Rainbow Bread

Recipe file created November 11, 2000.
I took the kids to the market the other day, and they spotted Rainbow Bread.
"Mommy, Mommy! Get us that!"
It seemed awfully expensive for bread. Since I have a bread machine, I replied:
"Wouldn't it be more fun to make our own? I know how."
They were hooked.

  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons yeast
For bread machine:
Measure ingredients into baking pan in order given. Set for dough cycle. When the dough is ready, proceed with "To Colour" below.

For hand mixed:
In a large bowl, Disolve sugar in lukewarm water. Add yeast. Let sit for 10 minutes.

Stir. Add 1 1/2 cups flour and salt. Mix vigourously for at least 5 minutes. This will reduce the kneading time. Add balance of flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough is smooth and no longer sticky.

Turn onto a floured board and knead for 10 minutes. Cover dough with a clean tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 1/2 to 1 hour, until it doubles in size. Punch down to remove all air bubbles.

To Colour:
Divide dough into 3 or 4 equal parts (one part for each colour desired). Poke a hole in the dough with your finger. Put food colouring into the hole. Use a little (5-6 drops) for light colours, more for bright colours. Pinch the hole closed and knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes, until the colour is well mixed in.

Use a rolling pin to roll the dough out very flat. Use a little water to moisten the top of one piece so the next piece will stick to it. This is very important if alot of extra flour was used to keep the dough from sticking during kneading. Roll the dough into a log and place it in a greased and floured bread pan. If you do not have a bread pan, it can be placed on a greased and floured cookie sheet. Let rise for 45 to 60 minutes. More rising time will produce a lighter bread, while less time will result in a denser bread.

Heat oven to 350'F. Bake bread for about 25 minutes. Remove bread from pan immediately when done. Bread should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. If it does not, it is not cooked yet. Cool 10-20 minutes before cutting.

I got tired of kneading after making the first loaf. Since I have that wonderful bread machine, I decided to just make 4 batches of bread dough, each a different colour. I put the food colouring in with the water and then cut each ball of dough into 4 pieces and we experimented with different ways of combining them. We have swirled bread using the above method, striped bread and crazy bread (knead the 4 colours together for a minute or two). When placed in the freezer, the yeast goes dormant until the dough is thawed out.

The dough can also be used to make dinner rolls, pizza crust, sticky buns or anything else you do with bread dough.

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