Tuesday, October 29, 2013

BBB - Carrot Bread

Hellooooooo COLOR!

Shook off that rotten flu to make this bread at the last second so I could be a BBBuddy this month!  I think the color of the dough is just amazing.  Now it may have had something to do with the fact that I juiced a couple of carrots for the juice called for in the recipe and decided the pulp was just the perfect amount to use for the grated carrots as well.  That leaves a super fine pulp compared to a hand grater even on the fine blade.  So it kind of blended all in.  I am tempted to make french toast out of this bread, I think it would be interesting.  The host kitchen was girlichef this month and go check out her gorgeous loaves with that crackle glaze!  I chickened out on the Dutch crunch topping.  I've had something like it once and just didn't like the texture or mouthfeel.  One of these days I will have to try it just so I can be sure though.  ☺  After seeing one of the babes use an eggwash which totally enhanced that gorgeous color, I decided to go that route.  This is a plan ahead recipe as the poolish requires day in advance prep.  Unless of course you spike it with sourdough, which loves rye flour, and it totally goes bonkers and overflows within hours... twice.


(Oops, bumped its poor little head when I took its temperature...)  Here is the recipe as published on the host kitchen's website, including a cool little note on knock-back at the end. 

Carrot Bread 
by Heather Schmitt-Gonzalez
Prep Time: 28 hours (mostly unattended)
Cook Time: 45 minutes
makes (3 loaves)

    ¾ sp active dry yeast
    1 cup lukewarm water + more as needed
    2½ cups (13 oz / 364 g) stone ground rye flour

    1/3 cup toasted sesame seeds
    ¾ cup toasted sunflower seeds
    2½ teaspoons active dry yeast
    1 cup carrot juice, lukewarm
    1¼ cups grated carrot
    ½ cup chopped parsley
    6-6½ cups (29.4-31.8 oz / 823.2-890.4 g) bread flour
    2 tbsp + 1 tsp golden syrup (or honey or maple syrup)
    ¼ cup sunflower oil
    4 tsp sea salt

Crackle Glaze:

    1 tsp active dry yeast
    ¾ cup + 2 tbsp lukewarm water
    ¾ cup + 1¼ tablespoons (4.7 oz / 131.6 g) rice flour
    2 tsp sugar
    1¾ teaspoons sunflower oil
    ¾ teaspoons sea salt

Day 1: Make the Poolish
Dissolve the yeast in the water, and let sit a few minutes to bloom. Whisk in the flour until smooth - if it is very thick, continue whisking in more water until it is the consistency of a thick batter. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 24 hours; at this point it should be a bit bubbly.

Day 2: Baking Day
In a large bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer fitted with dough hook attachment), dissolve the yeast in the carrot juice, let sit a few minutes until it looks creamy (bloomed). Add the grated carrot, parsley, the lesser amount of bread flour, golden syrup, and the poolish to the bowl. Knead on low speed for 3 minutes. If the dough doesn't seem too sticky, then don't add any more of the flour; it will firm up as it is kneaded (plus you have more to add to it).

Add the oil to the bowl and knead for another 8 minutes. Add the salt, increase the speed, and knead until elastic, about 7 more minutes. At this point, the dough will not be sticky any longer. Use the extra flour, a tiny bit at a time, to remedy the dough if it is. Add the toasted seeds, and gently mix in.

Place the dough into a large, lightly oiled bowl or container and cover. Let sit for 60-90 minutes, *knocking the dough back halfway through. To knock the dough back, remove it from the bowl and set it on a work surface. Use your hands to knock the air out of it. Fold the edges towards the center to form a cushion. Replace in the container, seam side down.

Crackling Glaze:
While the dough is rising, dissolve the yeast in the water in a medium bowl. Whisk in the remaining ingredients. It should be spreadable, but not runny. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before using.

shaping and baking:
Turn the dough out onto a lighty floured work surface and divide into 3 equal parts (approximately 78 ounces of dough to equal three 26 ounce portions).

Form the portions into three round balls, and cover them with a clean tea towel. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Shape each circle of dough into an oblong loaf, by gently pressing ball down into a circle and then tucking/rolling into shape. Set loaves, seam side down, onto a lightly floured bread peel or thin cutting board. Glaze the loaves generously with the crackling glaze (you'll have a lot of leftover glaze), and leave to rise at room temperature for 60-75 minutes, or until the dough has doubled in size and the the surface is crackled.

Place a baking stone into the oven, and preheat to 475° F during last 20 minutes or so of rise time.
Slide the loaves onto the stone (let them rise directly on a baking sheet or two if you don't have a stone - slide that into preheated oven) and spray generously with water. Close oven door. Lower the temperature to 400° F after 5 minutes. After another 10 minutes, open the oven door to let in a little air. Repeat two more times (every 10 minutes). Total baking time will be 45 minutes.

Remove bread from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Host kitchen notes:
These loaves are fantastic sliced up and shared in a bread basket, or served alongside a soup and salad. They also make great toast (slathered with salted butter) and sandwiches. My breakfast for a week was thickly sliced piece of toasted Carrot Bread, with salted butter, a thin slice of smoked ham, and a few shards of strong cheese.

*On "Knocking Back":
Knocking back is normally done only with wheat doughs. Acetic acid is formed between 36° F and 75° F, which slows down the fermenting process. Knocking the air out evaporates most of the acetic acid, but what remains together with the softer lactic acid forms that great aromatic smell. The traditional cushion shape makes the dough more pliable, and the temperature ensures stability and provides the yeast cells with new nourishment. The removal of carbon dioxide from the dough flavors fermenting, the yeast propagates, the gas bubbles increase in number and the dough rises more quickly. By knocking back the bread you get a larger bread, which is easier to handle and which has a better and more elastic interior. (source: Artisan Breads by Jan Hedh)

adapted from Artisan Breads: Practical Recipes and Detailed Instructions for Baking the World's Finest Loaves by Jan Hedh


  1. Looks beautiful! I love your idea of adding sourdough. I should have slashed mine.

  2. The color on this really is out of this world. I love the contrast between the interior and the crust! And I think that a bit of sourdough is pretty much a perfect idea...adding another layer to the already addictive flavor. Thanks so much for baking along with the BBBabes and BBBuddies this month, Kelly. :)


Thanks for commenting, I love hearing from you! If you have any questions I will do my level best to answer them for you.