Saturday, August 24, 2013

Cooking with Kids: Rainbow Breads

What child does not love rainbows, or to work with you in the kitchen? 

These mini loaves of rainbow bread are a party favorite for every child. I have made this rainbow bread for many years with my children, and now I do it with my 6 year old grandson!

You can use just about any white bread recipe you choose. I use this Basic White Bread recipe most of the time, but I have also used french and Italian recipes as well. Below is a few ideas on recipes you could use for your rainbow bread.

I have made each of the recipes above in a rainbow form and they all turn out great! Keep reading to see how easy it is!

Rainbows actually have 7 colors, but I always leave out the indigo and stick with 6 colors.

When I am making rainbow breads, I try to add a bit of extra flour to the dough to make it a bit firmer in order to hold the food coloring without making it sticky.

I like bold colors when I do my rainbow breads, but I have done them in lighter, pastel colors for baby showers and weddings. I made blue bread in several obvious shades for one of the baby showers, and it turned out absolutely beautiful and elegant with the baby boy theme. So be creative and experiment with your colors.

Divide your dough into loaves or if you are making rolls, divide the batch accordingly. I am going to focus on loaves rather than rolls, but the directions are the same for either.

Next, divide each dough loaf into 6 or 7 equal pieces. Remember, I use 6 colors but there are actually 7 colors of the rainbow.

Add a different color to each piece of dough, until you achieve the desired color. If it gets too sticky with bold or dark colors, simply knead a bit of flour into it. The dough should remain soft and moist though. 

Let the kids knead each color in. Start with the lighter colors so that the previous color does not bleed off your hands and into the next color. Wash your hands in between colors too, or use gloves if you don't want your hands dyed. 

Using your bread pan for size comparison, roll the purple dough out into the shape and size of your pan. It should fit evenly into the bottom of the pan as the first layer. 

Roll each color the same, then begin layering your colors from the bottom. 

Lay your purple in the bottom of your bread pan, brush the surface lightly with water just to moisten it so the colors rise and blend cleanly.

Do the same with each color: Purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, and finaly red.

Be sure to push any air bubbles or spaces out from between each layer to avoid pockets and holes in your finished loaves.

Your loaf is assembled and ready to rise!

I really enjoyed this for my kids when they had sleep overs. We would all sit up and make our own mini loaves any way we chose, and when they were finished, we would slice them for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches before bed! The extra, of course had to be made into french toast in the morning.

There is no right or wrong way to do this, and it is simply a creative, fun way for your kids to work in the kitchen and enjoy their products after the fact!

My daughter turned 16 in May of 2013. Her request was a rainbow party, so I made her this enormous rainbow cake.

You can see that here.

Dress your rainbow party up even more by displaying a rainbow flag!
Click on the flag for details!

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