The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Triple challenge - 123 Rainbow bread with veg!

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Triple challenge - 123 Rainbow bread with veg!

Okay, I'm quite sure one is not allowed to have this much fun while baking bread. :) With all the ideas purcolating through my head, many sparked by questions and comments on this site, I decided to go a little nuts with this weekend's fun bake.

I'm still playing around with the 123 bread to see what I can do with it. Turns out just about anything! Then there was the semi-challenge issued by Dab I think it was, when someone posted that beautifully-weird black bread and he wondered about a 'colour' challenge. And I was also browsing an old thread about how to get more vegetables in bread to make it healthier.

So ... drumroll please ... I present 123 Veg bread, in three colours!

The base dough was the same for all of them - 100 grams of fresh, 100% hydration starter, 200 grams of water, 225 grams of bread flour and 75 grams of whole wheat flour, with 6 grams of salt, for each loaf.

The first had roasted beets, chopped fine in the food processor (they were a little chunky still because I roasted them a little too long and the outside was a bit crusty). I added some currants and cardamom, thinking of the sweetness of beets.  One thing that really annoys me is that I took pictures of the entire process, but ended up accidentally deleting them before uploading them. Anyway, the dough for the Beet bread was the most beautiful bright shade of fuschia pink, dotted with currants. Lovely!

The second had mashed roasted yam, with a little bit of maple syrup and a touch of cayenne (as this is what I like with my roasted yams). Dough was a lovely soft orange, as expected.

And the third contains chopped cooked spinach, with some toasted sunflower seeds and a dash of nutmeg. The dough itself wasn't really green (probably a good thing) but rather flecked with green.

Of the three doughs, the one with mashed roasted yam was the softest dough. The beet one was the most firm and springy, and the spinach dough was a little sticky but still nicely workable. Oven spring was very good for all of them.

Once baked, the colours come through nicely and the flavour is quite different with all of them. I baked two loaves of each plus a small taster loaf, which I cut and tested. The crumb shots below are from the taster loaves. I was quite surprised how strong the spinach taste was, and decided that one would be best served with cheese. :)

But here's a series of pictures I re-took after the bake. The colours are not so dramatic as they were in the dough (I am SO gutted about the loss of all those pictures!).

The three side-by-side for colour contrast.

Here is the Beet Currant...

And the crumb for the Beet Currant...

This is the Roasted Yam...

And the crumb shot of the Yam...

And finally, the Spinach and Sunflower loaf...

And the Spinach & Sunflower crumb shot...

So, what other colours can we make? :)



Ru007's picture

I like the sound of this! And your loaves all look delicious, you're achieving consistently great results with your 123 loaves. The crumb is prefect, open but not so open that any potential fillings would just fall through! Great job :)

Beets are a bit of a deal breaker for me, but the loaf still looks wonderful :) 

I would love to try the spinach loaf, spinach is one of my favourite foods (and i really like sunflower seeds too)! How did it taste? 

How much spinach did you add? Spinach has a lot of moisture in it, is that why the dough ended up being sticky? 

Its a shame about the pictures, would have been nice to see the dough. 

Great bake LL. Enjoy.


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Hmmm, how much spinach? I used chopped frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed as dry as I could get it, then I added the squeezed-out water as part of the dough water. For the two loaves (two 550gram loaves plus around a 200 gram taster loaf) I'd say there was about a quarter cup of the squeezed-out spinach. If I make this again I'm thinking of putting feta cheese in it too. :) The taste is quite spinach-y, actually, which is why I suggested eating it with cheese. Perhaps next time I won't add the drained spinach water either.

But yes, the moisture left in the spinach may have made the dough stickier than the other two.

If you don't like the taste of beets, it didn't come through strongly in the dough. I didn't use much and roasting them first caramelized them wonderfully, so it was really just colour and sweetness!

nmygarden's picture

Love being experimental, especially when it turns out so well! You're unstoppable now, Congratulations!


dabrownman's picture

They all look very tasty.  Spinach seems like a weird bread ingresient but I love spinach and cheese bialy's.  Well done all the way around and

Happy baking

yozzause's picture

They all look really good and i'm sure will taste pretty good too, the comparison being side by side shows them off to great effect the base dough benig 123 is the one I usually use. Don't forget there is Turmeric and spring onion and Halloumi Cheese



see my blog blog near neigbours  and near neighbours  part 2

And a dark stout is great for adding a good brown to the colour as well as great flavour

kind regards Derek

Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

Such a lovely colour on those ones too! I actually make two Ale & Yeast breads, both made with a poolish made with my husband's home brew. One is a light hoppy ale, the other a dark mild. And everyone loves those two; they're my best sellers!

Danni3ll3's picture

of putting veggies in bread. I love your combos! Well done!

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum


You have started a wonderful thread.


Lazy Loafer's picture
Lazy Loafer

I look forward to everyone's newly-inspired creations! :)