Tuesday, November 11, 2014

MTR #3 - Carrot (Honey) Breads Take #2 and Take #3

This is gonna be a long post.
2nd Attempt - Carrot Honey Bread (without egg and sugar)

I have been testing bread machine breads for a while now, recently I have even ventured into designing and testing my own recipes but it has not been all plain sailing. Don't get me wrong, the recipes do work but I am getting more and more frustrated with the constraints of using the bread machine (BM). Firstly, breads done in the BM typically have a fixed kneading time and proofing time, which is often too short if your bread dough turns out to be too sticky but you can't do anything else, except perhaps to stop the program, re-start the dough mode, and either put it in the oven to finish it off or use the baking mode of the BM. Secondly, your bread cannot exceed a certain weight, beyond which you run a high risk of the bread rising too high and hitting the cover, and that has happened to me a couple of times. On the other hand, if your bread turns out to be too short, for eg. a 500g bread, the top doesn't get baked enough on top and you end up getting a very dark side crust and a very white top. I can rant on and on, basically my point is, BM breads are not easy. When you knead using a stand-mixer or BM, you decide how long you wanna knead in order to achieve windowpane stage, and you decide how long you wanna proof for the bread to double in volume, and if the bread rises too fast during proofing, you can cut short the proofing and straight away put it in the oven to start baking. You can't all do these in the BM, you are constrained by the program that you choose. I sometimes feel like a bird kept in a cage when I am using my BM. But the BM does offer some degree of convenience, and it works fine if you have a tried and tested recipe which you can use over and over again, or if you select the dough mode and the bake mode separately.

2nd Attempt - Carrot Honey Bread (without egg and sugar)

Which brings me to the point, why on earth do I write my own recipe? And why on earth do I bake 3 carrot breads 3 days in a row? Not to mention 2 sweet potato breads and 2 pumpkin breads in the past 2 weeks? I love a challenge when it presents itself, and whenever I feel I am so close to succeeding, I just can't let go, I have to do it again until I succeed. That's just the perfectionist streak in me. But not this time, I feel I have enough of carrots for this month. So I am gonna share with you 2 carrot bread recipes which are not yet perfect in my BM, but they would turn out great if you tweak it a little or if you choose to do it outside the BM. Do note that these 2 recipes have been carefully calculated to make them high hydration straight dough breads with good texture.

The first bread is a carrot honey bread from my 2nd attempt, as the name suggests, it contains carrot and honey, there are no eggs and sugar, so it is a very healthy bread for people with egg allergies. This bread rose very nice and tall, but I felt the texture was a little dry and too crumbly on the 3rd day. (Yes this is a straight dough recipe that can last 3 days.) In fact during kneading in the BM, I checked the consistency of the dough and it has not achieved the the windowpane stage yet. So a little more addition of whipping cream (or a little reduction of the bread flour or a longer kneading time) would make this a perfect recipe.

2nd Attempt - Carrot Honey Bread (without egg and sugar)

These 2 recipes are recipes I created from scratch through a few rounds of testing. If you wish to share this recipe on your blog or FB, kindly link back to this post.

2nd Attempt - Carrot Honey Bread (no egg, no sugar)

200g carrots, grated (of which 100g carrots was blended with 100g whipping cream in food processor/blender)
50g honey
150g whipping cream => can add a little more!
465g bread flour => can reduce a little!
1 tsp salt (5.5g)
2.5 tsp yeast (7.5g)
50g unsalted butter, to be added only when rough dough is formed

1. How to bake in BM - 20 min kneading using Dough mode,  followed by 2h 55 min of Sweet mode (light crust, 1000g or 2 LB), you may remove 5 min before the end.

2. How to bake in Oven - knead until thin stretchable membrane or windowpane stage, 1st proofing until doubled in volume, punch down and rest 10 to 15 min, divide into 2 loaves and place inside 2 x 450g (greased) pullman loaf tins or 2 bread tins of suitable size, 2nd proofing until doubled in volume, apply egg wash and bake in preheated oven at 180C for about 30 min.

- The 150g whipping cream already includes 100g used to blend with carrots, I feel you can add a little more than 150g just to make the texture a little more moist. Alternatively, you can reduce the bread flour. 
- The reason why I decided to blend half of the grated carrots with whipping cream was because I wanted a smoother texture, yet I left half of the grated  as it was, just for the fibrous texture.

3rd Attempt - Carrot Bread (with egg and sugar)

I initially wanted to try this carrot honey bread a 3rd time just to perfect the recipe but I soon realised that my 9-month-old baby cannot ingest honey due to her age, so I decided to use my sweet potato bread recipe as a base for my 3rd attempt to make a carrot bread that is suitable for her. So my 3rd attempt was a carrot bread without honey but with eggs and sugar, based on my sweet potato bread recipe. I was wondering about the water content of carrots vs sweet potato, and I made a mistake by adding too much milk, thinking that the dough consistency was similar to the sweet potato one and would still rise nice and tall, but it didn't, it was 1 cm shorter than the carrot honey bread. Again during kneading in the BM, I checked the consistency of the dough and it has not achieved the the windowpane stage yet, the dough was in fact quite wet. It might not have been be as tall as the carrot honey bread, however the texture was more moist and less crumbly. So a little less milk would make the dough less wet and make this a perfect recipe.

3rd Attempt - Carrot Bread (with egg and sugar)

3rd Attempt - Carrot Bread (with egg and sugar)

190g carrots, grated (of which 100g carrots was blended with 60g whipping cream in food processor/blender)
1 egg (60g)
60g whipping cream 
80g fresh milk (too wet, suggest to use 70 to 75g)
450g bread flour (plus 2 tbsp or 18g milk powder)
50g sugar
1 tsp salt (5.5g)
2.5 tsp yeast (7.5g)
50g unsalted butter, to be added only when rough dough is formed

same as above.

- All 60g of the whipping cream was blended with half of the carrots. If you do not have whipping cream, you can use plain or greek yoghurt. I used whipping cream of 30% fats.
- The milk powder was not planned initially, it was thrown in instead of bread flour to compensate for the wet dough. It turned out to be a blessing in disguise, as it really made the bread softer. 
- 80g milk was on the high side, I could have added more flour, but I was afraid to do so as I thought the dough was gonna exceed the total weight allowed and it would rise too high and hit the cover. 

3rd Attempt - Carrot Bread (with egg and sugar)


  1. Hi Bee,
    Your carrot honey loaf is beautifully baked.
    Love the round and smooth top.

  2. Miss B,我好佩服你哦,连做两个吐司,而且用萝卜做吐司是非常健康的,喜欢喜欢

    1. 其实我一连做了3个, 哈哈, 做到现在一看到萝卜就怕 :)

  3. Miss B, well, what can I say other than to praise you ... can I have some healthy toast bread ?! Hee hee ! Have a great weekend!


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