This carrot bread is a yeasted bread, not a quick bread, and involves a rye starter (a poolish) as well as carrots, carrot juice, and parsley. First, you mix the poolish and let it sit overnight. On baking day, the starter is mixed with bread dough, yeast, carrot juice, carrots, parsley, golden syrup, sunflower oil, salt, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds. You have to wait a couple of days, but it’s worth it.
Don’t you just love those orange carrot bits? Don’t worry vegetable haters, you can’t taste the carrot. The dominant flavors are the toasted sesame and sunflower seeds.
This recipe was chosen by Heather of Girlichef, the host and kitchen of the month for Bread Baking Babes (and one of my favorite food bloggers in the universe.. you need to follow her blog. She’s a breadhead after my own heart).
Heather and the other Babes had some trouble with the amount of liquid in the original recipe. I did too and I wish I had measured the adjustments I made in the amount of water I used. I would estimate that I added about a half cup of water to the poolish, and another half cup of water to the final dough. While the dough seemed a bit sticky during the kneading process, after the bulk rise, the dough was not sticky at all. It was super easy to handle and easy to shape.
The oven spring on my loaves was amazing. I probably should have slashed the loaves. Look at how the loaves split on their own!
3/4 tsp instant yeast
1 C water, plus more if needed
364 grams whole rye flour
1 cup carrot juice
2 1/2 tsp instant yeast
1 1/4 C grated carrots
1/2 C chopped parsley
823 grams bread flour
2 T plus 1 tsp golden syrup, honey, or maple syrup
All of the poolish
Additional water as needed
1/4 C sunflower oil
4 tsp sea salt
1/3 C toasted sesame seeds
3/4 C toasted sunflower seeds
- In a medium bowl, with a dough whisk or a large spoon, mix the poolish ingredients until it is the texture of a sticky bread dough. Don’t worry if you can’t get it quite right, because you can adjust the hydration in the final dough. Cover the bowl with plastic and let sit at room temperature for 12 to 24 hours, until very bubbly.
- The next day, in the bowl of a stand mixer, place the carrot juice, yeast, carrots, parsley, flour, golden syrup, and the poolish. Mix on low speed with the dough hook for 3 minutes. If the dough is too stiff, add more water until you have a slightly sticky dough. (Note: rye behaves differently than wheat, and can make the dough feel someone gummy.)
- Add the oil and knead for another 8 minutes. If you are having trouble incorporating the oil (if you dough seems to be sloshing around in the oil like mine did), pull the dough out of the bowl and add it back in pieces with the mixer running. It will come together and incorporate the oil.
- Add the salt, and knead for another 7 minutes.
- Remove the dough from the mixer and hand knead the seeds into the dough.
- Place the dough into an oiled bowl or dough rising bucket, cover with plastic, and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, deflating it once, half way through. (See this post about “knocking back” dough).
- Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and form them into balls and cover with a damp towel. Let them rest for 10 minutes.
- Shape each ball into an oblong loaf by flattening it and rolling it up. Place each loaf, seam side down, onto a parchment lined peel or cookie sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled.
- Place a baking stone in your oven and preheat it to 475 degrees F. Fill a spray bottle with water.
- Slide the loaves, parchment and all, onto the baking stone and mist the oven with water. After 5 minutes, spray the oven again, and lower the oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
- Bake for another 35 to 40 minutes, tenting the loaves with foil if they are getting too brown.
- Cool on a wire rack.
Heather has a lovely crackle glaze on her loaves, but I cheated and left it off. Hop over to her site to find out more. It is painted on the loaves prior to the second rise.
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