Purple Bread?

In the previous post I learned that adding paste color to the already mixed dough and trying to knead it in to get a uniform color was not very practical. The conclusion was that the color needed to be added to the ingredients before mixing. That’s what I did for this loaf. The ingredients for this loaf, other than the purle color are the same as for Oatmeal Bread – part1.

For color I used Wilton Violet paste Icing color. It comes in a 1 ounce jar. I was going to go with 1 gram of the colorant in the just over 1000 gram batch but ended up with 1.1 grams since it didn’t seem practical to take .1 gram out of the color I had just dropped into 50 grams of water.

I mixed the dye into the water and added it to the bread machine pan on top of the honey that was already there. I had to add more water to the cup where I had mixed the dye and water since it hadn’t mixed that well. After a couple of rinses into the pan all the dye was out of the cup I had weighed it in so I added the rest of the water and then the rest of the ingredients.

Here is the cup with 50 grams of water in it where I weighed out the 1.1 grams of the paste food color dye. The dye turned the water a violet so dark it almost looked black.

At the end of the dough cycle in the bread machine it was almost up to the top to the pan. This is on the verge of being too much for the machine as the spring when it bakes can run the bread over the top of the pan. It can then stick to the inside of the machine or to the cover. It’s a good thing not to let this happen as it makes for a lot of extra cleanup.

Dumped out on the lightly floured counter the dough looked paler than I was hoping for. The Wilton Paste Colors are powerful – you’ll never want to use those little bottles of liquid color from the grocery store after you try them. I thought a gram of the color would give me a nice saturated tone in the bread, but figure next time I could try 2 grams.

I’m not sure if it was luck or if I’m getting better at it, but I formed this loaf so that the ends are pretty square. You need to avoid tapered ends on the formed loaf to go into the bread pan because you end up with a loaf with a big middle and skinny ends. The idea is to have it the same size its full length so all the slices are the same size.


The formed loaf doesn’t look quite so even in the pan. It looks a little saggy in the middle. But proofed up it looked pretty even.


I was a bit concerned that the color would affect the yeast since it might be a bit acidic and baker’s yeast doesn’t do well with in an acidic medium. Looking at the end of the pan after the proofing the dough has risen nicely. Comparing it to the image on the right of the bread after baking the spring from the heat of the oven expanding the CO2 in all the little pockets in the dough wasn’t affected either. It makes sense that the color caused no real problems for the yeast since it probably isn’t really very acidic and the color was only about 0.1% of the dough.

The baked loaf on the cooling rack looked good. The shape was good and it was even its whole length. I was disappointed in the color though. The browning of the crust pretty much obliterated the violet color of the dye. The only place where it showed much indication that it was not just a normal loaf of Oatmeal Bread was where the sides of the loaf had pulled from the spring. At this point I was still thinking I’d have to try again and double the color if I wanted bread that was a definite purple color.

I waited until the bread was thoroughly cool before slicing it. It slices better cool and the cool slices don’t dry out as fast as warm slices.

When I cut the first slice I was thrilled. The baked bread is much darker than the dough was, and the slices looked nicely purple. Next time I might use 1.5 grams of color, but my thoughts of 2 or maybe even 3 grams for a loaf of colored bread have evaporated.