The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

chameleon bread

yozzause's picture

chameleon bread

Recently there have been some postings about wine bread with some interesting colours coming from the inclusion of red wine. And who could forget Shiao-Pings Praline Almond bread. 

Well i decided to have a go with the inclusion of Beetroot on 2 counts first it makes an excellent  BEETROOT & CHOCOLATE pudding which is a lovely and moist. The 2nd being the vivid colour.

The duty chef was keen to give the idea a run so we produced dinner rolls for the evening restaurant crowd

The dinner rolls are pictured above and show a vivid outside colour but the inside was an orange tint which interested me some what.

I decided to make a Beetroot sour dough, i have been maintaining a sour dough culture here at the college for over 6 months now so it was a good reason to try it at home as i had beetroots left over.

The total flour was 500g, 400 being white and 100 wholemeal (ran out of white)

over night ferment featured 250g of the flour  100g of grated beetroot and and all the water 250ml and 50g of the sour dough starter , i kept this low as i wanted it to take the night to ferment.

I started it at 5.00pm see the pretty mix in the bowl, 12 hours later 5.00am i made up my dough adding the other 250g flour and 10g salt and 50g of oil and made a dough on the bench by hand.

The dough came to work and bulk fermented till about 9.30am  when i added 100g of pistacchios and divided and handed up into 2 boules .

1 of my colleagues took a pic with his mobile phone (hence poor quality) but what a lovelly colour!

After a further 3 hours i turned the boules  out onto a sheet and baked in the deck oven. The crust colour had changed somewhat  and lo an behold when i cut into the loaf, some one had pinched the colour or changed it just like a CHAMELEON.

My taste team all had some with only one person describing the sour as too much for their liking but i already knew that would be their viewpoint. but for me superb taste.

I would have like to have tried some as toast but alas with a large taste team it didn't see the next day. i wll be trying a larger batch soon. 


Farine's picture

...and very creative!

ques2008's picture

lovely pictures.  i'm sure the breads were delicious.

yozzause's picture

Thanks for the replies the thing that blew me away was the change in colour from the vivd purple to almost khaki. Natural coluring from the beetroot must be changed in the oxidation  and baking process, yet it persists on your clothing and through your digestive process if you get it on or in you!

Erzsebet Gilbert's picture
Erzsebet Gilbert

Gorgeous bread!  I would never have imagined beets could turn out so pretty!  Actually, our neighbor rather randomly gave us twenty enormous beets; we tried pickling one, and it tasted evil, and this seems a much better idea!  Beautiful rolls, and so creative...  

Happy Halloween!


RobynNZ's picture

Further to your Chameleon bread, thought you might be interested in these two baked goods:

In her new book Rose's Heavenly Cakes  RLB also provides a beetroot juice version in lieu of the bottle (!!) of food dye used in the velvet cake recipe. She says

in recipes using baking soda the beet juice would turn brown, but with the highly acidic batter of the red velvet cake , the crumb will stay red though not as pretty a red as the food dye.

Her recipe has baking powder and buttermilk in it. One would have thought your sourdough would have been acidic too... 

Come to think of it, the pigs you made with the youngsters were pretty pink too.




Shiao-Ping's picture

Your chameleon dinner rolls look delicious! 

Not many people like beetroot but I find it very versatile.   You mentioned Beetroot Chocolate pudding, that sounds really yummy to me.   I sometimes make Beetroot Chocolate cake (a bit like a carrot cake but without carrot, and with chocolate added) and it is, as you described your pudding, lovely and moist, very moist.  At my Christmas party last year, I made cornmeal squares studded with little beetroot Christmas trees, and it's a lot of fun. 

I find the beetroot color doesn't stay - the color is very different before bake and after bake.  It oxidates easily.  Only artificial color stays; unfortunately.   Your beetroot dinner rolls are lovely and pink.  I am very curioius as to the percentage of beetroot puree (or juice) to total hydration (or to total flour) that you used. 

Thank you for sharing your beetroot experiment with us.


yozzause's picture

Hi Shia-Ping

Thanks for your post, the dinner rolls used grated beetroot @ 20% addition.2 Kgs flour and 500g of beetroot

The sour dough was grated beetroot @ 20%. The water was 50% Flour 500g beetroot 100g. as the beetroot was pretty saturated after the boiling process both doughs had a nice earthy smell to them after mixing which comes from the beetroot.

I will try to obtain the beetroot / chocolate pudding

With the sour dough the pistacchios were added at the end of the bulk fermentation period

yozzause's picture

Chocolate and Beetroot Pudding Yield 10 Portions

ingredients                        quantity

eggs sepaerated             4

icing sugar                      128g

beetroot grated               100g

almonds ground              185g

flour (cake)                      50g

cocoa powder                    25g

baking powder                   1.5 teaspoons

lemon zested                     1

milk                                   100ml


(1) preheat oven to 180 deg C lightly grease 10 dariole moulds.

(2) whisk the egg yolks and 60g of the icing sugar until light

(3) whisk the egg whites till medium peak, add remaining icing sugar and whip until stiff peaks form

(4) fold the beetroot, ground almonds, flour and cocoa,baking powder and lemon zest into the yolk mixture in three stages,alternating with the milk.

(5) fold through, very lightly the whipped egg white.

(6) pour the batter into the dariole moulds and bake in the oven for aprox30-35min.

(7) when lightly cooled turn out onto wire rack and reserve for service.

To Serve

Microwave for 20 seconds and serve with hot chocolate sauce

courtesy of Hospitality & tourism

               Beaconsfield Campus

               Challenger TAFE


Shiao-Ping's picture

Thanks a lot, Yozza.  I will definitely give it a try.