I become fan of Prickly pears when I tried this Prickly pear Lemonade. So, I decide to try this Prickly Pear Sourdough bread. Prickly pear is a deliciously sweet fruit of the nopal cactus and grows in wild throughout the deserts of the American Southwest, as well as in Mexico.
This prickly pear sourdough was unsuccessful when I tried it the first time but was a successful second time. Prickly pear sourdough bread is soft and has a hint of sweetness from the fruit.
What is Prickly pear?
Prickly pear is deliciously sweet fruit of the nopal cactus and grows in wild throughout the deserts of the American Southwest, as well as in Mexico. You want to know more about read from here. They are mainly used in the drinks, Jam, and jellies. I have not tried making jam with it may be next time.
How to make Prickly Pear Sourdough?
This prickly pear sourdough bread is inspired from the dragon fruit bread Ho Chi Minh City-based ABC Bakery in Vietnam is selling pink bread made with the tons of dragon fruit in the country that have been going unsold due to the coronavirus outbreak.
However prickly pear fruits have more bigger seeds than the dragon fruit, and you cannot eat the seeds.
I used prickly pear puree to make it. You can either process the fruit to make the puree or just use a strainer and mash the fruit with back of spoon to extract the puree. If you are making a puree be careful not to pulverize the seeds.
I used around 4 fruits to make this recipe if you want you can use 5 small fruits, it is almost size of big lemons.
Make sure to wear gloves while peeling and processing the fruit as it has small thorns.
Color of prickly pear fruit is similar to beets as they contains same betalain pigments . I always lost the color of beets sourdough bread after baking. So, I have added two vitamin C tablets. Ascorbic acid in the vitamin C supplement slows down the degradation of beetroot pigments during heating.
If you have pure vitamin C in hand use 1g or 1 % of dough.
I have used starter you can make levain if you want. Then take account of water content while calculation water hydration.
If possible, use only prickly pear fruit puree. I did not have in hand so used water also.
Use more bread flour and less whole meal flour like whole wheat flour and spelt flour if you want to retain the color.
Since prickly pear fruits has natural sugar in it, you need to adjust the bulk fermentation time. It requires only 5 hours.
Points to remember while baking prickly pear sourdough
Use cold Dutch oven if you want to retain the color.
Even though you will not get dark pink color crumb as the betalain pigments gets degraded while baking, you will get orange color crumb.
I baked first 10 minutes in 450°F/ 232°C. Then reduce the temperature to 415°F / 212°C for 20 minutes with Dutch oven lid on and then remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes. I think this temperature range will work for beets sourdough bread too. I will try it and let you know.
I tried earlier with pre-heated Dutch oven and color does not retained.
While making this prickly pear sourdough bread try use only fresh fruits as syrup or concentrate will have of lot of sugar and not good for sourdough bread.
Crust is soft and crumb is delicious with hint of sweetness of the fruit. This bread goes well if you top with lightly sweetened cream cheese or with your favorite jam.
Prickly Pear Sourdough Bread
- 400 g Bread flour
- 30 g Whole wheat flour
- 20 g Spelt flour
- 85 g Starter
- 9 g salt
- 150 g Prickly Pear Puree It is from 4 prickly pear fruit
- 2 tablets of Vitamin C if you are using citric acid use 1 g ( Dissolve it in 10 g of water)
- 334 g water
- Prickly pear fruits puree:
- Prepare Prickly pear fruits puree, first wash cut both end of prickly pears, then make a slit in the middle and cut through it.
- Scoop the flesh of prickly pear using spoon or knife.
- You can either process the prickly pear in the blender or you can just smash the prickly pear fruits with back of spoon in a strainer.
- Then strain out for seeds and extract the puree.
- Bread dough
- In a large bowl add starter, prickly pear puree, bread flour, whole wheat flour, spelt flour and water and vitamin c tablets mixed water and mix all the ingredients, set aside for 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes add salt and incorporated everything.
- Fold the dough at 2 one-hour interval and then laminate the dough for another 1 hour and coil fold the dough 1-hour interval for next two hours and then pre-shape the dough. Then shape the dough after 15 minutes
- Once you shaped the dough transfer to banneton and set aside refrigerator for cold ferment for 12 hours.
- Next morning pre-heat oven to 450°F/ 232°C score the dough and transfer the dough into cold Dutch oven.
- Bake it in a pre-heated oven for 450°F/ 232°C for first 10 minutes Then reduce the temp to 415°F / 212°C for another 20 minutes Then remove the lid and bake for another 10 minutes
This is Swathi ( Dr. Ambujom Saraswathy Ph.D) from Zesty South Indian Kitchen who loves to explore cuisines from all over the world. Whenever possible I try to to give an Indian touch to several of the world cuisine, and has weakness for freshly baked bread. All the recipes you see here are created by me and approved after taste-test by my family.