I was pretty impressed with how easily I was able to turn out a loaf of rainbow bread for St. Patrick’s day, so I decided to try my hand at some frog bread for my son’s birthday party. After a making a batch that looked more scary than froggy (Thanks, Pinterest!), I streamlined the method and came up with a perfect loaf that tastes as good as it looks.
White Sandwich Bread
Basic recipe from Baker’s Dozen Cookbook
1 ¾ cups whole milk, heated to 100-110 degrees
1 tbsp active dry yeast
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp plus 1 tsp vegetable oil
4 ¾ cups (1 lb 8 oz) bread flour, or as needed
2 ¼ tsp sea salt
Pour warm milk into mixer bowl, add the yeast and sugar, then the oil. Stir to combine. Let stand 5 minutes.
With paddle attachment, add 1 cup flour and the salt to the mixer on low speed. Gradually add enough flour to make a soft, supple dough that cleans the sides of the bowl. Switch to a dough hook and knead 5 minutes.
Lightly oil a cookie sheet. Take out ¼ of dough from the bowl and set aside. Add green food coloring to remaining dough and knead until well combined. Set green dough on cookie sheet and turn to coat with oil.
Take slightly less than half of the remaining uncolored dough and place in bowl. Add black food coloring and knead well. You may need to take it out of the bowl and hand knead, but be warned that it will stain your fingers. Set black dough ball on cookie sheet with remaining white ball of dough and green dough.
Cover with plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray. Let stand until doubled, I hour or so. I put mine in the oven with the light on. I read somewhere that it’s the perfect temperature in there to proof bread. Lightly oil two regular 8 ½ x 4 ½ in loaf pans.
Take green dough and split it in half, since this recipe makes two loaves. You’ll repeat all these steps for the second loaf. Take half the green dough and shape into a loaf. Hack off a tangerine sized chunk from each end. Roll out the tangerine chunks into rectangles roughly the length of your bread pan and 3 or so inches wide. You’ll use these as the outside wrap for the eyes later.
Next, take the white chunk and split into 4 parts. Take two parts and roll each part into a long rectangle. Take the black dough and form into a long loaf. With a pizza cutter, cut off 4 lengths about the diameter of a Twizzler. Take two lengths and place each in the center of the white rectangles. Roll the white around the black, taking care to completely surround it with the white. Then take your white “hot dogs” and wrap each one in the green chunks you rolled out.
Place the large green loaf in the pan and the two green “hot dogs” right next to each other in the center of the loaf. Repeat with the second loaf and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to proof another 40 minutes. Then bake at 400 degrees in the center of your oven for 30 minutes. I cover my bread with foil about halfway through to prevent overbrowning.
Slicing this bread is the best part. It looks so ugly coming out of the oven and so very cute once you cut it! Ribbitt.