A threw out the idea of making bread or rolls and tinting the dough red. Whenever an idea gets tossed into my brain, I’m never quite sure what will come out. In this case, I managed to surprise myself. My brain started screaming “beet bread”. I had never heard of beet bread. But it made sense because beets are red (appropriate for Valentine’s Day) and they are a late season veggie that would normally be eaten in the winter. I started surfing to see if beet bread existed and how to make it.
I found several recipes and realized that my brain, in its efforts to come up with something original, had apparently forgotten the terrible experience of the butternut squash. Beets, like winter squash, are dense and hard. By the time I was finished peeling and cutting theminto chunks or grating them, I would be in too much pain to cut up the potatoes for the rosemary potatoes and the pearl onions for the peas and pearl onions. I tossed the beet bread idea back into my brain and told it to come up with something else.
My brain couldn’t let go of the idea of beet bread. Its next suggestion was beet bread using canned beets instead of fresh beets. I went back to the internet and found several recipes for beet bread using canned beets. I chose the simplest of them. I dislike recipes that have too many ingredients and/or too many steps.
Once I started making the recipe, I realized that it lacked some information. When I was purchasing the beets, I automatically reached for the sliced beets instead of the whole beets. But because they are pureed in a blender (I used my food processor without incident) it really doesn’t matter whether you buy whole or sliced.
The recipe also does not specify what size loaf pan should be used. I panicked briefly when I realized that for some strange reason I have an 8” loaf pan and a 10” loaf pan but no standard 9” loaf pan. In the end it didn’t matter because there was so much dough, the 10” pan was appropriate.
The bread portion of the recipe came together easily and baked up perfectly. The glaze was not as easy. I simmered and simmered but it just wouldn’t thicken. Nor did it really add anything the bread once it was poured over it. Without the glaze, the bread was delicious. It reminded me of pumpkin bread, probably because of the pumpkin pie spice. And it didn’t taste anything like beets. I have to confess that I don’t like beets but I do seem to like beet bread.
Verdict: Yum!! This one’s a keeper!!
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 (16 ounce) can canned beets, drained (reserve liquid)
3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed
¼ cup orange juice, not concentrated
Beat sugar, eggs and oil until light and fluffy. Puree beets in blender until smooth. Beat into egg mixture.
Blend flour, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, ginger and salt. Fold flour mixture and orange rind into batter, mixing well.
Turn batter into a grease and floured loaf pan.
Bake at 350°F for 1 hour.
Glaze: Combine brown sugar, orange juice, and reserved beet juice in saucepan; simmer over low heat until thickened. Pour over while bread is warm. Serve with cream cheese.
Recycle: vegetable oil bottle, orange juice bottle
Compost: leftover orange rind