Happy Pride Month! 🏳️🌈
It’s June (aka Pride month)! 🙌🏻 I have always wanted to make a rainbow, but I was deterred by the extra effort. I was also looking for the best natural food coloring that would work best in sourdough bread after baking. But after some trial and error, I finally found a perfect way to make a rainbow sourdough without using any artificial colorings. Therefore, in honour of Pride Month, it’s my pleasure to present you this Rainbow Sourdough recipe.
Natural Food Coloring
A Little Trick
If you have tried to bake sourdough with beetroot before, you might know that the red color would vanish after baking despite the dough being vividly red. The betalain pigments found in beetroot degrade rapidly in the presence of heat, oxygen, and rising pH. During baking, there is a rapid rise in pH value, combined with the presence of huge amount of heat and oxygen, the red color would turn brown.
After doing some research on the internet, I found that adding ascorbic acid (aka vitamin C) to the dough actually helps stabilize the pigment. Hence, preserving the red color in the final baked product. So for this sourdough, I actually added 1000mg of vitamin C to the dough to achieve the vibrant rainbow color. ☺️
Red / Pink Color – Strawberry Powder ❤️
For the red color, I used some freeze-dried strawberry powder in the dough. You can also use beetroot powder or pink pitaya powder if you don’t have access to strawberry powder. Start with 1 Tbsp first, mix well, then check to see if the dough color resembles what you want. If it’s too faint, add 1/4 tsp more of the powder, continue to mix until you get the color you want.
Yellow – Turmeric Powder 💛
For the yellow color, of course I used turmeric powder. One point to note is that since tha flavor of turmeric is quite prominent in high concentration. Do not use more than 2% of the flour weight of your dough ball. For example, in this recipe, total flour weight is 300g. So for each of the 5 dough balls, the flour weight is 60g. In this case, I suggest using only 1-2g of turmeric powder. You don’t really have to measure it. A dash of turmeric will do, just enough to dye the dough yellow.
Looking for more recipes using turmeric?
- Cinnamon Turmeric Sourdough with Chocolate & Dried Cherries
- Mango Coconut Sourdough
- Orange Chocolate Sourdough with Turmeric
- Chai Apple Streusel Bread
Green – Matcha Powder 💚
For green color of the Rainbow Sourdough, there are a lot of options. For example, kale, spinach or barley powder will all work well. However, since I also care about the flavor, not just the aesthetic of this rainbow sourdough, I prefer using something that would make the bread tastes good too! You all know how I feel about matcha, so I guess you won’t surprised when you know that I have to make this rainbow sourdough with matcha! 😆
Interested in Matcha?
- Matcha Babkallah with Red Bean Paste
- Matcha Black Sesame Sourdough Babka
- Vegan Matcha Cheesecake
- Marble Matcha Bundt Cake
- Vegan Matcha White Chocolate
- Matcha Pistachio Keto Ice Cream
Blue – Butterfly Pea 💙
When it comes to natural food coloring, there isn’t really much choice for blue color. 🦋Butterfly pea is definitely the best candidate for this. Apart from its appealing blue color, butterfly pea is also a mood enhancer. There are studies showing that drinking butterfly pea tea has stress-busting effects that may also help reduce symptoms of anxiety.
For this recipe, I’m using butterfly pea powder. But you can also use brewed butterfly pea tea in the dough to make it blue. I find using powder in dough helps simplifies the process.
Purple – Blueberry Powder 💜
I recently rediscover my love of purple color in baked goods. As you can see from my After my creation of Blueberry Cheesecake Sourdough and Blueberry Focaccia. In fact, there are multiple ways in which you can color your dough with natural colors. The most popular and common way is to add mashed purple sweet potato. Ube (aka purple yam) and black rice are also two common ingredients to use when it comes to natural coloring.
I have tried adding purple sweet potato to sourdough before. However, I didn’t find much difference in terms of flavor. Although aesthetic is important, to me, the flavor is equally, if not more predominant, when it comes to baking. Because I love how blueberry works in sourdough bread, as well as it would pair perfectly with the strawberry dough, I opted for blueberry flavor for the purple dough.
Want to read more Blueberry recipes?
- Blueberry Cheesecake Sourdough
- Blueberry Focaccia
- Sourdough Blueberry Rolls
- Blueberry Vegan Basque Burnt Cheesecake
- Blueberry Ice Cream
- Blueberry Chocolate Hazelnut Tart
- Blueberry Lavender Sourdough Pancake (Gluten-free)
Getting the Rainbow Swirl
Making this rainbow bread is quite tricky. I have experimented with the timing of combining the 5 dough balls into one big dough. I found that the swirl looks best when you combine them after the second S&F. So I performed 1 set of light bench fold on each dough. Rest for 30 minutes (or until relaxed). Perform another set of coil fold on each dough. Rest for 30-45 minutes (or until relaxed). Laminate all 5 dough on the countertop with one dough slightly overlapping the other one. Fold the dough up, then rest for for 45-60 minutes (or until relaxed). After that, I performed a final set of coil fold which also acts as pre-shaping. Left it untouched until the end of bulk fermentation.
Rainbow Sourdough with All-Natural Coloring 🌈Course: Baked Goods, Bread, Breakfast, Desserts, Desserts / Snacks / Cakes, Healthy Snacks, SourdoughCuisine: SourdoughDifficulty: Medium
Happy Pride Month! I have always wanted to make a rainbow. In honour of Pride Month, it’s my pleasure to present you this Rainbow Sourdough recipe.
210g bread flour
30g spelt flour
30g rye flour
60g levain (100% hydration)
1000mg of vitamin C
15g water (added together with salt)
- Red Dough
- Yellow Dough
- Green Dough
- Blue Dough
- Purple Dough
7g freeze-dried blueberry powder
- Prepare the Levain
- Feed your starter using 1:2:2 (starter:flour:water) ratio. Cover loosely and let it rise until it tripled in size, around 5-6 hours.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and 210g of water until everything is incorporated into a dough. Cover and let it rest for 1.5 hours.
- Mixing the Dough & Bulk Fermentation
- Once your levain has peaked, add 60g of levain to the dough. Mix until you feel the dough has strengthened. Cover and rest for 30 minutes.
- Add 6g sea salt, 1000mg of vitamin C and the extra 15g of water to the dough. Mix until everything is incorporated.
- Divide the dough into 5 each portions. Add ingredients of colored dough to each of the dough balls. Mix Well.*
- Cover and let the dough rest for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough has relaxed.
- Perform one set of light bench fold on each dough ball. Let it rest for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough has relaxed.
- Perform one set of coil fold on each dough ball. Let it rest for 30-45 minutes, or until the dough has relaxed.
- Spray some water on your countertop. Laminate all 5 dough on the countertop with one dough slightly overlapping the other one. Fold the dough up, then rest for for 45-60 minutes (or until relaxed).
- After that, I performed a final set of coil fold which also acts as pre-shaping. Left it untouched until the end of bulk fermentation (the dough has increased by roughly 50% in volume).
- Shape the dough and transfer to a banneton dusted with brown rice flour. Rest for 15 minutes at room temperature. Then retard the dough in the fridge overnight or 16 hours.
- In the morning, preheat the oven to 250°C for 1 hour with a dutch oven inside. I love baking with my challenger pan.
- After 1 hour, take the dough out from the fridge. Score the dough using a bread lame. I used my UFO lame from Wire Monkey. Transfer it to the challenger pan using a parchment paper. Place 2-4 ice cubes beside the bread, cover the pan immediately and bake for 20 minutes covered.
- Remove the cover after 20 minutes, lower the temperature to 220°C and bake for another 10 minutes.
- For the last 10 minutes, further lower the temperature to 210°C.
- Turn off the oven and leave the oven door a crack open for 15 minutes.
- Remove the loaf from the oven and place it on the cooling rack until it’s completely cooled.
- * For the colored dough, add the listed amount of ingredient. Mix well, then check to see if the dough color resembles what you want. If it’s too faint, add 1/4 tsp more of the powder, continue to mix until you get the color you want.