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)
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.
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.
Immediately turn out & cool on cooling rack.
Once cool, slice & enjoy your princess bread!!