baked so far.
I have started using pre ferment and autolysis in my bread baking after I took a sourdough class from an international baker. The class definitely taught me so much about bread baking in general. Though I haven’t yet started my sourdough experiments, I started incorporating those techniques in my regular breads. The changes are definitely amazing.
Difference between Maida and Bread Flour:
The first thing I changed was the flour used. Usually I use maida in my breads, but I changed it to bread flour. There is a huge difference in using maida and bread flour. If you don’t want to go for bread flour, you can definitely try the same recipe with maida too. But let me tell you the difference
. Bread flour has higher protein content than maida and so it is considered as a strong flour. When I use 430 gm of maida in a 5″ cube tin, I get a perfect cube bread without any dome.
But with just 400 gm of bread flour, in the same tin, I got such a huge dome. But next time, I would reduce it to 380 gm as I felt that the bread was dense at the edge. So there is a difference of nearly 50 gm in the same tin and the results vary a lot. Bread flour is much stronger and makes a very light tall bread. So no wonder, I am partial to bread flour.
How Autolysis improves strength
The next change I made was in preparing the dough. Instead of adding all ingredients and making the dough, I divided the dough into two. One portion of the flour is mixed with just water and let sit for 45 minutes. This process is called as autolysis and is extensively used in sourdough bread baking.
The resting period improves the strength of your dough and it becomes really strong that when you stretch it, it actually passes window pane test. Even without any type of kneading involved. This gives amazing stretch in your dough and prepares it for the next step.
How to use Pre Ferment
Pre ferment is a mixture of flour, instant yeast and water. Instead of adding yeast to the whole batch of flour, it is added to 1/4th of the flour quantity and proved. This is somewhat similar to sourdough starter and gives amazing flavour and good proving in the final dough. When you increase the number of proving in a bread, the flavour increases a lot and the strength of the dough also increases a lot. This in turn will make your bread so light.
How to incorporate Beetroot Puree in breads
When you add any type of vegetable puree, it is better to cook and puree them before adding. I boiled the beets, removed the skin once they were tender, chopped them and ground to a fine paste adding the water which was used for cooking.
This gave a really bright puree and the final bread was also so bright. But the inside didn’t get the same colour, so my advice would be to add two tsp of vinegar along with the puree to retain the colour. I will make another batch and update the result soon.
The image above tells you how I made the puree and pre ferment. Look at the colour. It was so lovely! So bright and lights up your day!
The preferment is allowed to prove for 45 minutes. Until double in volume. But if you live in cooler climate, it might take a few minutes extra. So aim at double the volume. Not just the time.
This is the autolysis dough, again made with beets puree and flour. The complete recipe is given below. The autolysis is done for the same time as the pre ferment. It increases the strength of your dough so much. So don’t skip it out. You will definitely see the change. At the end of proving and autolysis, it is time to knead the dough.
You can either use your stand mixer or knead it by hand. The first kneading is done for 6-7 minutes by hand and five minutes using mixer.
After the first knead, add butter and salt. The second kneading takes five more minutes, both by hand and mixer. At the end of the kneading, the dough is super soft, silky to touch. When kneading by mixer, even if the water content is more, it is easier to manage. But when kneading by hand, use a dough scraper, slap and fold method if it becomes too tough to knead.
Look at the video, this is how the dough is after proving. Just punch the air out and shape into a ball. As we are baking in a cube tin, no need to shape it like a log. I will add all the links at the end of the post.
Second prove it until rises a little above the rim. When you use bread flour, this is how it looks like. But if you use maida, it would come to the rim and it would be better to bake it immediately to avoid over proving. Use either OTG or MW convection mode and bake for 45 minutes.
If using OTG, use the lower rack as the tin is very high. If you use middle rack, the bread will touch the top filament. So to avoid it, place the tin on lower rack.
If using MW convection, make sure that your bread tin fits your oven leaving a gap of 2″ above the rim and the top of your oven. I didn’t use any rack, but placed it on the glass plate of my convection.
As the top of the breads goes very near to the filament, it is better to use an aluminum foil on top of your bread for the last fifteen minutes, to avoid burning of the crust. When you tap the crust, it should be hard and should sound hollow. That is the time, you need to remove the bread out of oven.
Cool it on wire rack for five minutes. After that immediately remove your bread out of the tin. If you properly greased it with butter, your bread should fall out of the tin easily. Cool it on wire rack. Then wrap it well with cling film and then aluminium foil and leave it on your counter overnight.
Why overnight rest is good for breads:
The overnight resting will add more softness to the bread. So don’t rush the process. Don’t refrigerate the bread. The next day, use a good bread knife to slice it. The video will show you the final slice. Though the inside of the bread didn’t get the same colour as the crust, it was absolutely soft and very tasty. The beets didn’t add a strong flavour, so I was relieved. It was very mild and very delicious.
Beetroot Sandwich Loaf Recipe
For the Puree:
- 4 small Beetroot
For the Pre Ferment:
- 100 gm Bread Flour
- 1 tsp Instant Yeast
- Beets Puree as needed
For the Dough:
- 300 gm Bread Flour
- Beets Puree as needed
- 1 tsp Salt
- 20 gm Butter
- Clean the beetroot and slice off the roots.
- In a pan, add enough water and beetroot and allow it to boil until they are tender.
- Allow it to cool completely.
- Remove the skin of beetroot and chop into cubes.
- Use the water to grind the cubes to fine puree.
- Set aside.
- Mix together bread flour, instant yeast and enough puree to make a thick dough.
- Set aside for 45 minutes.
- Mix together 300 gm bread flour and enough puree to make a shaggy dough.
- Cover and set aside for 45 minutes.
Preparing the dough:
- In a bowl, combine the autolysis mix and the pre ferment. If kneading by hand, mix both thoroughly, take it onto counter and knead for 6-7 minutes. If using a mixer, knead with dough hook for 5 minutes.
- Add butter and salt.
- Knead it for further 5 minutes, either by hand or in stand mixer.
- Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and set aside until double in volume. It may take anywhere from 45 minutes to 75 minutes.
- Press the dough to de gas it.
- Shape it into a smooth round and place it inside a 5” cube tin which has been greased with butter.
- Cover with cling film and set aside until the dough reaches the rim.
- Preheat your oven to 200C.
- Bake the bread for 40-45 minutes in preheated oven.
- Remove from the oven and let it sit on wire rack for five minutes.
- Remove the loaf from the tin and allow it to cool completely.
- Cover the loaf with cling film and foil and let it sit overnight on counter.
- Next day, slice it up and serve.