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Beetroot Sourdough Cob


100g well-fed Shipton Light Rye Flour sourdough starter

2 Beetroots (raw or cooked & packaged, it doesn't matter - just don't use pickled!)

290ml Water

450g Organic White Flour No.4

8g Sea Salt

*if you want a more purple finished loaf, add half a teaspoon of pure Vitamin C Powder to the mix, which prevents oxidation of the beet pigments during baking. I did not do this, but I have read about it.


Day 1

Step 1

Blitz 2 Beetroots with 290ml Water using a Food Processor or Smoothie Maker (I use my Nutri Ninja)

The idea is to make this as finely blended as possible, with no chunks.

Step 2

Add the following to mixing bowl

100g Light Rye sourdough starter

Beetroot Water mix (sieving out larger chunks with a fine sieve)

Mix using a spoon or whisk until the mixture is relatively smooth

Then, add 450g Organic Strong White Flour no.4

and 8g Sea Salt

Mix using a large spoon until the dough is well-integrated, with no floury patches remaining.

*More water may be added in 5ml increments at this stage, if the dough isn't coming together easily. This will depend on the moisture content of the beetroots.

Step 3

Seal bowl with reusable lid or cling film, and leave for 1 hr

Step 4

First stretch and fold.

Wet the upper surface of the dough and tip out from bowl using a dough scraper, onto lightly wetted surface

Ensuring one side remains facing down the entire time, stretch and fold the dough, pulling one side away and folding it over onto itself, then rotating the dough 45º at a time. Repeat this 10-12 times.

Return the dough to mixing bowl, with the smooth side (what was the bottom during stretch and fold) facing up.

Leave dough for 1 hr

Step 5

Second stretch and fold

Repeat Step 4, but only stretch and fold 4-5 times.

Leave dough for 1 hr

Step 6

Repeat Step 5 at hourly intervals until dough is almost doubled in size - should be between 4 and 10 hours, depending on climate and sourdough virility.

Step 7


Turn dough ball out onto floured surface

Repeat stretch and fold action, 4-5 times.

Turn over, so dough is now smooth side up.

Holding the dough from behind, with the side of your hands touching the surface, pull the dough towards you, so that the surface is pulled under, and the ball shape is tightened.

Refer to Image 2 as a reference for this step.

Step 8


Turn shaped dough into banneton, dusted with rice/potato flour (refer to Image 3 as a referecne for this step)

Leave overnight in fridge

Day 2

Step 9

Preheat oven to at least 220ºC, preferably just as high a temp as your oven will go.

If using dutch oven or bread cloche (which I advise), make sure to place this in the oven to heat up too

Step 10

When oven is ready, cut a sheet of baking paper to the right size

Place sheet of baking paper on top of a cutting board and turn the dough out of the banneton onto the baking paper & board.

Quickly score the dough, cutting at a 45º angle to about 1 inch deep

Slide dough and baking paper off the cutting board into the dutch oven or bread cloch

Bake for 30 minutes covered, then remove lid and bake for an extra 5-10 minutes until sufficiently browned.

Step 11

Remove from oven (refer to Image 1) and cool for at least 4 hours before slicing