First off, I need to start of this post by explaining the photos above. Because I know most of you have no context for just how bad the snow storm was (you know, that blizzard thing we had last week), I though I’d post a couple of comparison photos that I took over the weekend. See… we usually have a really nice view of downtown Chicago! And the when the sun sets we see a really beautiful reflection on the buildings downtown 🙂
But, downtown Chicago (and our view of it – or lack-thereof during a snowstorm) is not the intended topic of this post. Rather, I’m excited to share with you a pretty tasty recipe for carrot bread. I was a little skeptical at first, but we had TONS of carrots hanging out in the fridge – – – they were the remains of my ambitious attempt from the previous weekend of buying more veggies with the plan of eating them.
As much as I hate to admit it, Kirk and I have a bad habit of buying lots of vegetables with the intent of eating really healthy during the week, and then life happens and we end up letting many of them go bad before we get around to wanting to eat them. I’m trying really hard to break this habit, and carrot bread was an attempt at not letting the fresh and delicious carrots go to waste.
It has a dense moist crumb, and the carrots add a beautiful color without an overwhelmingly “carroty” flavor. The flavor is actually more like a subtle sweetness, which I liked. Given the amount of carrots in the recipe, I was concerned that it would be like eating a carrot with a strange “bready” texture. It turned out to be just right. As a warning, it’s meant to be a moist and sticky dough, so you’ll need to be patient working with it. I’ve eaten the bread by itself with some sweet cream butter, and it’s delicious. I imagine it is probably really tasty with a hearty soup or stew 🙂
Carrot Bread (makes one large round loaf) – adapted from Bread by Eric Treuille & Ursula Ferrigno
- 2 tsp dry yeast
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
- 3 3/4 cups bread flour
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cups grated carrots
- 2 tbsp melted butter
- Grate your carrots (enough to get to to 2 1/4 cups) using the fine-grate side of a cheese grater box (I think I used about 8 carrots)
- Sprinkle the yeast into 1/2 cup of the warm water in a small bowl. Let it stand for 5 minutes to dissolve.
- Mix the flour and salt together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the dissolved yeast. Add the carrots and 1 tbsp melted butter to the well. Mix in the flour and begin adding remaining water as needed. you want to have a moist and crumbly dough.
- Using a dough hook (if you have a mixer) – or kneading by hand – knead the dough until it’s smooth but still sticky, about 10 minutes.
- Put the dough into a clean greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean towel.
- Let it rise until it’s doubled in size (about an hour and a half). Punch it down, and then let it rest for about 10 minutes.
- Shape the dough into a round loaf and place it on a floured baking sheet covered with a dishtowel. Let it rise again (proof) until it’s doubled in size – about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
- While the dough is proofing, preheat the oven to 400F
- Using a sharp knife, make a couple of slashes in the proofed dough (it will allow the dough to continue to rise in the oven). Bake the dough in the preheated oven for approximately 45-55 minutes, until the loaf is golden and hollow sounding when tapped on the bottom.
- When you take the dough out of the oven, brush the top of it with the remaining tbsp of melted butter, letting the butter absorb into the crust.
- Cool the loaf on a wire rack.