I’m not sure exactly where this idea came from, but my sister is the one who introduced this to me and made the first several batches I had–thanks Diana! Whoever is the original inventor of this idea, my hat goes off to them. I don’t know why I never thought to color my dough before, but I feel this has opened up a whole new world of creativity to my baking life 😉 The fun thing about making Rainbow Bread is it is not hard to make. Basically, you are making our no-fail bread recipe and adding food coloring to the different pieces of dough. After that, you can have your kids create their own loaves of bread (see the above picture in the bottom right hand corner–there’s no right or wrong way to roll this bread). The crazier, the better. It’s like cutting into a treasure.
The best part is you don’t know what the bread will look like until you slice into it. Each loaf was like a different present we were opening–it is SO fun!
By the time we were done with one batch of this recipe, and the kids ate 6 loaves (all the neighbors had to come try some at this point) we had to start on another batch. Twelve loaves of bread later and we couldn’t stop from smiling. In fact, I’m making another bath this afternoon for a picnic. We are going to use this colored bread for our sandwiches tonight. It will be a riot for the kids! I’m telling you, this recipe is the coolest!! I can hardly wait to hear how you like it. If you love this recipe, share this idea with your friends and family. This recipe is a keeper! Hope you love it and happy first day of spring friends.
- 7 cup white flour
- 2/3 cup vital wheat gluten
- 2 1/2 Tablespoon instant yeast
- 5 cups hot water (120-130 F)
- 2 Tablespoon salt
- 2/3 cup oil
- 2/3 cup honey or 1 c. sugar (I like honey the best!)
- 2 1/2 Tablespoon bottled lemon juice
- 5-5 1/2 cups more white flour
- Food coloring (can use up to 5 or 6 different colors)
- Mix together the first three ingredients in your mixer with a dough hook. Add water all at once and mix for 1 minute; cover and let rest for 10 minutes (this is called sponging). Add salt, oil, honey or sugar, and lemon juice and beat for 1 minute. Add last bit of flour, 1 cup at a time, beating between each cup. Beat for about 6-10 minutes until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. This makes very soft dough.
- Pre-heat oven for 1 minute to lukewarm and turn off. Turn dough onto oiled counter top; divide the dough into 4-6 pieces (or however many colors you would like for your bread. Add one of the balls back into the mixer with the dough hook. Place a cloth over the other balls of dough so they don't dry out. Add several drops of food coloring to the ball of dough (use one color at a time). Mix the dough until the food coloring dyes the dough to the vibrancy of the color you are looking for. Once the dough has been colored, remove the dough ball and put into a bowl. Place the second dough ball into the mixer. Add another color of food coloring to the ball of dough and continue to mix until incorporated. Continue to do this with each ball of dough until they are all colored the different colors you are looking for.
- TIP: Start with the lightest color of food coloring that you are using and then go to the darkest. We started with yellow, went to blue, then green, then purple, then red.
- Once all of the dough is colored, you can start forming your loaves. Spray each of the bread pans. If you are wanting your loaves to look like a rainbow, you take a portion of each color and spread it out into a rectangle shape with your hands. Add a second color on top of the bottom layer and continue until you have all of the colors you want for your 'rainbow' bread. The top layer will need to be a little larger as it will need to roll up around the other colors. Roll up the dough into a a rectangle shape, the length of your bread pan. Smooth down the edges and place the dough into the greased baking pan. Continue to do this for the remaining bread loaves. Once the dough has all been rolled into the pans, let the bread rise in warm oven for 10-15 minutes, or the until dough reaches the top of the pan. Do not remove bread from the oven; turn oven to 350 F and bake for 30 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on racks. Slice the bread and be surprised at your different designs. Enjoy!!