Root veggies might seem like a strange mix-in for bread, but if you do them correctly, you end up with creamy little bursts of flavor and texture interspersed throughout your loaf, making it just a little bit more special than a run-of-the-mill loaf.
Cook your roots al dente.
If you put raw root veggies into your bread, they might be a bit on the tough side in the final loaf. If you put in roots that have been cooked all the way to softness, they might be hard to work with and end up messing with your loaf structure. The trick is to take them to just barely soft enough to consider them cooked. Cut the pieces the size you want them at (a small dice is good if you’re not sure) and microwave them for 1-3 minutes, depending on how powerful your microwave it, or roast briefly for even better flavor. Let them cool to room temp before you add them to the bread to avoid altering the bread temperature.
Choose flavorful roots.
Sweet potato is sweet, and you could use any kind of winter squash in place of sweet potato with the spices in this week’s featured recipe. Don’t get stuck in the sweet category, though! Savory breads can be phenomenal. Roasted radishes, for example, are spicy and sweet at the same time. Why not pair them with roasted garlic? Parsnips are earthy and wonderful with apples (add raw to the dough). Carrots are gorgeous with slightly less dessert-ish sweet spice mixes you might see in Turkish or Moroccan cuisine. Beets (which might need a slightly) longer time in the microwave will turn your bread pink and will taste amazing served with a simple dipping sauce made of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, freshly ground pepper, and just a hint of salt.