Sourdough Beet Babka

Did you ever want babka but also wanted pink?*

Well, do I have the solution for you!!!

Anyone who is in contact with me (which is mostly my cat), knows that I have been experimenting with sourdough lately (my starter’s name is Tim, fyi). Once I had gotten the hang of how to make delicious, airy, and crusty breads, as a baketress, I naturally wanted to put sourdough into ALL OF THE PASTRIES.

Babka is a natural place to start, as yeast is already used for the rise. Just replace the storebought yeast with some wild kitchen grown yeast and badaboom badabing–you got yourself a babka!

Beets are also a natural add in because PINK (also, they are subtly sweet and help with binding and moisture).

My excellent array of taste testers (aka my mom) said that the beet babka tasted better than the babka she remembers and even took the rest of the loaf home! Goes to show you that beets make everything better!


Makes 1 small loaf, about 8 slices
Total Time: 1 day, Active Time: 30 minutes


30 grams (2 tablespoons) active sourdough starter**
50 grams (1/3 cup + 1 tablespoon) bread flour
50 grams (1/4 cup) water

80 grams (1/4 cup) white sugar
80 grams (1/3 cup) unsweetened plant milk
60 grams (1/4 cup) almond or walnut butter
60 grams (1/4 cup) neutral oil
80 grams (1/3 cup) beet puree***
250 grams (2 cups) bread flour
3 grams (1 teaspoon) salt

80 grams (1/2 cup) dark chocolate chips
5 grams (1 tablespoon) cocoa nibs (optional)

10 grams (1 tablespoon) water
20 grams (3 tablespoons) sugar


  1. In a large bowl, Mix 30 grams of active sourdough starter with 50 grams of bread flour and 50 grams of water. Allow this to rest covered for 12 hours at room temperature.
  2. After 12 hours, mix in the sugar, walnut milk, almond or walnut butter, neutral oil, beet puree, 250 grams of bread flour, and salt. Mix until combined but do NOT knead. Allow to rest covered for 8-12 hours at room temperature.
  3. After the rest period has ended, the dough should have doubled in size. Now, it’s time to roll out the dough. On a floured surface with a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough into a long oval (for steps 3-7, see photos below).
  4. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave and spread onto the rolled out dough. If using, sprinkle on the cocoa nibs.
  5. Roll the dough longways and cut in half.
  6. Braid the dough strips one over the other. Fold the ends in so they stick together.
  7. Lightly grease an 8 x 4 inch bread pan and carefully move your folded dough into the pan. Cover and allow to rest for 1 hour.
  8. When the rest period is almost over, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  9. Bake the babka for 45 minutes. When the babka is almost done baking, make the sugar glaze. Mix the water and sugar and heat in the microwave for 15-30 seconds to dissolve the sugar.
  10. Immediately after taking the babka from the oven, brush on the sugar glaze. It should sizzle and the water will evaporate.
  11. Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes and enjoy! Store the babka covered at room temperature for up to 2 days. The sugar glaze helps to keep it fresh.
Roll out dough and spread the melted chocolate and sprinkle cocoa nibs.
Roll up the dough like a tootsie roll.
Cut your big tootsie roll into two little tootsie rolls.
Braid your tootsie rolls one over the other and pinch the ends.
Grease a 8 x 4 inch bead pan and allow the dough to rise covered for one hour.


*I tested this recipe a gazillion times. In fact, in its original conception, it was made with storebought yeast and was more similar to my Matcha Babka (also amazing), but I decided to give myself even more of a challenge! I might be biased, but I think the sourdough loaf came out extra delicious.
**This is not a sourdough discard recipe. You must use active sourdough starter.
***80 grams of beet puree is about 1 beet, but I make more than one at a time and use the beet puree for other recipes, including Chocolate Beet Muffins, Red Velvet Brownies, Beet Sunflower Cream Cheese, Roasted Beet Pesto, Chocolate Chip Beet Pancakes, and Walnut Mushroom Beet Burgers! To make beet puree, roast beets covered in tin foil for 1 hour (or until tender) at 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Beets aren’t picky, so they can go into the oven when other food is baking, even if the temperature is below or above 400–just adjust the cook time accordingly. When the beets are tender, take the beets out of the oven and allow them to cool. Once they are cool to the touch, take off the skins with your hands. Cut them in chunks (to make it easier for your blender), and chug them into your blender. You may need a little extra water to get the puree smooth, but don’t add too much, maybe a tablespoon at a time. You don’t want beet juice!

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