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Tri-Colored Breads

The first time I made a tri-colored bread it was the Neapolitan bread listed below. I had so much fun making it that I tried out making a recipe of my own for the sundried tomato, pesto, olive bread. Recently I tried out a few others and they came out SO delicious and amazing. A few of the breads turned out a bit more dense since I didn’t let them rise enough. Some of them kept their color through baking because I didn’t apply an egg wash to them before baking.

Neapolitan Bread


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  • 4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 2/3 cups warm water
  • 5 cups bread flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 teaspoons milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons butter, softened
  • Seeds scraped from two vanilla beans
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup frozen strawberries, defrosted
  • 1 cup flour
Egg wash
  • One egg, beaten
  • One tablespoon water
  • Dissolve the yeast in the warm water and let sit 5-10 minutes. Stir in two cups of the flour, then add the sugar and salt. Add two more cups of flour, then add the milk and eggs. Knead in the final cup of flour and the butter. You may need to add a bit more flour to make a dough that is manageable, but slightly sticky.
  • Divide the dough into three sections: two that are about 2/5ths the total, and one that is about 1/5th.
  • For the vanilla: Stir the vanilla beans, vanilla extract, and flour together into a paste then knead this into one of the larger portions of dough. It takes a long time to work it through evenly. Add more flour if needed to make a smooth and tacky, but not sticky, dough.
  • For the chocolate: Form a paste of the cocoa and water, then knead this into the other large portion of dough. This also takes a while. Add more water or flour if necessary.
  • For the strawberry: Defrost one cup of frozen strawberries. Pour them and their liquid into a large bowl and use your hands to squish them into a sort of lazy man’s puree. This leads to there being some strawberry chunks in the dough, like all the best strawberry ice creams have. Cut the smaller portion of the original dough into six pieces and mix them and one cup of flour into the strawberries. Add more flour and knead to form a dough of the same consistency as the other two.
  • Let all three doughs rise in separate, oiled bowls covered with plastic wrap for about two hours, or until about one and a half times their original size.
  • Degas the dough and roll out into ropes. Braid these together on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Let rise for 45 minutes, or until it has increased about one and a half times.
  • Brush with egg wash.
  • Preheat the oven to 400*F and bake for 20 minutes, or until dark brown. Lower the temperature to 350*F and bake an additional 30 minutes, until it sounds hollow, rotating halfway through for even baking.

  Recipe from the Foppish Baker

Pumpkin, Ginger, and Chocolate Bread




I used the same base as for the neapolitan bread recipe above. I mix in the add-in ingredients with the dough in my food processor with the dough blade and add in extra flour as necessary to make the dough workable.

Chocolate add-ins:

  • I made it the same way described by the recipe.

Pumpkin add-ins

  • A few tablespoons of mashed pumpkin
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg

Ginger add-ins

  • Grated fresh ginger
  • Chopped up pieces of candied ginger.

Apple, Cinnamon Raisin, Honey Bread





I used the same base as for the neapolitan bread recipe above.I mix in the add-in ingredients with the dough in my food processor with the dough blade and add in extra flour as necessary to make the dough workable.


  • Small chopped chunks of apple (1/2-1 whole apple)
  • A few tablespoons applesauce

Cinnamon Raisin

  • Lots of cinnamon
  • Raisins


  • A few tablespoons of honey

Lemon, Raspberry, Blueberry Bread




I used the same base as for the neapolitan bread recipe above. I mix in the add-in ingredients with the dough in my food processor with the dough blade and add in extra flour as necessary to make the dough workable.


  • A few tablespoons lemon curd
  • Zest from 1-2 lemons


  • A large handful of fresh raspberries (the food processor kind of grinds them as it’s mixing)


  • A large handful of fresh blueberries

Cranberry, Apricot, Walnut Bread





  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 3 tbs granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tbs salt
  • 3 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1 tbs orange extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk, room temp
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 whisked egg, for egg wash


  • Stir the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together. Add the extract, eggs, milk, butter, and water. Mix until a ball of dough is formed
  • Split dough into 3 equal sections and mix in cranberries, apricots, and walnuts into the separate sections
  • Knead each section of dough for 5-6 minutes
  • Set in a warm place to rise for 2 hours
  • Roll the dough into strands and braid. Let proof for another 1-1.5 hours.
  • Brush with egg wash
  • Bake for 50-55 mintues at 325 F

Honey, Whole Wheat, Pumpernickel Bread





For the Basic Bread Dough

  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 2 1/3 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 3 tsp. salt
  • 3 1/3 to 3 2/3 cups all-purpose flour

For the Whole Wheat Dough

  • 2 Tbsp toasted wheat germ
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup plus 2 to 5 Tbsp whole wheat flour

For the Pumpernickel Dough

  • 2 Tbsp baking cocoa
  • 2 Tbsp molasses
  • 1 cup plus 2 to 5 Tbsp rye flour
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 Tbsp water


  • In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add butter, honey, salt and 2-1/3 cups flour; beat for 2 minutes. Divide evenly among three bowls.
  • To the first bowl, stir in enough remaining all-purpose flour to form a stiff dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and set aside.
  • Add wheat germ and molasses to the second bowl. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough wheat flour to make a stiff dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and set aside.
  • Add cocoa and molasses to the third bowl. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough rye flour to make a stiff dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover.
  • Let all three bowls rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Gently deflate doughs; divide each in half. Shape each portion into a 15-inch rope. Place a rope of each dough on a greased baking sheet and braid; seal ends. Repeat with remaining ropes.
  • Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes. Beat egg white and water; brush over braids.
  • Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Pesto, Sundried Tomato, Kalamata Olive Bread

DSC_0124 (2)



DSC_0149 (2)

  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cups warm milk
  • 1 tbs active dry yeast
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 5 – 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg

Pesto bread

  • 1/4 cup pesto

Sun-dried tomato bread

  • 1/4 cup sun dried tomato pesto or sun dried tomato paste
  • heaping spoonfull of chopped sun dried tomatoes

Olive bread

  • 2-4 tbs finely chopped kalamata olives
  • several halved kalamata olives (seeds removed)
  • optional – chopped basil


  • Add yeast to warm water. Measure in milk and sugar, and mix until dissolved. Add 2 cups of flour, mix well, and let sit for ten minutes. Stir in the salt then add flour 1 cup at a time until dough is a good consistency (not too sticky). Divide dough into thirds. For each of the three breads knead in the ingredients listed above until they are evenly distributed. You will need to add more flour to get dough to the right consistency again. Place each ball in a greased bowl, and let rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, they should double in size.
  • Punch each dough ball down, knead a little, and then divide in half. Roll out each of the colors into ~1 inch thick strands and braid together. The recipe makes 2 loaves. Cover and let rise for about thirty minutes.
  • Whisk egg and 1 tbsp water together. Brush dough with egg wash. Bake for 25-30 minutes at 400 degrees.

Lemon, Orange, Pomegranate Bread



  • 5 cups (500g) flour
  • 4/5 cup (200ml) milk
  • 2 teaspoons active dry or instant yeast
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 5 1/3 ounces (150g) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 pinch of salt


  • Grated lemon peel
  • lemon juice
  • extra sugar


  • orange peel
  • orange juice
  • orange marmalade


  • pomegranate molasses
  • pomegranate seeds


  • Heat the milk while letting butter soften at room temperature.
  • Pour butter, milk and remaining ingredients except sugar in a bowl. Mix, then knead, for 3 minutes.
  • Divide into 3 sections and add-in different flavor ingredients, add more flour as necessary.
  • Let the dough rest for 1 hour in a warm place, free from air drafts.
  • Use 3 dough rolls together to form a braid. Let stand for about twenty minutes.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 340°F (170°C) for 15 minutes.

Lemon, Raspberry, Blueberry Roll Up Bread






Base Recipe: For each flavor I halved the recipe below. I used yogurt of the flavor of the filling I was making for each dough.


  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/2 cup  Unbleached All-Purpose Flour


  • all of the sponge
  • 3/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons natural vanilla extract
  • 5 cups Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • egg wash for brushing braid

Lemon Filling

  • Lemon curd
  • Lemon zest

Raspberry Filling

  • Raspberry preserves
  • Chopped up raspberries

Blueberry Filling

  • Blueberry preserves
  • Blueberries


  • To make the sponge: In a small bowl, combine the sponge ingredients. Stir well to combine, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • To make the bread dough: In the bowl of your stand mixer, or in bowl by hand, combine the sponge, yogurt, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and flavoring. Add flour and mix with the paddle attachment until the dough is a bit shaggy and rough.
  • Switch to the dough hook and knead on speed 2 until a soft, smooth dough forms, about 5 to 6 minutes, adding more flour if needed to achieve the correct consistency OR do what we did and knead by hand on a floured pastry board.
  • Form it into a ball and place in vegetable or Canola oiled large bowl (one that is twice the size of the dough). Let rise in a warm dry place, loosely covered with plastic wrap.
  • Let rise for 60-90 minutes or until puffy and almost double in size. Mine did not get terribly puffy but it did get much larger in size.
  • Roll out dough to flat rectangular shape. Spread on thin layer of filling. Roll up jelly-roll style.
  • Once you have all 3 strands, braid them together and let rise another 1 hour.
  • Bake at 350 F for 35 minutes.

9 Responses to “Tri-Colored Breads”

  1. david

    very cool as someone who knows how to only make scrambled eggs and grilled chicken. this looks good enough that I am kinda tempted to eat it. Freudian slip. Meant to write make it. But my hearts not on the making part of it lol.

  2. Jennifer

    Do you happen to know if the wheat, honey, pumpernickel can be used in a bread machine? Not necessarily braided but similar to the neapolitan block??

  3. Elissa

    So sad! It’s been 2 hours and none of the bread for the pesto/tomato/olive bread has risen. I am a rookie bread maker so I think I might have added the yeast to Liquid that was too hot

  4. Blair Kilpatrick

    Beautiful! There is a traditional Slovenian bread I discovered a year ago and have been making ever since, with buckwheat, corn, and white layers. It’s intended to be a “fool-the-eye” version of a sweet pastry-bread called potica, or Slovenian nut roll. It’s called pisani kruh (multicolored bread).


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