Thursday, December 31, 2015

Rainbow Cube Bread Loaves

It's the end of 2015. Yet another farewell to a year. Let's see, in the past year, I traveled to five cities, feasted on loads of good food, got a lil loony with purple streaks and had a job change. A pretty decent year of trials and changes I would say.

I thought I should celebrate by posting something special. So many things came outta my oven this year, but I thought that I should save the best for the last post of the year. While bread itself is nothing too extraordinary, I think the rainbow hues makes it special hey?

Rainbow Cube Bread Loaves

I made this bread cubes the weekend after the ruling of U.S Supreme Court ruling of same-sex marriage back in Jun. I was out with a girlfriend for coffee, and we were discussing the issue. I think the younger generation in general (I won't say all), is more open to the idea of homosexuality, than their parents' generation. I don't support either stance, and is just neutral about it, rather than being against it or anything. I mean, I do know of friends who are same-sex couples, and I'm totally fine with it. Yet I also know of friends who can't accept the idea of same-sex couples, in which I'm also fine with their thoughts, because to me, I just think you believe in what you believe. I'm not going to say anything good or bad about what you think, because everyone is entitled to what you want to believe in. For me, my thoughts are that as long as you are happy and contented in a relationship, it does not matter to me whether your partner is a different gender, or the same gender.

After the conversation, I was just browsing this news article, and all the rainbow on that page just got to me. So I decided that I wanted to make something colourful in my kitchen. And so, ta-dah!

It totally looks like play dough right? These brightly coloured balls of dough. I had gel food colouring in the three basic colours - red, blue and yellow. And to that, I mixed the colours to get my other three shades - orange, green and purple.

I had bought the square baking tins on taobao, and used it once before to make pumpkin cube loaves (pardon me, the post is not up yet ha!). So I used the same recipe and adapted it for a plain white bread, then divide the dough into six equal portions, before adding food gel colouring. It takes a while to knead in the colour evenly, but do make sure to knead well so to ensure you won't have weird white spots in your dough.
Baked and unsliced loaves

You will see that I did two different designs - one layered rainbow, and one swirly rainbow. I had enough dough to make two loaves of bread. So I divided each coloured dough into two equal portions (using the weighing scale).

Then, to get the layered rainbow loaf, just roll out each piece of coloured dough into a square, and stack them up in the rainbow sequence.

And for the swirly rainbow loaf, roll each coloured dough into a rectangle, try to roll the rectangle as thin as possible so that the swirl effect is more pronounced. Stack the coloured rectangles atop each other, then from the shorter end of the rectangle, roll the dough into a log.

From my previous experience baking the pumpkin bread, I thought that the bread crumbs were a little too tight, so I thought there could be excess dough in the loaf tin. The recipe was for slightly bigger loaf tins, mine are a little smaller. So for these rainbow bread recipe, I pulled out some plain dough to make plain chocolate chip buns. They tasted yummy.

Rainbow crumbs!

I think personally, I prefer the swirly design. What about you?

Rainbow Cube Bread
(makes two 10cm cube loaves)

500g plain flour
12g milk powder
10g salt
50g brown sugar
10g instant yeast
170g milk, warmed
170g water, warmed
33g unsalted butter, room temperature
gel food colouring, few drops each

Combine all ingredients except butter into a bowl. Use the dough hooks on the electric mixer, beat together till a rough dough forms (about 1-2 minutes).
Add the butter, continue mixing the dough with the mixer for another 9-10 minutes till a smooth dough forms.
Weigh the dough. Take 780g of the dough, and divide into six equal balls. Set aside the remaining dough (can proof as plain bread buns).
To each of  the six dough balls, add half a tbsp flour, and a few drops of gel food colouring. Knead well until the gel colouring in each dough is evenly mixed in.
(*I only had red, yellow and blue gel food colouring, and it served me well - if you all can remember your R+Y=O, B+Y=G and R+B=P logic)
Form a ball with the dough, and place the ball of dough into a greased bowl. Repeat with all the six dough balls. Set aside to proof for about 45 minutes or more, till the dough has doubled in size.
Punch the dough once to degas it, then knead the dough lightly to form back into a ball, set aside to rest for 15 minutes. Stretch the dough into a rectangle, (length side being about slightly lesser than the cube loaf dimension). then roll up the dough tightly. Grease the cube loaf, then place the rolled up dough into the loaf tin. Set aside to proof for another 45 minutes or more till dough has doubled in size.
Preheat oven to 200C, bake the loaf for about 20-30 minutes.
Leave to cool slightly, then remove bread from loaf tin, cool completely on cooling rack.

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