I have an essay to finish on Robert Owen, the founder of the Cooperative Movement, but I have been struggling to settle down to it. Its a beautiful sunny day and I kick myself for my procrastination. But it is Sunday, so I at least get to bake today, punctuated by study. Beetroot sourdough extends the alchemy that is sourdough. Emmanuel Hadjiandreou is again the inspiration with this very attractive loaf. Using his recipe as a base I again choose to prepare a sponge the night before containing half the flour, all the water and the white flour starter. By the morning it is bubbling away nicely.
I use double quantities of the following -
white bread flour
coarsely grated raw beetroot
white sourdough starter
rye flour for dusting the proving baskets
The dough is quite wet and so I end up adding a handful or 2 more flour but with a couple of hours folding and resting the dough is nice a stretchy and luridly pink. Beetroot juice is splattered everywhere during the preparation... beware! Disposable shower caps work well when placed over the proving baskets.
Hadjiandreou reckons the bread should be left to rise 3-6 hours, but in my experience 2 - 2 1/2 hours will suffice. however, this morning the sun is streaming in and the dough "doubles" within 90 minutes. Fortunately I had been checking on them like an over-cautious parent and quickly whack the oven on to maximum temeperature. I bake the loaves consecutively and I think the second boule is slightly over-proved as it wobbles like a pink blancmange and faints onto the baking tray. It comes out fine.
Still, the coarsely grated beetroot adds colour and sweetness to the crumb.
I even make progress with the essay... slowly. :)