Baking with Root Vegetables Part 2: The Mighty Carrot

Baking with Root Vegetables Part 2: The Mighty Carrot

The words “carrots” and “baked goods” conjure images of carrot cake or maybe a sweet quick bread in most people’s minds.

That’s not what I had in mind, though. I wanted a dense sourdough with plenty of whole grain with a hint of sweetness coming from the carrot. I wanted another flavor to compliment the carrots and I came up with pistachio. Apparently roasted carrots with chopped pistachios is a popular way to prepare carrots, but I had never tried this.

The biggest hurdle was actually the carrot flavor. My first attempt was looked wonderful but failed to deliver on the carrots. It was basically pistachio bread.

I got feedback from Instabakers @stine_helm and @wheatjerm to use carrot juice. I like the results. The carrot juice makes for a vaguely orange crumb and helps bring out the carrot flavor. It’s a very tasty bread. I’ve still kept a little roasted carrot involved because I like the visual.

Pistachio-Carrot Bread

Yield: One large loaf or two medium loaves

Ingredient List (Total Weight 1400g)
355g Bread flour (50%)
213g Whole wheat flour (30%)
142g Whole Rye flour (20%)
142g Water (20%)
341g Carrot Juice (48%)
142g Roasted Carrots (20%) (Note: carrots shrink by about half when roasted)
106g Pistachios (15%)
35g Sunflower seeds (5%)
14g Salt (2%)
50g Sourdough Culture (7%)
2g Yeast (.3%)

Stiff Levain
142g Rye flour
95g Water
50g Sourdough

Soaker
106g Rye
35g Sunflour seeds
141 Carrot Juice

Final Dough
355g Bread flour
213g Whole wheat flour
200g Carrot Juice
142g Roasted Carrots
14g Salt
2g Yeast

Twelve to sixteen hours before you want to build the final dough, assemble the levain, dissolving the sourdough starter in the water before adding the flour.

A few hours before assembling the final dough (or when you build the levain depending on your schedule, roast the carrots. This takes about 45 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Chop very finely in a food processor. Combine with the pistachios, seeds, and specified amount of carrot juice and let sit at room temperature.

Once the levain is active, warm the remaining carrot juice, combine the flour and salt (and yeast if using instant), dissolve the levain in the carrot juice (reserve some water to activate the yeast if you use active dry), then add to the flour and salt. Mix briefly, then fold in the nut and seed soaker. This dough is on the dry side.

Bulk rise for 3 hours, folding after 20/40/60/120 minutes. After the three hours, divide the dough in two, preshape, and let sit for 15 minutes or so. Shape into boules, then place them seam-up in a banneton or whatever you use to support the loaves during the final proof. Proof for 60 minutes, score the loaves, then bake at 475F for 30-35 minutes, steaming for the first 25.

~Valentine

The carrot juice gives a lovely orange color. The crust browns nicely.

The carrot juice gives a lovely orange color. The crust browns nicely.