BEETROOT & KRAUT LOAF

Ingredients

150g strong white starter

350g pureed beetroot

450g strong white flour

8g salt

100g (red) cabbage sauerkraut, drained of as much liquid as possible

Method

  • In a large bowl combine the starter and beetroot puree and mix gently until combined.

  • In another bowl, combine the flour and the salt.

  • Add the flour mix to the first bowl and mix using one hand (keep it in a rigid claw shape) until the ingredients are combined.

  • Cover the bowl with a damp tea towel and leave to rest at room temp.

  • After 10 mins, give the dough a fold in the bowl. Use slightly wet hands to prevent the dough sticking to them. Sliding your fingers underneath the dough, pull a section of the dough out to the side and fold it into the middle of the ball of dough. Repeat this, going around the dough until you get back to the beginning (4-5 folds). Re-cover the bowl and leave for another 10mins. Repeat this 3 times.

  • For the 3rd fold, add the drained sauerkraut to the dough and fold to evenly distribute it. Then cover the bowl again and leave to rest for an hour at room temp.

  • Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Stretch out one side of the dough and fold into the middle. Repeat this with each of the four ‘sides’ of the dough. Put the dough back in the bowl upside down and leave to rest for another hour.

  • Shape your loaf into a round shape for your proving basket (banneton)

  • Lightly flour your banneton and place your dough into it upside down, with the seam facing up and the smooth side on the bottom

  • Place the loaf in a plastic bag and into the fridge overnight to prove. You know it has fully proved if it has increased 30-50% in size and, when you press you finger 1-2cm into it, the dough pushes out slowly. If the dough springs back quickly, it needs longer to prove.

  • Preheat oven to 250C. Place roasting dish in bottom of the oven and heavy duty baking tray on a rack OR a le cruset/dutch oven/cast iron pot to heat up

  • Carefully turn your loaf out upside down onto the hot, lightly floured baking tray. If you are using a le cruset, take off the lid and turn the loaf into the lightly floured pot. Quickly score the top of the loaf with a serrated knife or razor blade.

  • Immediately place the loaf into the centre of the oven and pour a glass of water into the roasting tin at the bottom. This creates steam and will help the loaf to rise and set the crust. If using a le cruset, there is no need for this, simply replace the lid and put in the oven.

  • Bake for approximately 30 minutes. If using a le cruset, remove the lid for the final 10 minutes. To check the bread is baked through, tap the bottom – it should sound hollow.

  • Allow to cool on a wire rack for ideally an hour before eating

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