Can you believe that there is actually a whole holiday dedicated to eating as many sweets as you want?! Mardi Gras, we love you, but our bodies are glad you’re just a one-day holiday and not a week long ;) Mardi Gras normally means King Cakes, beignets and banana pudding, but this year we decided to celebrate the sweet traditions with a rainbow loaf of bread. Inspired by the beautiful rainbow bagels made by the Bagel Store, we added in some purple, gold and green hues to amp up the Mardi Gras spirit in these loaves. Hand letter your own printable bread wrap to give it as a gift, or slice it up and top it with cream cheese and sprinkles. This recipe will yield three loaves of bread, but you may want to make more, because once it’s adorned with sprinkles, this fairy bread will have everyone coming back for more.
– 10 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
– 3 Tablespoons sugar
– 3 packets rapid rise yeast
– 3 teaspoons salt
– 3 Tablespoons butter
– 1 1/4 cups water
– 3/4 cup milk
– purple, yellow and green food coloring (we used a mix of McCormick neon and assorted food coloring)
– plastic wrap
– dish towel
– printable bread label
1. Mix one cup of flour, one tablespoon of sugar, one teaspoon of salt and one packet of rapid rise yeast in a mixing bowl.
2. In a microwaveable bowl, mix 3/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of milk, one Tablespoon of butter and about 10 drops of food coloring. Microwave on high for 45 seconds.
3. Pour liquid mixture into the dry mixture and mix throughly. Once mixed, slowly add another 2 1/2 cups of flour.
4. Repeat steps 1-3 for each color of dye.
5. Rip apart the colorful dough into small pellets and twist together to form a rainbow marbled effect.
6. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let it rise for one hour.
7. Cut the risen dough into three equal loaves, place into greased pans and bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
This bread will yield three loaves of Mardi Gras goodness, so make sure you have enough of all the ingredients. Grab a mixing bowl and mix 1/3 of the dry ingredients together — one cup flour, one Tablespoon of sugar, one teaspoon of salt and one packet of yeast.
Grab a microwaveable bowl and mix 1/3 of the wet ingredients together — 3/4 cup of water, 1/4 cup of milk, one Tablespoon of butter and about 10 drops of food coloring. Microwave for 45 seconds on high.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Let’s also just call attention to that awesome purple color :)
Mix the wet and dry ingredients together, and then start slowly adding in another two and a half cups of flour. Mix it all the way until it forms one huge ball of dough.
Repeat the first set of steps for each color. Each will yield one loaf but we will be mixing the colors together to form rainbow magicalness.
Last but not least — the green! Don’t be afraid to try other colors. This is a great recipe to create any holiday loaf. (Don’t be surprised if we do it for Fourth of July too!)
Once you have all three loaves, pull apart each color into little pellets. Layer the colors when you put them in the bowl to get maximum color variation.
Use your hands to give this mega loaf a good couple of twists.
Cover with plastic wrap and a dish towel and let the dough rise for at least one hour.
Divide your loaf into three sections and place into a greased pan. If you don’t have a loaf pan, you can totally make a rounded loaf in a cake pan or on top of a cookie sheet. Bake for 30 mins at 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Wait for the bread to cool and then slice into magical rainbow bread.
If you’re nice enough to gift one of these loaves, we suggest printing out a bread wrap printable and hand-lettering a fun saying. Tie up with some baker’s twine or embroidery floss.
Sadly, there is no baby inside of this sweet dessert. But hey, we’re totally all for you continuing the King Cake tradition and adding the little trinket into your sweet loaves. Just remember to warn your guests ;)
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DIY Production and Styling: Kelly Bryden
Photography: Brittany Griffin