Tri colour bread ( spinach- peas- carrot bread )
Someone who quoted “Baking is love made visible”, was understating. Its infact your obsession made visible. That’s the case with me, and atleast with all the bakers I know. And once you have had a tryst with yeast, then sky is the limit. You will come out with the varieties which the bakery uncle can hardly think of putting up in his posh stores. You start playing with colours, flavours, shapes. Especially with kids at home, its a win-win situation.
This is one such trail, where I tried to colour and flavour the humble white bread. Inspired by the widely popular water melon bread , which is infact a raisin bread with artificial colours, I decided to add the colours naturally using vegetables. what better occasion to try this out on a Republic Day Holiday. I will be honest, this recipe gobbled up almost half of my holiday which I would have spent by lazing with a good book. Nevertheless, it was a fun way to spend the day, not to mention the patriotic fervour it adds on my blog.
So grab your apron, tidy the kitchen platform ( we need the entire length!) and get set to bake this deliciously colourful healthy bread!
Common ingredients for the dough:
- All purpose flour *( maida)- 4 ½ cups+ ½ cup
- Salt- 2 teaspoons
- Sugar- 1 ½ tablespoons
- Instant yeast- 2 ¼ teaspoon
- Olive oil- 3-4 tablepsoons + additional for coating the dough and bowls
For the green coloured dough: (makes around ¾ cup)
- Spinach – 2 medium sized bunches
- Green peas- ¼ cup
- Garlic cloves- 2
- Green chilli ( chopped)- 1 teaspoon (optional)
- Dried oregano –1 teaspoon
For green puree:
Boil water in vessel, add spinach, cook for few minutes. Switch off the gas, drain the water and immediately transfer the leaves into a vessel containing cold water. This retains the colour of spinach leaves and gives a vibrant green colour to the dough. Boil peas in sufficient water for few minutes, drain and keep aside. Blend spinach, peas along with garlic cloves without adding much water. We need a thick paste and any excess water in the puree may limit the quantity we can use in bread giving a lighter colour to dough. Hence drain the water very well both from spinach leaves and peas before grinding them.
For the orange coloured dough: (makes around ¾ cup)
- Carrots ( diced)- 2 medium sized
- Garlic cloves – 2
- Red chilli flakes- 1 teaspoon
For orange puree:
Cook the peeled and diced carrots in a pressure cooker for ten minutes. Drain all the excess water. Grind carrot cubes and garlic cloves in blender to form a uniform paste.
For white dough:
- Garlic bread seasoning- 1 teaspoon ( or substitute with fresh chopped garlic)
- Black pepper- 1 teaspoon
Increase or decrease the amount of chillies/pepper according to taste preference.
- In a large bowl mix 4 ½ cups flour, salt, sugar, yeast. Stir it nicely with a whisk or wooden spoon. To this add 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil, mixing it well with the flour.This is our flour mixture common to all three coloured doughs. Reserve ½ cup plain all purpose flour , to be added if the dough is too sticky.
- For green dough: Take 1 ½ cups flour mixture, to this add ¾ cup of prepared green puree. Mix well till it forms a uniform colour. I had to add 1-2 tablespoons of warm water to get the right consistency. It all depends on how thick/thin the puree is. Knead using hand for 7-8 minutes or in a food processor (with plastic blades) for 3-4 minutes till it forms a smooth dough.
- For the orange dough: In another bowl, take 1 ½ cups of flour mixture and add the carrot puree. Mix in till it forms a uniform colour. If the dough is too sticky add a bit of flour. I had to add around ¼ cup of flour as my puree was slightly watery. Knead using hand for 7-8 minutes or in a food processor (with plastic blades) for 3-4 minutes till it forms a smooth dough.
- For white dough: In a separate bowl, take the remaining 1 ½ cups of flour mixture. To this add garlic bread seasoning, black pepper. Add slightly less than ¾ cup warm water, mix well and knead again till it forms a smooth dough.
- Place all the three doughs in three seperate well oiled containers, mark their levels with a scale and a marker. Cover with a wet cloth and allow the dough to rise till it doubles in volume. It took around 45 minutes for me .
- Gently deflate all the three doughs. Divide each coloured dough into three parts. (Divide the dough according to the size of your loaf pans. I have one big and two mini loaf pans, so divided each colour accordingly). You can at this point store any excess dough in a airtight container in freezer. The dough and the container needs to be well coated with the oil, tightly sealed and stored in freezer. When you want to use it, take it out of the freezer, place it on the kitchen counter for an hour or so, till it becomes smooth and plaible again. Then you can proceed with the following steps.
- On a clean kitchen counter, sprinkle some flour.
- Shape one ball of orange coloured dough into a log shape. (picture 1)
- Take the white coloured dough, roll into a rectangle using a rolling pin.Keep the length and breadth of the rectangle such that it can completely wrap the orange dough. (picture 2)
- Apply milk over the rolled white rectangle and wrap the orange log into this white sheet. Pinch the sides to seal the ends both length wise and breadth wise. (picture 3)
- In the same way, roll the green coloured dough, brush milk on its surface and wrap this white log inside it and seal the edges well. (picture 4)
- I reversed the colours in these mini loaves.
- Keep the tins well covered with a wet cloth for second proofing. Meanwhile after few minutes pre heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Once the dough doubles in the baking tins, brush the surface with water, sprinkle sesame seeds (optional) and bake the tins for 30- 35 minutes till the top surface browns .
- Cool the loaves on a wire rack, slice and store in air tight containers.
- The bread served excellently as a sandwich bread, or you can just toast it and serve with this delicious two in one soup!
- Will try to bake this again with whole wheat flour, to make it double healthier.
- Happy Republic Day! Happy Baking!!