Beetroot Tangzhong Buns

I adapted this recipe from hokkaido milk bread, still using the tangzhong method to get soft, fluffy bread – but replacing a lot of the liquid with beetroot (which is about 87% water!) to keep the hydration as similar as possible. There is actually a higher water content/hydration level in this recipe (200g beetroot = about 170 to 175g water) and consequently I did add a little bit more flour when kneading. It is different in texture as I have replaced milk with water – but there is no detectable in how soft this bread is. And it contrasts well with any greens that go in the bun…
Because it is PINK bread!!!! What more do you need??
For the Tangzhong:
25g strong white flour
100g water
Final dough:
All of the tangzhong
200g beetroot (chopped very very finely, then mashed – or blend in food processor)
7g yeast (instant fast action)
350g strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon of salt
60g sugar
1 large egg

30g unsalted butter (melted and tepid temperature)

Additional: Pumpkin seeds to sprinkle on top, plus an egg (whisked) to brush on top before baking.


First, make the tangzhong paste (water roux). In a pan, mix the flour with the cold water until there are no lumps. Then, whisk quickly over a low heat until the mixture thickens to a paste. It should be about 65C if you have a thermometer. It should be a white colour, if it’s grey chuck it out and start again.

Cover the tangzhong and place in the fridge until cooled to room temperature.

Next, mix the tangzhong with the melted butter (should be warm but not too hot to touch) and egg. Then add the beetroot followed by the rest of the dry ingredients, ensuring the salt is not poured directly on top of the yeast.

Mix this until all the flour is roughly incorporated, then tip on to a surface and knead until smooth and very elastic such that you can stretch it paper thin using your fingers. The dough should be a little sticky and difficult to work with initially, but keep kneading and it should become easier to work with. A dough scraper may come in useful too. I did add a little bit more flour to this recipe during the kneading process, but not loads! It should still remain a little sticky – that’s okay!

Once you have achieved this, place the dough into a container and cover with cling film. Leave to rise for about an hour, at room temperature.

Shape into 10-12 buns and arrange on a baking tray (there should be gaps between each once such that they will just meet when they bake – see below)


They look super pink!

Lightly cover these with greased cling film and leave them to rise for about an hour.

When risen they should be just about touching and considerably larger in size. Brush these with egg wash and sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top:

Then bake for about 5-8 minutes in an oven preheated to 180C (at this point the bread should have formed a shiny brown crust), then bake for a further 25 (ish) minutes at 160C. Keep an eye on the baking and cover the loaf with foil once you’ve achieved the desired golden brown colour – this will usually only take about 5-10 minutes to!


Yum yum yum! Nothing can ‘beet’ this!


21 thoughts on “Beetroot Tangzhong Buns

      • Does commercial food colouring do the same thing? Get dull, I mean.

        I hope to use beetroot puree to make pasta for ravioli etc in the near future and this was a lovely inspiration.

      • I think in pasta it will come out really bright! I recently had some beetroot gnocchi which was unusual but nice – colour was amazing. I think food colouring would do the same but not sure

      • I’m going to try some coloured pastas during the summer when I’m off work. Beet puree will definitely be one of the colours I try.

  1. They look like they would be sweet! It’s a really interesting way to make bread! I wish I could eat pink bread everyday 🙂

  2. Love the color. And the idea of making hamburger buns with beet root. It’s always a pitty though that the screaming pink vanishes after baking ^ ^°. Still makes one feel like a Barbie or Hannah Montana when making beet root bread, right? 😉

  3. Wow look amazing, the colour (and the buns) are beautiful. Not a fan of beetroot though so not sure if Id risk it. Definitely want to start incorporating more veggies in to baking though!

    • Thank you :)! Courgette and carrot are excellent vegetable candidates to be used in bread!! But they don’t have that pinkiness of beetroot sadly!

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