This recipe is based upon one found in my recipe Bible: Sunset Breads (Lane Publishing, Menlo Park, CA 1986). The recipe is marked with the notation that I first made it on January 16, 1991 and that it was delicious. Nothing has changed. It is delicious. As I was saying the other day, we are in the midst of the great 2020 Pandemic and finding yeast has been a challenge. My husband found out that it was a difficulty, called his wine-making supply store, and voila, he had envelopes of brewer’s yeast within the hour. The envelopes seem the same size as active dry yeast, so I used one package. It worked just fine. There’s no funny taste, it’s just like normal.

I recently read an article where the author talked about the shopping uncertainty that’s plaguing us now. One never knows if what you order will be available. I want to be clear that I understand that having food, at all, is a great blessing. And I don’t take that for granted. I simply want to acknowledge that menu planning has changed in significant ways. I finally laid hands on rice yesterday. Rice. Anyway, I ordered beets last week and I got the biggest beets I’ve ever seen. Yesterday I roasted them. I pickled some with eggs, see the recipe here. I decided to make this vegetable bread with some more, but the recipe makes two loaves and I didn’t want both of them to be beet bread, so I roasted a small butternut squash and used that for the other loaf. We don’t eat a lot of carbs, so I’m not sure what I’m going to do with all this bread. It is DELICIOUS!

  • Ingredients
  • 1 package active dry yeast (I used 1 package of brewer’s yeast)
  • 1/4 cup warm water (about 110 degrees F)
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 5-1/2 cups bread flour, approximate
  • 1-1/2 cups cooked vegetable puree, warm*

I made this in my stand mixer using the dough hook. Dissolve yeast in warm water and stir in sugar. Let stand about fifteen minutes until it’s frothy. Stir in milk, butter, egg, salt, nutmeg and 3 cups flour. Mix until it all comes together. If you are making two different kinds of bread, then it’s at this point you remove half the dough and set it aside. To the first half-batch, knead in 3/4 cup of the lightest color vegetable puree. Once it is well-blended, set the mixer on low speed for 5-6 minutes to build the gluten. Then gradually add flour until the dough is smooth and satiny, using as little flour as possible. Place dough in a greased bowl and turn it so as to grease the top. Cover with cling wrap. Repeat with the second half of the dough. Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about an hour and a half.

Prepare pans by greasing or spraying with non-stick spray. Shape dough into 2 loaves. I used 9×5″ loaf pans because I wanted the uniformity for sandwiches. I’m not real great with free-form loaves, but you do what you want. Let rise in a warm place until nearly double, about 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. If you went the free-form route, make 1/2″ deep slashes across the tops of your loaves. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes or until loaves sound hollow when tapped. I let my loaves stand for ten minutes, then removed them from the pans to a cooling rack.

*What you see pictured here is one loaf of butternut squash bread and one loaf of beet bread. The recipe says you can try carrot, potato, spinach (1.5# yields 3/4 cup), or tomato (6 oz. can tomato paste). It also says you can add different spices depending upon the vegetable that you use. Just make sure that you’ve either mashed your cooked vegetable or run it through a food processor, something like that.