I’ve been wanting to try painted bread for close to a year now. The problem is it is super hot in my kitchen in the summer and icy cold in the winter which makes it hard to get bread to rise during the winter when I have time to bake it. Today I decided I was going to get this project done – and make a few other types of bread while I was at it. I used my oven to add a little extra heat to the kitchen and kept the dough in my bread maker on the dough cycle to keep it warm while I was working with it. This worked out quite well.
I am very happy with the way this project turned out – and while it is true that I made dinner roll sized solace sun’s there is no reason why this same technique would not work on a full size loaf of bread. In face, the sculpting and painting might be easier. It was tedious – to say the least – getting the sculpting and paint exactly where I wanted it. I made a honey whole wheat Mediterranean herb bread for this recipe, but you can use any bread recipe that you like. This was just the recipe that sounded really good to me today.
So – here is how I made this cute solace sun bread.
First I greased my hands so the dough did not stick to them. Then I made a large ball out of the bread dough. The size of the ball depends on the size of the loaf or dinner roll that you want. Remember bread typically doubles in size as it rises – and even if you bake it right away like I did, it is still going to rise some.
Once I had my ball made and put on the greased cookie sheet, I began making the sun rays. I rolled small pieces of dough between my hands until they were long enough to suit me. I then pressed one side flat and laid it against the dough ball. I did not worry about gluing the sun rays to the dough ball because as the dough rises, the ball and the rays naturally bond. I continued this all the way around the dough ball. I ended up with 1o sun rays on my bread. The total number of sun rays you end up with may vary. This is ok.
The next step was to sculpt the dough. I used the tips of a bamboo skewer to do this with. You will notice every other sun ray has a different pattern. I also sculpted out the eyes, nose and mouth of the sun.
I rolled very tiny balls of dough to place in the holes I made for the eyes and nose. This adds dimension and – in my opinion – looked so much better than the holes plus I didn’t have to worry about the rising dough filling those holes in.
The next step was to paint the dough. I used Wilton gel food colors and several bamboo skewers . I dipped the tip of the bamboo skewer into the gel food coloring, then carefully spread the food coloring onto the dough. I used a different skewer for each color so the colors did not mix.
Once I was satisfied with the way the solace sun bread looked, I put it into an oven pre-heated to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. I baked the solace sun bread for five minutes at a time until it sounded hollow when tapped. This took 15 minutes. My oven is off temperature and sometimes heats hotter or colder than what I have it set for which is why I keep such a close eye on what I am cooking. The time your bread needs to cook is going to depend on the size of the solace sun bread and your oven. I recommend checking the bread every five minutes until you know for sure how long it takes in your oven – that is unless you are making a full size loaf of bread. In that case, follow the instructions of the recipe you are using.
That’s all there is to making a painted sun solace bread. It is super easy – not to mention these solace sun breads are going to be fun to eat!