Whole Wheat Purple Carrot Ricotta Sourdough
I’ve made bread with carrots before and I loved the extra sweetness it provides. Previously I have roasted them and cut them into little pieces to add to the dough. I decided to puree them in the mini-food processor this time. I had seen a video on FB of a professional baker who juiced the carrots and added the carrot juice in place of the water so I wanted to try and get the carrots as liquid as I could. They were not really like carrot juice but the pureed version did add nice purple striations to the dough.
The flours I used were freshly grounded whole wheat (Big Country from Barton Spring Mill) sifted twice and milled twice as well as some KAF bread flour. I added some whole milk ricotta cheese to add some additional softness to the crumb.
The overall hydration is higher than indicated in the formula since the ricotta cheese is about 72% water and carrots also added some extra moisture. The dough was pretty wet but was manageable.
I love the flavor profile on this bake. The Big Country whole wheat is one of my favorites and added with the carrots it gave just enough of a hint of sweetness to make this one a winner for sure and worth baking again.
Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit at room temperature for around 6-7 hours or until the starter has almost doubled. I used my proofer set at 76 degrees so it took around 5 hours for me. Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.
Main Dough Procedure
Mix the flour and liquids (leave about 50 -70 grams to add after the first mix), together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute. Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes. After 30 minutes or so add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), pureed roasted carrots, ricotta and remaining water as needed and mix on low for 5 minutes. Note: If you are using the Ankarsrum mixer like I do, add your water to the bowl first then add in the starter and flours. After your autolyse add in the salt, carrots, ricotta and remaining water and mix on low to medium low for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds. Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold. After a total of 1.5 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.
When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours or if using a proofer set at 80 degrees for one hour. (Note: this is a very sticky dough, so make sure to add plenty of rice flour to your bannetons if using). Remove the dough and shape as desired and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap Sprayed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 – 2 hours. (I use my proofer set at 80 F and it takes about 1 hour to 1.5 hours).
Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 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.
After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees. Bake for around 35 minutes or until the breads are nice and brown and have an internal temperature around 200-210 F.
Take the bread(s) out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack for as long as you can resist.