Purple Carrot Bread

Now if I had a back yard garden I would have rows and rows of heirloom carrots growing. Not because I have an over whelming taste for carrots all the time, (although I do quite like them.) But because there are so many different colours you can grow. Orange, yellow, white, pink and for todays bread, the lovely purple.

I don’t often see them for sale, however my local farmers market has been stocking them the last few weeks so I’ve been stocking up. The Monkeys needed a little convincing they were indeed still carrots. A raised eyebrow and a sceptical look that only a 3 and 5 year old can give on being told, ‘of course they were carrots, taste them’.

So why should you eat an heirloom variety carrot?

* They taste fantastic. If you are comparing it to an insipid supermarket pale old orange carrot- well, there is no comparison.

* Encouraging genetic diversity. 

 * The purple carrots are full of antioxidants, and… they make things a pretty purple colour, (like this bread.)

Purple Carrot Bread

150g sourdough starter

150g purple carrots- steamed/ mashed

25g wheat bran

125mls water + purple carrot water from cooking

225g strong bakers flour

1 tsp salt

I did an over night prove in the fridge for this one. Baked at 240C with steam.

The result is a soft, chewy crumb similar to adding oats in a dough. The purple cooking water from the carrots adds to the intensity of the colour. The next lot of bread I made was just with the carrots, and no cooking water- resulting in a slightly less intense colour.

Next stop, Purple Carrot Cake…

This post submitted to yeastspotting.


45 thoughts on “Purple Carrot Bread

  1. that colour is impressive – I agree that purple carrots are adorable – whenever I have tried baking with beetroot the bread or cake doesn’t hold the colour well – I have been cooking with purple carrots this week as I too got a coloured bunch from a farmers market – once one more purple carrot left and now I am wondering what to do with it!


  2. I liked seeing the stack of bread in the background.
    My niece sent me some taro bread from Hawaii that is the same color as your carrot bread- it was hard to get people to eat the purple bread as toast- but they gobbled it up for sandwiches.
    Carrots are so versatile in baking- I’m going to go looking for some purple ones at the farmer’s market!


      • It is moist and purple- but fairly nondescript is a good call.
        I think most of the appeal is that it is a staple in the Hawaiian diet and that it is purple. My son liked it for sandwiches- so I didn’t mind making it.


  3. carrots were originally purple and then had a colour change to look more appealing on the plate. I cannot wait to start my veggie garden and get all these lovely heirloom vegies 🙂


    • Most people wouldn’t think they were a carrot. I’ve heard lots of comments at the vege stall…”WHATS that?”
      Apparently purple carrots originated in the Afganistan region in 900’s and wasn’t until 1500’s that the orange carrot came on board in Europe.


  4. I’ve only ever tried orange carrots, although I know different colours do exist. It’s really hard to get vegetable or food variations in this part of the world unfortunately. I shall keep my eyes peeled though. This bread has such an amazing colour. Looks brilliant.


  5. Hi- this looks scrumptious! I was wondering how long you normally cook your sourdough for? I tried it in my breadmaker, and failed dismally, and am on attempt 2, following your recipe. Thanks so much for all the wisdom you share:)


    • Shelly I can’t really give you an exact time. Sourdough really works on it’s own time, depending on the room temperature beforehand, the strength of the starter and what sort of flour you are using etc. The bread maker is too quick for a sourdough as it needs a lot longer to think about things and get proving beforehand.
      For actual cooking time, depends on the size of the loaf, and temperature. I usually bake at 240C with steam and range from about 20 minutes for bread rolls for a lot longer with bigger loaves. I will jiggle it though and change the shelves around, and lower the temp for the second part of baking.

      Sorry I can’t be of more help! Have a look at the site Wild Yeast. It’s in my blogroll. Susan is a wonderful baker and there is a wealth of information in there that should explain a whole lot of proving and baking times.
      Good luck 🙂


  6. That looks amazing. Did I tell you I grew some purple potatoes this year from seed stock sent to me by a blogger in Gloucester? I had completely forgotten about them until I saw your post and they are sitting in the garage waiting for me to try them. I had a plan for purple potato bread but have I done it? I’m getting mega forgetful here. Interesting that you say it has a similar effect to oats, I wonder if it is the sugar or simply that they hold moisture in the dough… Anyway it looks splendiferous and I would love to try it! x Joanna


  7. i grew terrible carrots last year. i think i left them in the ground for too long and i didn’t thin them out so the ones that were close together were tiny while the other ones were huge, cracked and parsnip-like :\ …oh well.. better luck this year


  8. Your experiments are wonderful – what a fantastic result. I’ve not tried purple carrots – we can’t seem to grow carrots very well in our plot and I’ve not seen them for sale around here.


  9. Looks fabulous. I don’t think I’ve seen purple carrots here, but if I do I’ll definitely bear this recipe in mind. Perhaps I’ll just have to have a go at growing my own, it’ll be the longest I’ll ever wait for a loaf of bread though 🙂


    • I was wondering this myself. I’m just boiling a batch of “normal” orange carrots and am going to try this recipe with them. I’m just about covering the carrots with water (about 200mls to start with) and simmering for 15 mins to render them mashable. I’ll let you know how it goes and how much water I end up with!


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