Purple Carrot Bread (Old Dough Method)

by - October 09, 2018

Purple Carrot Bread

Purple Carrot Bread

It is very rare to find purple carrots where we are.  When I saw these I jumped on the chance and picked them up without any idea of what I would do with them. We had some of raw with the humus and it was just delicious as it is.  I thought it would also be nice in bread.  I used the Carrot Bread recipe that I have shared some times ago.  

I am really happy with the result this Purple Carrot Bread. The deep purple is just amazing and attractive to me. This sponge dough method yields a very soft, moist and chewy bread.

I used pâte fermentée (pre-fermented dough in French) or sometimes called "old dough" to make this soft and flavourful bread.  Traditionally, bread makers take a portion of the bread dough made and save it overnight for next day baking.  I made it from scratch since I did not have any ready old dough. With this method, the bread is more flavourful and aromatic due to the higher acidity and fermentation gasses produced during the slow fermentation.

Please click on Bread Making Method to understand more details.

It is advisable to read the below general notes before starting baking.


For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.

Some have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  If that happens it is due to over kneading.  Please stop the machine and check your dough during the final cycle of kneading to ensure that you don't over knead. Every machine is different and there is always a chance of over-kneading when using a machine. You may need to adjust this timing and stop as soon as you reach the window pane stage.

The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.  Usually bread flour content around 11.5 - 13.5% protein, while high gluten flour is around 13.5 - 14.5%.  All purpose flour content less protein around 9 - 11%.  To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  Sources from here and here.

The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 

Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate and environment. The humidity and temperature at your place will influence how dough rises.  
If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:
  1. First Proofing:
    • Lightly flour or oil your finger or knuckle, gently poke in the centre of the dough then remove your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation then it needs more time.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back or if the dough collapses, then the it is over proved.  
    • If it bounces back just a little, then the dough is ready to be punched down and shaping.
  2. Second Proofing:
    • Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
    • If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
    • If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
    • There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 
If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof your dough until it just reaches or is slightly below the rim of the pan.

Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.

Recipe - Purple Carrot Bread 

Yields:  1 Loaf


Old Dough:
225g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
Pinch of salt
145g full cream milk

Main Dough: 
225g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)
150g grated purple carrot (from 1 big carrot)
1/2 tsp instant yeast
3 tbsp (30g) brown sugar
1 1/4 tsp salt
30g butter
30g full cream milk

20 cm X 10 cm x 10 cm Loaf Pan


For the Old Dough:
  1. Combine milk, yeast and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Then mix in bread flour and knead with your hand for few minutes until smooth.  Roll into a ball and place in a greased bowl.  Cover with cling film and let it prove for 1 hour in a warm and dark place. 
  2. After 1 hour, place into the refrigerator and use the next day at least after 10 hours or up to 16 hours. 30 minutes before using, take out the sponge dough from refrigerator to return to room temperature.
For the main dough:
  1. Line the loaf pan with parchment paper.  Keep aside.
  2. Wash, peeled and shred the carrot with a grater.  Keep aside.
  3. Put all main dough ingredients (except butter) and old dough in a bowl of stand mixer and knead for around 2 minutes or until all ingredients are mixed together.  Then add in the butter and knead till the dough come together, become elastic and tacky but not sticky.  It takes around 15 minutes at medium speed.
  4. Form the dough into a round ball and let it rise in a warm place for 60 minutes or until double in size in a large greased bowl, covered with cling film or kitchen towel.
  5. Punch down the dough to release the air.  Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 3 equal portions. (Please refer to the below note)
  6. Roll out each dough with a rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough until a small log is formed. Place all dough into a prepared loaf pan.
  7. Let it rise for another 50 -60 minutes or until double in size.
  8. 15 minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 180 C (160 C fan-forced).
  9. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  10. Remove bread to cool on rack completely.
  1. I made a mistake and should have divided the dough into 2 portions instead of 3 or just 1 portion for this size of loaf pan.  The bread didn't rise very nicely and got a little stuck together on top.
  2. As you can notice in all my bread recipes,  butter is added together with the rest of the ingredients.  But, this time I added the butter into the dough last to see the difference.  I didn't notice much difference as it could be I knead with a stand mixer and 15 minutes is more than enough to form the gluten.  You may ask why we add butter last.  It is because oil will coat the proteins in the flour that form gluten.  If you add butter at the beginning, it will prevent the formation of gluten.  Knead the dough first to form gluten and add butter afterward.  

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  1. Hi. As always another lovely post from you especially bread making which is my fav. 2 questions. Can and replace the purple carrot with purple sweet method (grate and add into dough) ? If not can I replace with regular orange carrot? Any difference in texture if either substitution. Hope to try soon. Thanks for response. Regards. Chloe

    1. Hi Chloe,

      Thank you for following my posts always.
      You can replace with regular orange carrot. It is the same result in texture and only the color is different.
      I have not tried the grated raw purple sweet potato in making bread. Sorry, I can't answer you this question.

      However, you can try the below recipe if you want to bake purple sweet potato bread.

      Cheers and happy baking :)

  2. hi sifu your purple carrot looks nice , may i know did u steam your purple carrot?

    1. Thank you, Grace.

      Do not need to steam the carrot. Just shred the raw carrot with a grater.

      Cheers :)

  3. Hi Yeanley, thank you for the recipe! I just realised my purple carrot is only 130g cos I had some left over from another recipe:( do I need to make up the remaining with carrot, or can I just add more milk for example?

    1. Hi Sharon,

      Sorry for late response. I think 130g is fine too. Don't add extra milk first. If the dough too wet, then only add 1 tablespoon of milk at a time.

      Cheers & happy baking :)