Beet Pumpernickel


1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup unbleached flour
1-1/2 cups pureed cooked beets
1 teaspoon salt (optional)
1 tablespoon caraway seeds (optional)
2 to 3 cups whole wheat bread flour
2 cups rye flour


Make a sponge with yeast, water, and unbleached flour. Let sit, covered, in a warm place for at least 2 hours or until the sponge is light and frothy. Pour into a food processor with the remaining ingredients, reserving 1 cup of whole wheat flour, or mix together by hand in a large bowl. Use enough flour to make a firm dough. Knead well, in processor or by hand. Place dough in a lightly floured bowl, cover with a large plastic bag, and let rise about 1 hour in a warm place. Punch down and shape into 2 round loaves. Place loaves on greased pie plates and let rise another 30 minutes. Slash an “X” on top of each loaf with a razor blade. Place in cold oven and turn heat to 375 degrees F. Bake for about 50 minutes or until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.


Makes 2 loaves.


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