How to Dye Bread

Updated February 21, 2017

One of the best things about baking your own bread is the versatility.You can add your favourite herbs, spices or flavoured extracts to your recipes.. You can also dye bread dough any colour you desire, producing fun, bright slices for making sandwiches for any occasion. Dye bread pink or blue for a baby shower, make sandwiches in your team or school colours or make holiday breads in holiday colours.

Place your risen bread dough on a floured surface. If you want to make more than one colour, cut the dough into a separate piece for each colour.

Knead the dough, one piece at a time, by hand or in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment, for 10 minutes. Add the gel food colouring 3 drops at a time as you knead until the dough turns to the desired colour.

Place the dough in a prepared loaf pan, or roll the pieces into ropes and braid them. Cover the dough with a towel and let it rise again for 1 1/2 hours, or as directed by the recipe, before baking.


For the best result, use gel food colouring, not liquid food colouring. Gel food colouring can be found at craft stores and speciality baking shops. For a single colour loaf, the dye can be added with the wet ingredients in the recipe, but you won't be able to adjust the colour unless you add more during the kneading step. For dyed bread machine bread, add the dye with the wet ingredients. Make a colour swirl by adding dye when the machine normally mixes in raisins and nuts. Frozen bread dough can be used; allow it to thaw and rise before kneading in the dye.


Clean utensils and appliances thoroughly after using them with food dye, and before using a new colour, to prevent muddy-coloured dough.

Things You'll Need

  • White or challah bread dough (risen)
  • Stand mixer or breadmaker
  • Gel food colouring
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About the Author

Delaware-based Daisy Cuinn has been writing professionally since 1997, when she became the features editor for her local biweekly music newspaper. She has been a staff writer and contributor to online and offline magazines, including "What It Is!," and Slashfood. Cuinn holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Temple University.