Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Red, White and Blue Bread

It may look strange, but I assure you that this bread is perfectly normal. In fact, it's simply a white, sandwich-type bread that I dyed red and blue in honor of the 4th of July.
It was actually really fun to make this bread. I mixed up three small batches of dough, all at the same time, and added food coloring to get the colors dark enough. I had to add quite a bit of food coloring to get the colors nice and dark. I didn't measure it, but I'll estimate that it was 1/2 tsp per color.
The bread had an excellent, fresh flavor, with a soft texture and crisp crust. It made wonderful toast, sandwiches and, if there were any left, I have no doubt that it would have made wonderful french toast, too.

Happy Independence Day.

My recipe is written a little differently than my usual style here:

Patriotic Sandwich Bread
In each of three bowls, combine:
1 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup water, room temperature
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp butter, melted and cooled
1 tsp sugar

In one bowl, add blue food coloring (enough to get a very bright color) and add red food coloring to another. Leave the third bowl "white."
Stir each bowl until the dough comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Add an extra tablespoon or two of flour, if necessary.
Working with each piece in turn, knead for about 5 minutes until smooth and elastic. Place each piece in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
After they rise, turn the three doughs out onto a lightly floured surface and gently deflate. Press the doughs together (I twisted them up) and shape into a rectangle. Place in a lightly greased 9x5-inch loaf pan. Cover with a piece of lighly oiled plastic wrap and let rise until about 1/2 inch above the rim of the pan, about 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375F.
Bake loaf for 35 minutes at 375F, until golden.
Turn out of loaf onto a wire cooling rack and cool completely before slicing.