Rainbow BreadKelsey Banfield
Have you ever made homemade bread? It’s actually a lot easier than you might think, and pays off in spades because you can use it for sandwiches, toast, and more all week long. And you can make your bread extra fun for St. Patrick’s Day by adding colorful dye! It’s soft and light, and your kids won’t be able to resist the rainbow design.
When I made this with my daughter, we used gel paste food dye because it colors dough so intensely. However, you can use regular or even neon food coloring. Make the rainbow you want — that’s the fun of this!
Start by making the dough and dividing it into 5 equal pieces. Then pick out the colors you want to use.
Dye each ball of dough with the coloring, and allow them to rest and rise for at least 1 hour (or until they’ve doubled in size).
Roll out the dough into 8 x 4” rectangles on a floured surface. Stack them on top of each other. Then trim any ragged edges with a sharp knife.
Roll up the dough tightly lengthwise, and place seam side down in a lightly oiled 8 x 4” loaf pan. Cover with a cotton towel and set in a warm, dry place to rise for 2 hours, or until it has doubled in size.
After the loaf has baked, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely. Then slice and serve!
We sliced up our finished bread for colorful sandwiches at lunchtime. I also used some to make French toast. We joked that the pat of butter on top was the pot of gold, and they loved it.
Have a blast making it your own!
recipe adapted from Tablespoon
Makes: 1 large loaf (10-12 slices)
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 large egg yolk
- 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet)
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Gel paste food dye or food coloring
- Add the milk to a small microwave-safe bowl and warm in the microwave for 1 minute. Carefully whisk in the egg yolk until completely incorporated.
- Add the flour, sugar, and yeast to the bowl of a large stand mixer fitted with a dough hook. Add the warm eggy milk, butter, and salt. Turn the mixer to medium speed and mix well until the dough comes together and is smooth and elastic.
- Remove the dough from the bowl and divide into 5 even sized pieces. Place each one in a separate, lightly oiled small bowl and cover 4 with a cotton towel.
- Add a few drops of food dye to the fifth ball of dough and knead well. (It is best to put gloves on your hands to prevent them from getting too dyed!) Put the colorful dough back in the bowl. Repeat with remaining dough balls until you have red, orange, green, blue, and purple dough balls (or whichever 5 colors you choose).
- Let the dough rise for 2 hours, or until it doubles in size.
- Once the dough has risen, punch it down and roll each out to a rectangle — about 8×4” in size and 1/8-inch thick — on a lightly floured surface. Stack the dough in rainbow order. The stack of dough will look very thin, but that’s OK. If there are ragged edges, trim them with a sharp knife and discard.
- Roll up the dough tightly, and place it in a lightly greased 8×4” loaf pan, seam side down. Cover it with a cotton towel and let it rise for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- Warm the oven to 375 F. Bake the bread for about 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. Allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.