This incredibly awesome rainbow sandwich loaf starts easily with refrigerated bread dough!
I love using the Pillsbury pre-made doughs … first of all, if comes out of my oven, it’s homemade as far as I’m concerned. More importantly, the convenience factor gives me time to play! And what’s more fun for back-to-school than a tiny square loaf of rainbow bread?
To make this Rainbow Sandwich Loaf
- 4 (11 oz) tubes of Pillsbury crusty French bread dough
- Gel food coloring
- Cooking spray
- 4” x 4" x 18” Pullman loaf pan (or two regular loaf pans), plus a little flour for sprinkling
The Pullman pan is optional, but I recently purchased one, and was very excited about it.
However, although the Pullman did a great job here, I’ll use it primarily for homemade yeast breads, as I couldn’t get the balance right between too full (doughy centers), or not full enough.
I found that with four tubes of Crusty French Loaf dough, you’ll get a nice, densely textured loaf (like those little square loaves at the grocery) that squares off pretty nicely, and it bakes all the way through.
Unwrap the bread dough, and cut each into three equal lengths.
You'll have 12 lengths total, 2 for each rainbow color (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple).
Spray a plate lightly with cooking spray and set aside. Take two lengths of dough and add about 1/2 teaspoon of gel food coloring.
It works best to smear it on the top of one length, place the other on top, and knead it in.
Knead about 30 times, pushing the dough with the heel of one hand, and pulling it back, until the coloring is blended in. Note: the color won't be perfectly uniform -- there will be little flecks of white -- that is absolutely okay.
Place the colored dough on the sprayed plate and set aside. Wash your hands thoroughly, and wipe the counter (to avoid dye transfer to the next color). Repeat with the remaining colors.
Sprinkle the countertop lightly with flour. Starting with the red dough, sprinkle a tiny bit of flour over the top, and roll out to a long rectangle, about 6 inches wide, 18 inches long and 3/4 of an inch thick. Set aside. Repeat with orange, and set on top of the red dough.
Continue moving through the rainbow, with the yellow, green, blue and purple dough, until they are all stacked in the correct color order.
Pat the stack out a little, to bind the layers. Roll it up so it will fit nicely in your Pullman pan (or you can use 2 standard loaf pans, which are about 8" x 4"). Cut in half if you're using 2 regular loaf pans.
Spray the Pullman lightly with cooking spray. Set the dough in the pan, and close the cover so it’s just a tiny bit open (so you can barely see inside). If you're using regular loaf pans, wrap pans in plastic wrap and a towel and set aside. It won't really do a full rise, but will just get the tiniest bit puffed, and we want to give it a wee head start after all that kneading.
Close the Pullman cover and bake the loaf for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, until the top makes a tiny "thump" when tapped, the loaf is the tiniest bit brown, and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
If you're using two regular loaf pans, my best guess is to start checking at 30 to 40 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to allow to fully cool before cutting.
Cut off all the crusts for a perfectly a square loaf. (Or, leave the crusts on for a great toasting bread!)
Cut the square loaf into dainty thin pieces, about ¼ inch thick, layer with your favorite sandwich toppings. And then, have a rainbow-y good day! How could you not?
Oh, yes, toppings!! My favorite rainbow sandwich topping? Why it’s a little something I call the Fluffernutter Royale – peanut butter, banana slices … and rainbow marshmallows. Yum!
Have a rainbow-y day all!