Easter is always a good opportunity for us to spend a huge amount of time in the kitchen—and this year we really turned it all up a notch. We cooked every day and some days it was first, second and third, followed by a food coma of epic proportions. I don’t know how we survived the holidays, honestly, considering the only workout we did was shoot this incredible, soft, we-have-no-idea-how-it-happened recipe for a mock-baguette with beet purée, beer and cheddar 😉 This is seriously good, in addition to being simple.
Lately we’ve acquired a strange desire to try to find ways to put beer in everything—I even got my hands on this interesting sounding recipe for a beer soup (will be definitely trying it!). Anyway, we buy beer by the cases (yes, that’s plural) and it usually disappears by the week’s end. I had to fight with Simeon for this last one, and only convinced him to let me work it in the recipe because I promised him he could finish the beer later (we only used half for the bread and Simeon drank the other half while kneading, claiming he needed his strength 😕). This recipe is kind of a hybrid between a cheddar beer bread and a beet bread. We had this lonely beetroot rotting away in the fridge and I thought—why not combine the two recipes? There goes nothing, I thought, hoping this would be a grand failure and was planning to put it on the blog, you know, with a title similar to ‘The first quarter of 2015’s flops’. Unfortunately the bread turned out spectacular. Ah, well, maybe next time.
To make the beetroot purée, peel, cut in chunks, and boil a lonely beetroot until soft, then remove most of the liquid and blitz the thing until you have a smooth, silky purée. Done! You’ll need 150g of the purée. Next, combine 400g high-gluten flour and 100g pastry flour for awesome results—it may just work with all-purpose flour, but you’ll have to try and tell me
Add salt, sugar, yeast, beetroot purée, olive oil and beer to the flour and mix—first with a spoon or spatula, then use your hands to knead the mixture until you have a smooth dough. Add flour and olive oil to the dough if it sticks to your fingers too much. Knead for around 10 minutes. Cover with cling film and let it rest in a warm place for 2 hours. You can cover your bowl with a blanket if you want, it should speed up the process!
After the dough is rested it will be double the starting size. Turn it over on a floured work surface and roll it out into a square, roughly 45x45cm(17x17inches) large, then sprinkle it with the cheddar. Roll up into a baguette shape and carefully try to seal the edges.
Cut your mock-baguette in two, transfer both to a baking tray, cover again and let them rest for an additional 30 minutes. Before you put them in the oven, score them with a sharp knife on top, just like in the pictures. Bake at 180°C/350°F for about 25-30 minutes.
Your beet, beer & cheddar mock-baguettes are done! Double or triple the quantities for a party, they are so good that they disappear faster than a bullet train!
Beet, Beer & Cheddar Mock-Baguette
- 400g high-gluten flour
- 100g pastry flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 7g dry yeast
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 250ml beer
- 150g beetroot purée
- 100g cheddar
- Peel, cut and boil the beetroot until soft. Drain most of the liquid and blitz it to a smooth purée. You’ll need to measure 150g of purée to use in the dough.
- Mix flour, salt, sugar, yeast, olive oil, beetroot purée and beer in a bowl until you have a solid dough.
- Knead in the bowl, adding more flour or olive oil if the dough sticks to your fingers. Keep kneading around 10 minutes or until you have a nice, smooth, soft dough. Cover the bowl with cling film and put in a warm place to rest for 2 hours.
- Turn over your dough on a floured work surface and roll it out to a square of roughly 45x45cm(17x17inches) size.
- Sprinkle with the cheddar and roll up into a baguette shape. Carefully tuck in the edges.
- Cut in half and put on a baking tray. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for an additional 30 minutes in a warm place.
- Preheat your oven to 180°C/350°F.
- Using a sharp knife, score both baguettes before putting them in the oven.
- Bake on the lowest rack, for around 25-30 min, or until golden.