With Christmas on it's way, I thought it would be fun to make a Christmas themed swirl bread.
But, just imagine red, white, and blue for the Fourth of July..... pastels for Easter.... orange and black for Halloween.... or rainbow for St. Patricks day. The possibilities are endless.
It's simple, it's fun, and it gets a great reaction!
Lets get started.
This recipe makes 2 loaves of colorful goodness!
You will need:
2 teaspoons active-dry yeast (or one package)
1 cup (8 oz) warm water
2 tablespoons (1 oz) unsalted butter
1 cup (8 oz) milk , whole or 2%
2 tablespoons (1 oz.) white sugar
1 tablespoon (1/2 oz) salt
5 1/2 cups (1 lb 9 oz.) all-purpose flour, plus another 1 cup if needed
Food coloring (for later)
1. Pour 1 cup of warm water into a bowl (or stand mixer if you plan on using that). Sprinkle the yeast on top of the water and let it stand for 5 minutes.
2. While you're waiting for the yeast to dissolve, melt the 2 tbsp butter in a large measuring cup. Add the milk, sugar, and salt. Stir.
3. Measure out 1 cup of flour. Pour the flour and milk mixture over the yeast. Stir. The batter will be very lumpy, (as you can see in my picture).
4. Add the remaining 4 1/2 cups of flour and stir. The dough will be really floury and brittle, which is normal.
5. If you are using your stand mixer, attach the dough hook and knead the dough for 8 - 10 minutes. If you are kneading by hand, transfer the dough to the counter and knead away! Knead until a smooth ball can be formed. If the dough is too sticky, you can add the additional flour 1/4 cup at a time.
6. Spray a large bowl with oil. Form the dough into a large ball and coat it with oil by turning it in the bowl. Cover the bowl and set it somewhere warm for about 1 hour (or until it's risen double its size).
Yeah! You've just make the bread dough.
Now for the fun part!!
(Remember, my recipe makes 2 loaves, so divide the dough into 2 pieces. The process that follows will be done twice to make both loaves.... unless you used your own recipe and it makes 1 loaf)
1. Separate the dough into 3 smaller balls. Add red food coloring to one ball, green food coloring to another, and leave 1 plain.
2. Mix the coloring into the dough by kneading with your hands, or using your stand mixer.
3. Form balls and let them rest for 10 minutes.
5. Next, add your red ball on top and roll it out over the white. Do the same thing with the green dough ball. You should now have a colorful dough sandwich.
6. Starting at one end, tightly roll the dough in a spiral across the entire length. At this point I like to get my fingers wet and press the white edges together at the end. This gives the appearance of a normal white loaf of bread.... which adds to the excitement when it's cut open.
7. Place the loaf into a greased 9 by 5 inch pan. Cover with a damp towel and let it rise for 30-40 minutes. Heat your oven to 375 degrees while you're waiting.
Repeat all of these steps for your second loaf.
Let them cool completely before you cut them into slices.
I promise you will get a great reaction when you slice into these for the first time!!!
Make some toast, a sandwich, or just eat it plain.
There's something about colorful bread that makes it taste better than traditional white. Give it a try :-)