Take 1/2 cup boiling water and add 1 1/2 cups cold. That will give you the right temperature for lukewarm water. Add the sugar and dissolve, then sprinkle the yeast over top. Don't stir. Let stand 15 minutes then, once foamy, mix in the flour and salt.
I only made half the recipe with beets and left the other half white. It's a wet dough so it's kind of tricky to separate in half. I used a large spoon to pull it apart and you have to kind of plop it into separate bowls.
For the beet bread wear gloves and peel 1 small raw beet.
Slice and put in blender or food processor to purée, adding 1/4 cup milk.
Final measure is about 3/4 cup beet purée. (Once I baked this bread I found it very beety which is very good if you really like the taste of beets. Personally I think I would only add a little less than 1/2 cup of the beet purée next time.)
Add 1/2 cup flour and an extra teaspoon or two of sugar to the beet dough half of the bread. Mix well.
Turn oven on to 170F for a couple of minutes then turn off. It will be warm enough for the bread to rise in. In 2 greased bowls set the dough to rise. Cover each bowl with a damp tea towel and put in previously warmed oven for 2 hours.
Once risen, butter pyrex bowls (any oven-proof bowl) and turn the dough into each. The dough will be very goopy. Rest 20 minutes.
Place a pan of water on the lower rack.
Bake in a 425F oven for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 375F for an additional 15 - 20 minutes.
Turn the bread out onto a rack to cool.
You can see on the right how I didn't have all the beets completely mixed in. It's a little streaky so you want to make sure the beets are well mixed into the dough.
But I love the colour!