Monday, September 16, 2013

Rainbow Bread (Italian Feather Bread)

Tea today is with this pretty bread and tea in my gifted cup from my sweet sister.

This bread almost looks tie-dyed, doesn't it?  What fun to make with kids and it only requires ONE RISING!
My dear friend, Mary, who was visiting her son and daughter-in-love, from Chicago, told me about this bread.  Mary used to be a pre-school teacher and she would have her class make this bread.  Even though she is retired, she is still requested to come back to the school and make this with the children.  I made this with my youngest granddaughter and it came out so pretty.  Here's the recipe, from Beard on Bread, as explained by Mary. 

Italian Feather Bread (Rainbow Style), adapted by Kitty's Kozy Kitchen
2 packages active dry yeast

After the rising time

1 T granulated sugar
1 c warm water [100° to 115° F, approximately]
1/3 c olive oil (or vegetable oil)
3/4 c hot water
2 t salt
5 1/2 to 6 c AP flour (start with 5 cups)
cornmeal or semolina flour
Stir the yeast, sugar and warm water together in the bowl of a stand mixer; let sit until yeast dissolves and starts to proof.
In the meantime, add the olive oil to the hot water and let cool to lukewarm. Add the salt, and combine with the yeast mixture. Stirring vigorously with the dough hook attachment, add the flour 1 c at a time, until the dough almost comes away from the sides of the bowl. [The dough will seem rather soft and sticky at this point.] Continue kneading the dough with the dough hook, adding a couple tablespoons of flour as you go along.  Alternatively, you could turn out the dough onto a lightly floured board and knead with your hands. Continue kneading until the dough has absorbed enough flour that it is easy to handle, about 2 to 4 minutes.
When the dough is soft and smooth, let rest for 5 or 6 minutes and then divide into two. (At this point, you add your food coloring to dough that has been separated into as many colors as you would like.  You can have the child then put them together and stack  and twist them). Without food coloring, you  roll each half into a rectangle about 12″ x 8″. Starting from the wide end, roll the rectangle up quite tightly, pinching the seams as you roll. Let the rolled loaves rise on a piece of parchment paper, that has been sprinkled with cornmeal or semolina flour,  in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, about 50 to 60 minutes. Place a baking stone* on the middle rack of the oven and preheat to 425° F while the bread proofs.  (At this point, I slashed the of the loaves).
After the dough has doubled in bulk, place the loaves on top of the hot stone, parchment and all (I use a rimless cookie sheet to transfer the loaves).   Bake 30- 40 minutes (directions said 40, but this was too long for my oven!),  or until the loaves are a rich, golden color and make a hollow sound when you tap the crust with your knuckles, top and bottom. Cool on a rack and slice when fresh.
*If you have no baking stone, butter one or two baking sheets well and sprinkle with cornmeal. Place the just-rolled loaves on the sheets, and then let them rise until doubled in bulk. Bake the loaves on the sheet[s] on the middle rack, the same as you would with the stone.

 Here's my adorable helper!  She's ready to knead in the colors.

Here's another adorable helper and we made another batch.  This time we stacked each color and then rolled them to form a loaf.  I loved this method the best.

Isn't this gorgeous?  I can think of all kinds of possibilities for holidays!!  Fun in the kitchen with kids keeps one happy!

I am sharing this with:


  1. You have such sweet helpers. Did they do a taste test, too? It really looks good! I hope you're having a good week. I keep you in my prayers, my friend. Hugs!

  2. This looks like such a fun idea to share with kids! I love it Kitty!

  3. Oh wow, it's almost too pretty to eat :) How fun, Kitty! Thinking of you, precious friend.

    Love and hugs!

  4. Well, is this ever cool! I know my grands would love the bread and imagine them taking it to school for lunch.

  5. That could possibly be the prettiest bread I've ever seen! You are lucky to have 2 sweet helpers in the kitchen!

  6. Kitty, all the years I taught, I never heard or saw rainbow bread. This is a darling idea. Thanks for sharing.

  7. What fun, Kitty! I used to teach pre-school and we always made butter each year. This bread would have been the perfect accompaniment to the butter. Wonderful colors, but the helpers are even more wonderful!! Also, your teacup is very special - what a nice sister, you have!

  8. Your breads are gorgeous Kitty, and of course your helpers are too! Love this technique and I agree it looks like lots of fun for the holidays... or maybe even football games:@)

  9. Wonderful Rainbow of colors! Your helpers are so cute and just the perfect ones to bake with. Your cup and saucer with the gorgeous flowers is the perfect complement. My thoughts are still with you and always enjoy your postings!


  10. Oh sweet Kitty, this bread is awesome, never saw anything like this before! I love it and I will copy your récipe to make it with my adorable helpers too! Thank you. Have a blessed week.

  11. Dearest Kitty,
    What darling bread! I think this is just so fun and so perfect of an activity to do with our grands! This is positively a keeper-just pinned it!
    Warm Hugs,

  12. This is new to me! Love it!! and you have the cutest little helpers, too!

  13. Beautiful!! Have never seen this before. Love the pics of your helpers!

  14. That's the prettiest bread I've ever seen! Your teacup is pretty too. Thinking of you and wishing you peace.

  15. Oh my goodness this bread is stunning, Kitty~!

    Never saw anything quite like it- Tie Dye Bread, groovy!

    Bet the kids just loved it!


  16. What fun! Wouldn't the children love this? The bread is so pretty and like you said, there are so many possibilites for the holidays. Thank you for sharing with us and coming to tea, dear Kitty.


  17. What sweet helpers you have! The bread is so pretty and would be the star of a tea party! Thanks for sharing the recipe! Lovely teacup, too!

  18. The prettiest bread I have ever seen! You helpers did a great job!

  19. WOW! How beautiful. It made me think of your colorful pizelles! Love it....your helpers are darlings for sure. How fun to make memories with the kiddos. Love your gorgeous teacup too. Thanks for sharing. Hugs to you!

  20. oh that bread looks so pretty, Kitty but the helpers are prettier. Can I borrow them?

  21. What a pretty, pretty bread for a tea or as you said for holidays. How wonderful to get the kids in helping in the kitchen and I know mine (and my girl friends too) love to be featured on my blog! I bet they loved that! Tell them we are so proud of them.

  22. I love this idea! You had me with the first photograph next to the colorful teacup and saucer. I want to do this one. I'm picturing how you could choose the colors to go with whatever theme you wanted.

  23. I love this idea! You had me with the first photograph next to the colorful teacup and saucer. I want to do this one. I'm picturing how you could choose the colors to go with whatever theme you wanted.

  24. Kitty, you have the sweetest helpers! This bread is so beautiful. I'll tuck the recipe away for when we have children visiting. xo

  25. What beautiful grandchildren you have, Kitty! And what a fun experience to share.
    I can't wait to do this with my Ms. C.

    Thanks so much for the instructions.

    Hope you're doing a little better each day, Hon. I think of you a lot.

  26. Blessings on this ordinary day...looking forward to the freshness..the crisp cool air as it stirs the falling leaves and my heart for cozy peaceful days ahead!

  27. WOW! What colorful bread and I know my grands would love making this! Your little helpers are so cute. Thank you so much for the will come out on their next visit!
    ♥ Jil

  28. Hi Kitty,
    Your helpers are just precious and what a fun project for all of you. I can't wait to try this project with some of my helpers here at the cottage. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday and hope you are having a great weekend!
    Come Back Soon,
    Miz Helen

  29. Kitty:

    This looks like a lot of fun!

    So happy to have you at Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  30. That bread is so cool! I bet your cute helpers had fun baking.
    Have a great week, Kitty...

  31. Kitty!! I have no clue how I missed this post, I guess it was the one day I did not log on to Blogger as I was busy setting up a prayer group in my home. What a beautiful bread, and I never heard of it. Must be a regional specialty. Looks beautiful. xo

  32. How much fun Kitty! I have seen colored cakes but never bread! You're right, this has lots of potential for special color combos! What a fun activity to do with children, thanks so much!

  33. Yes Kitty, kids would love this colorful bread. Making it is the funnest part. Cute helpers! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.


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