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Dec 16, 2016

Sourdough Golden Beet Braided Bread

This Sourdough Golden Beet Braided Bread incorporates a puree of raw golden beets into the dough.

This Sourdough Golden Beet Braided Bread incorporates a puree of raw golden beets into the dough.

This Sourdough Golden Beet Braided Bread was chosen by Cathy of Bread Experience for the monthly Bread Baking Babes bake-along. Each month, one of us introduces a new recipe, and the rest of us make it our own.

This Sourdough Golden Beet Braided Bread incorporates a puree of raw golden beets into the dough.

Cathy's bread is made with red beets, and is a lovely vibrant red color. Cathy gave us permission to use any color of beets we want, so I decided to use golden, thinking that I might have trouble getting folks to eat sandwiches with pink bread.

While this bread looks like challah, and is enriched with eggs, it has more of the texture and chew of a lean bread. The crust is thick and chewy, and the crumb is pretty sturdy. While the bread had sugar and vanilla in it, I could not taste them at all. I suspect they serve to mask the earthy flavor of beets. As I am not a big fan of beets, this was fine with me, and I might use more sugar or honey next time.

This is a really nice bread for toast and sandwiches, or for serving with soup. And it's a great way to eat your beets!!

This Sourdough Golden Beet Braided Bread incorporates a puree of raw golden beets into the dough.

The recipe calls for pureeing raw beets with water, and then mixing the beet puree with oil, eggs, and vanilla. The additions seemed to immediately dull the vibrant yellow color. I'm wondering if I had steamed the beets first, that they may have retained the color. More excuses to experiment.

Check out how the rest of the Babes fared with this recipe:

Cathy of Bread Experience, or host kitchen, made three gorgeous loaves, after experimenting with boiled and roasted beets, and finally settling on raw beets.
Notitie van Lien made hers with roasted red beets.
A Messy Kitchen made a multicolored four strand braid.
Judy's Gross Eats made two lovely braids with red beets.
Feeding my Enthusiasms roasted her beets with garlic, and made lovely braided rolls.
My Kitchen in Half Cups enjoyed hers with goat cheese and wine.
Blog from OUR Kitchen added whole wheat and flax meal to her bread.

If you'd like to bake along, check out Cathy's blog (and her vibrant purple dough!) for how to participate.

Sourdough Golden Beet Challah


For the starter:

  • 20 to 30 grams sourdough starter, or 1/2 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 100 grams bread flour
  • 40 grams water

For the final dough:

  • 280 grams peeled and chopped raw beets (about 1 1/2 large, or 3 small)
  • 100 grams water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla, optional
  • 700 grams bread flour, divided
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • All of the starter
  • Egg white wash and poppy seeds


  1. The night before baking the bread, put the sourdough starter in a small bowl, and add the water. Mix to incorporate the starter into the water. Add the flour and mix until incorporated. You may have to pull the starter out of the bowl and knead it a bit on the counter to incorporate all of the flour. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and let the starter rest overnight, for 8 to 10 hours. You will know when it is ready when a piece of it floats in a bowl of water.
  2. To make the final dough, place the chopped beets into a blender or food processor, and puree, adding the water in increments. If you roast or steam your beets, adjust the water to make a total of 380 grams of beets and water. You might have to adjust the flour a bit. 
  3. Whisk or blend the beets with the oil, eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla. Set aside.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together 400 grams of the flour, sugar, and sea salt.
  5. Add the beet mixture to the flour mixture, and mix with a Danish whisk or wooden spoon. Add the starter, and mix it in.
  6. Move the bowl to the stand mixer and mix with the dough hook on medium low, adding in an additional 200 grams of flour. Let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
  7. Knead the dough with the dough hook for another few minutes, adding any necessary flour to bring the dough together and make it workable. I added another 25 grams or so.
  8. Form the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled container, cover, and let rise, until doubled, about 2 to 3 hours. If you'd like, you can place the dough in the refrigerator after 2 hours and shape it the next day. I shaped mine the same day.
  9. Divide the dough in half. Divide each half into as many pieces as you can handle for braiding. Press each piece into a rectangle, and then fold them lengthwise into a cylinder. Using your hands, press down on the cylinder lightly with the palms of your hands, and roll the dough back and forth until you have about a 14 inch rope. Braid the dough and shape the braid into a loaf. Repeat with the second half of the dough.
  10. Place the loaves onto a parchment lined baking sheet, and cover with oiled plastic wrap. Let the loaves rise until puffy, about 60 to 90 minutes.
  11. Brush the loaves with the egg white wash, and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Bake for approximately 40 to 45 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Yield: 2 small loaves

Would you like to comment?

  1. Truly beautiful braid. I absolutely love the crown look! I would totally want to dive into that loaf. With butter, mmmmmm.

  2. Gorgeous shape! It does look like a crown. Wonderful crumb.
    Funny I never thought about making sandwiches with pink bread ... I'm pretty happy with just toasting and goat cheese so far.

    1. Thanks! My husband is sandwich kind of guy, and I do have grandkids who come over for snacks, so I have to keep them all in mind =)

  3. another gorgeous bake by The Bread Queen!

    well, I refreshed my starter yesterday, poor thing was feeling neglected after more than 2 months in the fridge - it is struggling a little, but I won't bake for a few more days, I hope it will come back to its bubbly self

    1. It will revive. I neglect mine all the time! Just coo at it a bit... lol!

  4. I love the colour of the bread when it's made with golden beets. And I cannot believe what wonderful loft you achieved. Beautiful!!

  5. isn't it funny how bright these colours are on the outside and how modest on the inside (yellow or red). I love that colour yellow too.
    btw I did mine with cooked beets

  6. Karen, your loaves are gorgeous! I love the braided crown look with the golden color. I'm going to have to try golden beets if I can find them.

  7. Not pink?!? Okay, the gold is pretty, and probably more easily given to fussy eaters lol


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