Beetroot Sourdough

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Preparation info

  • Makes


    small loaves
    • Difficulty


    • Ready in

      3 hr

Appears in

Slow Dough, Real Bread

Slow Dough, Real Bread

By Chris J L Young

Published 2016

  • About

Laura says that this loaf has “earthy flavours that are perfect with goats’ cheese and mackerel”. The beetroot/beet lends the white crumb an unusual burgundy colour; a simple variation would be to replace the beetroot/beet with grated carrot or parsnip, which will give an orange or creamy fleck to the crumb, depending on the vegetable used.


  • 430g/15¼oz/3 cups white bread flour
  • 100g/oz/scant ½ cup white sourdough starter
  • 8g/ tsp fine/table salt
  • 250g/9oz/1 cup plus 1 tbsp water
  • 330g/11½oz/scant cups peeled raw grated beetroot/beets


  1. Mix the flour, sourdough starter, salt and most of the water together thoroughly. If the dough is too stiff, add more of the water. Knead the dough until smooth and stretchy, then cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  2. Flatten the dough out to form a rectangle. Scatter the beetroot/beets over it and knead in until distributed evenly. The dough will be very soft and sticky. Shape into a ball, cover and leave to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Give the dough a single fold and rest for a further 30 minutes, then fold and rest for 30 minutes twice more.
  4. Dust two 500g/1lb proving baskets with flour. Divide the dough into 2 equal-size pieces and shape to fit the baskets. Place the dough in the baskets seam-side up, cover and leave to prove in the refrigerator for 12 hours overnight.
  5. Heat the oven to 250°C/230°C fan/480°F/gas 9+, or as high as your oven will go, with a baking stone or baking sheet in place. Turn one piece of dough out of its basket onto a floured peel and slash the top, then slide it onto the stone. Bake for 20 minutes, or 25 if you prefer a slightly darker crust. Repeat with the remaining piece of dough.