Sometimes you just have to attempt things. It's fun and it's how you learn. I have seen some pretty cool bakers who have figured out how to bake pictures right into their bread. Some are pretty darned ornate and impressive! I decided to go with something simple, like a flower. Well it didn't exactly turn out precisely like a flower! Maybe a Starry Night interpretation? Or a nerve axon or cellular structure? There aren't exactly many tutorials out there on just how to make it work. And bread dough is a little more challenging to work with than say, cookie dough or even hard candy in terms of putting/keeping the pattern together because not only is it rising, it doesn't stick together to maintain the pieces like candy and cookie dough. Not without help. So I get the concept, I just need to work on the execution. By the way, watch a video on how they make the little hard candies with pictures in them, it's cool.
|Does it help if I turn it stem down? No? |
This is a bread Rorschach! ♥
Anyway, this was a fun baking experience and definitely a surprise inside, which was our Bread Bakers theme from host, Passion Kneaded. I went with a pattern though we could have done a filling as well. Now that I have done one loaf, and it sure was fun breaking in my milk bread pan, I have a better idea on how to make a pattern work next time. Definitely need water or a slurry to hold my ropes together. And smaller pieces. And more border. But it was still so fun! I love baking experiments.
The one thing that particularly helps a pattern loaf where the picture would be deformed by rising in a standard tin is by using a pullman pan with a lid or, in my case, a milk loaf tin that yields a round(ish) loaf. I will certainly be trying again with both! This recipe is made to fit the round milk loaf tin perfectly and yields a beautifully textured loaf with a nice close crumb and delicate flavor. (No, the colors I used did not add any flavor.)
450g strong white bread flour
2¼ tsp (7g) instant yeast
250-300 ml warm milk
25g melted butter
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp honey
Place all the ingredients (using 250 ml of milk initially), into a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment. Mix on low for 5 minutes to 7 minutes. If dough is too dry, add a little more milk by tbsp until it is somewhat firm but not stiff. Then knead until the dough is smooth and elastic.
Butter a 450g/1 lb milk loaf tin or pullman pan.
Once the dough is kneaded, take it out of the mixer bowl and shape it on a floured board. For a plain loaf, fold in the sides and shape into a roll the length of the milk loaf tin. Place the loaf in the mold and cover and fasten the lid. Place the tin in a warm place to rise for 1 hour, or until the dough has reached the top of the tin. In my tin there are two peep holes on the lid to check. You have to be more careful with a pullman pan and leave a smidge of an inch open to check. Opening the lid a lot could stretch and deflate the dough if it is touching.
To make my patterned loaf, I divided up the dough into portions just first generally by eye and then by weight for each separate colored piece. I colored with turmeric, spirulina powder, and blue butterfly pea flower powder, working in small amounts of the powders with a few drops of water and kneading them in. The amounts depend on the chosen pattern. I know next time I need smaller center and petal ropes and more and thicker border pieces and maybe no stem. A complex picture requires a lot of planning and putting together rope sections. (Watch those candy videos!) Then you wrap the whole thing in a final piece of dough and then into the tin to rise.)
Bake in a pre-heated oven 390ºF/200ºC for 30 to 35 minutes. Allow to cool for 2 to 3 minutes in the tin, and then carefully open the tin and turn out the loaf on a wire rack to cool completely.
For the milk loaf tin you can slice along the indented lines to get about 20 slices of bread! They make fantastic toast. Or cut larger if desired for sandwiches or to taste. I want to turn some into floral French toast!
Be sure to check out our other surprising bakes!
- Broccoli Bread from A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Cheesy Chicken Stuffed Bread from Making Miracles
- Cinnamon Apple Surprise Bread from Food Lust People Love
- Giraffe Print Bread from Ambrosia
- Leopard Print Milk Bread from Karen's Kitchen Stories
- Paw Print Bread from Passion Kneaded
- Peek-a-boo Panda Bread from Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Modern Art Floral Surprise Bread from A Messy Kitchen
- Sourdough Coconut Swirl Bread from Zesty South Indian Kitchen
- Swirl Sourdough Whole Wheat Bread (Chocolate, Garlic & Herbs) from Cook with Renu
- Whey Watermelon Bread from Sneha's Recipe