The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Multi-tasking, bread suffers

tattooedtonka's picture

Multi-tasking, bread suffers

Well today has not been my day.  It started out o.k., fed the starters, took my photos, and set out to start constructing a Marbled Loaf.  The goal was to take 3 different colored doughs, (green, white, pink) and mix them into a wonderful round loaf with the colors swirling throughout.

Well I got as far as having all 3 doughs made out.  The green dough was a Spinach dough.  The white was a plain sweetened dough, and the pink was a tomato dough.  This recipe was out of Bernard Clayton's "New Complete Book of Breads". 

Now I have seen photos of this finished bread in another book at the bookstore, but it didnt post a recipe for it.  How elated I was to find it in this book.  However, soon after the three were in their seperate bowls my mutitasking began.  Unfortunately, my muti's surpassed my abilitites to task.  And my poor doughs sat waaayyy tooo looonnnggg before I was able to get back to them.  About 2 1/2 hours too long.  When I finally got back home, I did what I could to salvage my debacle.  I just did a simple braid, baked and hoped for the best.

Oh well, I will try again next weekend.

I just cut open the loaf, it tastes good, the spinach section is my favorite.  The tomato, would be my least favorite.  This however could be because of my errors.  I will try this again, just to see what it tastes like done correctly.



Thegreenbaker's picture

It looks good and you have me intruged. I wonder, would you mind posting the recipe?


I'd love to give it a try!


browndog's picture

TT, when I said doesn't dough remind you of canvas, I wasn't thinking pink and green..! That's...well I can't think of the right word, but WOW will do. I agree that tomato in bread seems a little suspect- does it work? (Although a sun-dried tomato and basil loaf is something wonderful.) God, now you've got me thinking- you could do pumpkin/squash for orange dough mixed with a dark rye and something golden--saffron maybe?..tumeric...only now the taste mix is starting to veer off on the weird side...anyhow, what's the process? Just puree the veggies and add them as liquid? --And although it doesn't color the bread, mashed parsnip tastes fantastic (I'm serious, it's one of my very favorite 'add-ins'.)

bluezebra's picture

To be able to multi-task then be able to produce a loaf that looks as beautiful as this?!!

I just had a thought if the tomato isn't working for you...As browndog suggested, you could do either butternut or pumpkin but then you could maybe add in some roasted garlic and smashed beets or just use the beet juice in place of some of your water in that portion. The color from the juice should color very easily without adding too much of a "dirt" taste that beets impart to things, but I'm inclined to think the taste would blend really well and not taste overly "beetish".

Just a thought! Happy baking and tell the boys I said hi! btw, who's gonna be the godmother to the twins? (I'm thinking they are fraternal right?) :D ;)

tattooedtonka's picture

Since this a bit of a long recipe, I will post the recipe as typed but only for the hand mixing way, if you wish to have the stand mixer directions let me know.  Also all recipes in this book are in "measure", not "weight".  Since I use weights, I will post the weights I used in line with the books conversions.

Marbled Bread (Three Loaves)

Note: The three loaves share most of the same ingredients.  The shared ingredients are followed by those ingredients needed to make each special loaf.

Ingredients: For each loaf

  • 3 1/2 Cups bread or all purpose flour (I used 1lb.)
  • 1 package dry yeast (I used 2 1/4Teaspoons)
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1 egg, room temp.

For Spinach:

  • 18oz. Fresh Spinach, stemmed and washed (to make 1 cup puree)
  • 1/4 cup milk

For White:

  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 2/3cup hot water (120-130'F)

For Tomato:

  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 cup tomato sauce

Preperation: 5 min.

In a medium saucepan cook the washed spinach, covered, with the water still clinging to the leaves, until the leaves are just wilted, about 2 minutes.  Drain and squeeze out as much moisture as possible.  Puree the spinach in a blender or processor until finely chopped.  Scrape down the work bowl.  With the motor running, gradually add the milk until the spinach is pureed, about 45sec. Set aside.

Note: Only instructions for the white loaf follow since the three loaves are so similar.  For the tomato and spinach loaves simply add the ingredients above.

By Hand: 8 min.

Measure 2 cups flour into a mixing bowl and add yeast, salt, and sugar.  Form a well in the flour and drop in the butter, egg, milk, and hot water.  Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for 100 strokes.

Add flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to form a shaggy mass than can be lifted to the floured work surface to be kneaded.

Kneading: 10 min.

If by hand, turn and fold the dough with a rhythmic motion of push-turn-fold.  Occasioally lift the dough above the table and bring it crashing down against the work surface.  Add sprinkles of flour if the dough is sticky.  Knead for 10 minutes.  The dough will be smooth and elastic when stretched between your hands.

First Rising: 40 min.

Place the dough in a greased bowl (or plastic bag) and set aside to rise, about 40 min.  Proceed with other 2 loaves.

Shaping: 20 min.

Turn each of the 3 loaves onto the floured work surface, and divide each into 3 pieces of equal size (a total of 9).  Allow them to relax for about 5 minutes.

For rolled loaves: With your hands and a rolling pin shape the white dough into a rectangle about 15"x7"x1/4".  If the dough pulls back, put it aside for a moment and proceed with the others.  The tomato and spinach rectangles are made slightly smaller, 14"x6"x1/4", to fit on top of the white.

To assemble, start with the 1 white layer and stack 1 each pink and green dough on top of the other.  Roll from the long side into a cylinder and pinch the seam and ends together tightly.  Place the loaf seam side down on a prepared baking sheet.  Repeat the stacking and rolling with the remaining doughs.

With a razor, cut 3 diagonal slashes, 1/4" deep, across the top of each loaf.

Second Rising: 30-40 min. 

If there is room in the oven for only 1 bake sheet and 1 loaf, cover and place the other loaves in refrigerator and bring one at a time out to rise while the first loaf bakes.

Cover the loaves with parchment paper or greased plastic wrap and set aside to double in bulk, 30-40 minutes.


Preheat the oven to 375'F about 20 minutes before baking.

Baking: 375'F - 40 min.

Be certain the seams of the loaves are closed before putting them in the oven.  Bake until a light golden brown. 40 minutes.  Turn a loaf over and tap with finger.  If it sounds hard and hollow it is baked.  If not, return to the oven for 5 to minutes more.

(If using a convection oven, reduse heat by 50')

Good luck,


tattooedtonka's picture

I almost forgot


Thegreenbaker's picture

Thanks for the recipe Tonka!  That  crumb shot looks great!


Cant wait to make this!


KipperCat's picture

The braid is pretty, but those slices are a real WOW. What a fun looking slice. I'll definitely try this at some point in the future. Right now I'm still working on getting some basic breads down.

Also, a nice way to sneak in a bit of vegetable. :~)