Princess Bread | colouring white bread

I had so many ask me for my recipe when I posted this bread in my Instagram stories, so I finally got around to writing one up!

Just like so many others right now, I have been making my own bread. Although, to be fair, before all this pandemic business I occasionally made my own bread anyway, but I have definitely amped up my bread game these days.

This recipe I stumbled upon is pretty easy, doesn't require a machine & I promise that is well loved in this house. Of course it's Julia Child's White Sandwich Bread Recipe.

I figured I'd use this recipe I know, & that has worked for me before to try out coloured bread. I'll be honest, my first go of this was a hilarious fail. I did not take into account all the extra kneading required to add food colouring, so when I did, my loaf was so dense, didn't rise at all. It was basically a coloured brick...straight into the garbage it went. I was a lot more successful the 2nd time around (even more so the 3rd & 4th) & managed to create a nice 2 tone swirl bread we dubbed "princess bread" (because we used pink & purple of course).

I'd like to note, I am in no way a professional bread baker, this is just the way I figured out how to do this via multiple google searches & varying YouTube videos & melding techniques together.

Basically, I followed the Julia Child recipe (see link above) to a 'T', but paused at certain steps to add colour without over kneading it too much.


  • 2 1/2 cups warm water

  • 1 tbsp active dry yeast

  • 1 tbsp sugar

  • 6-6 1/2 cups of flour

  • 2 tsp salt

  • 1/4 cup butter

  • pink & purple food colouring

Lightly mix together 1/2 cup of the water, the sugar & the yeast in the bowl of the stand mixer (if you have, if not a regular bowl will do) let sit for 5 minutes until foamy.

(IT MUST BE FOAMY, or you have to try again)

Add the rest of the water & 1/2 of the flour, stir until blended, then add the rest of the flour, the salt, & butter. Mix with dough hook (or my hand) until dough is shaggy.

Split the dough into 2 portions. Put one in the stand mixer & add your first colour (I've pre-watered down my gel colour as I don't have liquid colour).

Knead with the dough hook (or by hand...that'll get messy though, be prepared lol) for 7 minutes. Place onto lightly floured surface, & knead by hand for an additional 1 minute until colour is better mixed. (Don't worry if the colour isn't solid, it doesn't matter that much)

Repeat with your 2nd portion & 2nd colour.

Place each into their own bowl & let rise for 1-1 1/2 hours.

You can see in this picture how much I mixed the colour in (it's streaky, but over-mixing kills the bread)

You can see in this picture how much I mixed the colour in (it's streaky, but over-mixing kills the bread)

Butter 2 4"x 8" loaf pans and set aside. Cut each dough ball into 4 even pieces.

Take 2 of each colour (4 pieces in total) for each loaf. Starting with one piece, lightly punch it down, then take a 2nd piece, stack on top & punch down again. Repeat with all 4 pieces until you have a rough rectangle shape (9x12 ish).

Next, starting at the short end, roll up the rectangle creating the swirl.

How it should look after you press down

Place the roll seam side down in the prepared pans & lightly press down to spread dough evenly in the bottom

of the pan. Cover & let rise again for another hour.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake on the centre rack of the oven for 30-35 minutes (until the tops of the loaves are slightly brown.

Browned top on finished loaves

Immediately turn out & cool on cooling rack.

Once cool, slice & enjoy your princess bread!!

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