For the Yeast Mixture, combine:
- 10g instant yeast
- 1 Tbsp runny honey
- 2 ½ cups beetroot juice, warmed
- 1 – 2 tsp food colouring for extra colour
- 7 cups flour
- 3 tsp sea salt
- ½ cup olive oil
Start with the yeast mixture. Combine the ingredients and make sure the beetroot juice is luk warm and not too hot as it will kill the yeast. Let sit for 5 – 8 minutes until foamy.
In a large bowl or electric mixer with a dough hook, add the flour and salt. Mix together. Using the dough hook or your hands, make a well in the mixture. Slowly add the yeast and beetroot mixture in one third at a time along with a third of the olive oil, and mix to start to incorporate before adding the next third. Once all of the ingredients are combined and the mixture is almost shaggy-like in texture, turn out onto a clean-floured surface and begin to knead into a smooth soft dough. You will know the dough is ready when you push the outside surface gently with your knuckle and the dents pop back. A good trick to remember when making your dough is that it is always better to have slightly wetter dough to knead instead of a too dry, tough dough. Wet your hands slightly when working with the dough to begin with until it comes together nicely and kneads easily. Leave aside in an oiled bowl, covered with cling wrap for about 2 hours in a warm place until doubled in size.
Preheat your oven to 250°C. Place an empty Le Creuset 22cm Signature Round Casserole into the oven along with the lid for 30 minutes just before you are ready to bake. Once your dough has risen, gently tip out onto a clean surface; tuck in any edges to make a round ball.
To decorate your loaf, liberally spread and coat the outer surface of the dough in flour. Using a sharp knife (as your blade needs to be very very sharp, thin and precise), mark the bread gently with the blade of the knife to score the surface, decorate as you like. Carefully remove the hot casserole from the oven with gloves. Remove the lid with gloves and set aside. Work quickly now as not to let the casserole cool down, dust the bottom of the casserole with flour and carefully drop or slide the decorated beetroot loaf into the hot casserole. Place back in the oven for 30 minutes with the lid on at the highest temperature your oven can go. Reduce the heat after 30 minutes, to 220°C. Remove the lid and bake for 20 minutes uncovered until browned and cooked through. Leave to rest in the casserole and remove once slightly cooled to cool further on a rack before slicing.