The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Technicolor Carrot Bread

isand66's picture

Technicolor Carrot Bread

    I finally had a chance to use the blue pea flowers I bought a month or so ago after seeing several people on the Facebook bread groups as well as here recently post their versions.  Naturally I had to try and put my own spin on it.

For my first attempt it came out pretty good, but I almost had a disaster in the making.  The formula below is not 100% accurate since I forgot that I used extra water to soak the flowers in and in my haste to mix up the 2 dough's needed and cook dinner at the same time I never re-weighed the water :(.  This caused me to add some extra French flour and a bit of Rye flour so I didn't end up with soup.  The dough was still very slack but I think if you follow my formula below it should be fine.

I made 2 different dough's using one starter.  The blue dough was mostly made with the KAF French style flour with a bit of rye per above and yellow roasted carrots.  The second dough was fresh milled whole wheat with fresh milled rye and purple roasted carrots.  I made a few rolls as well as you can see in the photos.

I think all in all, the bread turned out beautiful and it tasted great.  The roasted carrots add a bit of sweetness and extra color.  The whole wheat and rye part actually turned orange looking for some reason.

Note: use 50% of the Levain for each dough.

Here are the Zip files for the above BreadStorm files.

Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together  for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.   You can use it immediately in the final dough or let it sit in your refrigerator overnight.

Blue Water Directions

Soak the pea flowers in boiling water for an hour or longer.  Strain flowers out before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Peel and cut the carrots into medium to small size pieces and toss in some olive oil.  Place on a sheet pan and roast at 425 F until soft and slightly charred.  Let cool until ready to use and cut them up into small pieces.

Blue Dough Directions

Mix the French Style flour or AP or Bread Flour with the Blue water and let rest for 30 minutes.  Next add the starter (see note above) and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Add the carrot pieces (50% of total amount listed) and mix for one more minute until incorporated.  Place in oiled bowl and cover.  Do some stretch and folds every 15-20 minutes 3 times.  After 90 minutes place in refrigerator overnight.

Whole Wheat/Rye Dough Directions

Mix the flours with regular water and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour.  Next add the starter and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Now add the other 50% of the carrots and and mix for about a minute until incorporated.  Per above, place in bowl, do S & F's and place in refrigerator when done.

The next day, let the 2 bowls sit at room temperature for around 1.5 hours or if you have a proofer or it's hot in your house you can let it sit for an hour or less ( I set my proofer at 78 degrees).  Take both dough's out and form into a rough rectangle.  Place the blue dough on top of the brown dough and then shape into a ball and place into your basket to proof.

The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature and will only rise about 1/3 it's size at most.  Let the dough dictate when it is read to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 535 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 5 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

Below are some photos of the echinacea starting to bloom in the gardens.



Elsie_iu's picture

And I'm referring to that of all the flowers in the post, both in your bread and garden. The ones with yellow petals catch my attention the most. The hint of purple close to the centre is so dreamy!

This is an interesting bake indeed. The purple-yellow-blue crumb looks soft and moist. Can't resist biting into it! I love the triangle-projection scoring on the bread. It resembles the sun to me, which suits this colourful bread perfectly!

isand66's picture

Glad you like the bread and the flowers.  Aside from looking pretty, the bread really tastes great too.  It has a nice soft crumb and is very flavorful.

Happy Baking!


PalwithnoovenP's picture

You are always creative with your breads not juts in the flavor department but also in aesthetics. They look plain on the outside but the magic is revealed once you cut it. Well done Ian!

Your garden photos feel like entering a new dimension. Thanks for sharing! What are the flowers in the third photo? Very relaxing to look at. You are really blessed with a green thumb!

isand66's picture

I do try to make things look as good as they taste when I can. 

Glad you enjoy the garden photos.  My wife and I both spend a lot of time and effort on our gardens and it's nice when they turn out the way we envision it, just like baking bread.  All of the flowers are echinacia which are my favorites.  They keep adding more and more varieties every year and we search for them all over the place.

I look forward to see your next creation as well.

Happy Baking!


nmygarden's picture

How fun is this?! It looks as though you cloaked the surface of the loaf and rolls with the purple carrot dough - purposely, or my imagination? The doughs look comparable in texture, which is harder to accomplish than it looks.

Terrific experiment - and for fun, you can make people guess how it was done!

Your garden;s looking happy and healthy - beautiful, as always.

isand66's picture

I'm glad you like it.  I actually did lay one dough on top of the other and then formed it into a boule.  The blue dough was very wet due to my stupidity of not re-measuring the water but in the end it turned out great anyway.

I still have so much to do in the garden, but we are getting hit with a heat wave this weekend, so it will have to wait until it cools down a bit.  Hope you are staying cool yourself.


dabrownman's picture

is going to be straining any blue pea flowers out of the water after they have been thrown in especially if they have no taste.  You will be doing these straining kind of things after you retire except on the bathroom toidy!

I sure cme put looking spectacular and neon on the inside while the crust looks pretty norma.  Had to be a big surprize.  Has to taste great as well since it looks so nice - how could it not?

Lucy the so long dog, says hi to he buddies frolicking in the warm Island surf while is puddling it out in the Indian Sweat Box at 110 F and no water insight for about 400 miles.  Nice baking ian!

isand66's picture

It's pretty amazing how the dough keeps the blue color unlike beets which I have not tried but know is more tricky to get to work.  This one did turn out pretty and tasty which is a double bonus.

We are in heat wave here, after it seemed we would never feel the wrath of summer.  It's not quite as hot as by you, but the humidity is killer.  I'm off to our friends house to dip in their pool and the gardening will have to wait :).

Max and Lexi, wearing black fur coats do not enjoy the humidity and 90 degree weather.  I practically had to drag them for a walk yesterday.  They would rather be like Lucy and get a nice Margarita and float on a raft in the pool, with you holding an umbrella over her for shade of course :).

Happy Baking and here's to air-conditioning!

Ru007's picture

Wow Ian, I really love the look of this. The colours are incredible. I like the idea of roasted carrots in a loaf. Roasted butternut squash and sweet potato, and those were nice. Do carrots add a lot of moisture to the dough.

The flowers are beautiful too! 

Very nice bake Ian! 

Happy baking


isand66's picture

Glad you like the bake.  The carrots do add some extra moisture for sure and tenderness in my experiences.  I love the added sweetness as well

Happy Bakingn