Friday, November 15, 2013

Virtual Vegan Potluck: Beet Black Bread

I've barely posted since the last Virtual Vegan Potluck, but having let Vegan Mofo come and go with nary a blog entry, I wasn't about to let the potluck pass me by as well. (Especially when I learned that beets would be the featured ingredient.  As the random red stains around my kitchen will attest, I adore beets.)  My life has been busy in the most delightful way, and the last few months for me have involved lots of time spent introducing my nine-month old daughter to as many flavors and textures of food as I can come up with.  So far she has yet to meet any flavors she doesn't like, though curry took a couple tries before she decided it was okay.  But enough about me, lets talk about this beautiful hunk I've been cavorting with:

This was my first time making black bread, but I figured matching beets with rye and carraway couldn't go too wrong.  (Possibly I should have called it red bread, but while I don't mind alliterative food, rhyming food seems like a bit much.)  Be warned that this recipe makes a massive loaf, good for sharing with a holiday crowd, but potentially dangerous if you decide to scarf it all down yourself.  I served the bread slathered in vegan cream cheese, topped with shredded beets and a sprig of dill, and I highly recommend you try it that way, too.

The Ingredients:
1 1/3 c water
1/4 c molasses
2 1/2 t dry active yeast
2 c grated beets
3 T cocoa powder
3 T oil
2 T very finely ground espresso beans
2 T carraway seeds
2 1/2 t salt
about 2 1/4 c rye flour
about 4 c all purpose flour

about 1 T soy milk, 1 T flour, and 1 t carraway seeds for topping

The Process:
  1. Heat water until very hot. In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk molasses into water until molasses is completely melted. At this point, the water should be warm but not scalding hot. Sprinkle in the yeast, and let sit until yeast is foamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients except for flours, then stir in about 3/4 of the flour. When dough gets too thick to stir, either use the dough hook of a stand mixer or turn it onto a floured countertop and knead with floured hands. Add remaining flour as needed to form a tacky but workable dough. Continue to knead until dough is springy and elastic, about 5 minutes with a mixer or 10 minutes by hand.
  3. Form dough into a ball, coat with oil, and set in a covered bowl in a warm location to rise until  doubled, about 1.5 to 2 hours.
  4. Gently punch down dough, and shape it into a round loaf. Place on a lightly-oiled baking sheet, cover loosely, and let rise until not quite doubled again, about 1 hour. 
  5. Preheat oven to 425°. Brush loaf with soy milk, sprinkle with flour and carraway seeds, then slice an "X" into the top of the loaf with a very sharp knife, being careful not to deflate the dough. 
  6. Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° and continue baking for about 30 minutes. The bread is done when the internal temperature reaches 200°. If you don't have a thermometer, cook until the bottom crust is dark brown and the loaf has a hollow sound when you knock on it.
  7. Let cool before slicing, if you can stand the wait.

Use the links below to continue on to see more of the Virtual Vegan Potluck, or go back to see any dishes you missed.
 go back to The Vegan Kat

 go forward to Gormandize


  1. What a beautiful loaf of bread! I love the bright beet red in the scoring on top. I'm curious if you could actually taste the espresso beans in there at all (or if they were added for some other purpose besides flavor...). Either way, it sounds delicious!

    1. You don't taste the espresso (or the cocoa) in the bread, but my logic for including them was that they would contribute to the depth of both the flavor and the color.

  2. I love beetroot bread! I bet the coffee and cocoa really makes it sing!

  3. Very clever to combine beets with the classic black bread flavors! Look at that color! Thanks so much for taking the time to join the Potluck - it means a lot to me!

  4. Sooooo making this......

  5. I just bought some caraway seeds - now I know how I will use them!

  6. This looks really lovely, very hearty and satisfying!

  7. So nice to see you at this party major congrats on the birth of your daughter.
    Black bread with caraway and beet sounds like something I would scarf down too.

  8. This

  9. What an interesting combination of flavours. So clever. Definitely trying this in the next couple of days.
    Thank you.

  10. Wow, this bread sounds really decadent and rich, definitely a "sometimes" food, but I reckon it would be very popular! And it looks so pretty.

  11. Mmm, I love a good rye bread. Such a creative way to include beets!

  12. What an awesome idea! I love that you included cocoa powder and espresso...just imagining the depth of flavor that combo would give this bread. Also, vegan cream cheese and dill on top? It's just genius. Gorgeous recipe, thank you!

  13. This is a great idea! It looks so good.

  14. This looks like an amazing loaf! I love the addition of espresso and chocolate. Totally yum!! :)

  15. What a lovely loaf of bread! It looks delicious! Celeste :)

  16. Hey girl, just wanted to let you know that I included your recipe in the list of my favorites from this VVP! The post is here, if you want to see it:

    Thank you for your recipe!
    -Alina from Vegan Runner Eats

  17. Yum! I love black bread, will have to try it with beets!

  18. How have I never heard of black bread? I must live under a rock!

    I am really intrigued by the combination of flavors; coffee, cocoa, and beets! Not what I would imagine goes into a bread.

    I love how you used the featured ingredient, very creative and clever!

    Happy VVP!


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