To decorate it, I simply took cake decorating colors and paint brushes from my cake decoating supplies and primitively painted on a deep red sunflower encircled by vines and leaves. I used the paste food coloring straight out of jars, occaisionally tipping my brush lightly into a small cup of water to thin it.
I love the way the browning crust turned the colors from bright and shiny to a deeper, more antiqued look on the bread. And best of all, we have fresh warm bread to eat, slathered in real butter and sweet fall pumpkin butter, to devour with dinner.
Recipe from War Eagle Mill's head baker Faith Brockoff
2 cups milk, scalded and lukewarm
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 Tbsp yeast
2 eggs, beaten lightly
4-6 cups War Eagle Mill all-purpose flour (white whole wheat or 50/50 white/wheat works well too)
1 tsp salt
1. In a medium bowl, mix: milk, sugar, and butter. Add yeast to mixture and let stand for appox. 5 minutes. Once bloom is complete, mix in eggs.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together 4 cups of flour and 1 tsp salt. Make a small well in the middle and pour in the liquid mixture. Mix until well incorporated and sticky.
3. Lightly flour a work surface. Remove dough from bowl and knead for about 10 to 15 minutes until dough is firm and slightly sticky. If dough is too wet, add 1/4 cup of flour and knead. Continue to add flour, if needed, not to exceed 6 cups. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl, and allow to rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
4. Once doubled, shape dough into loves, boules, or rolls. For loaf, place dough in lightly greased loaf pan after shaping.
5. Cover loaves or rolls loosely and allow dough to rise for second time, about 30 to 40 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
6. Bake large loaf or boule for 30-35 minutes (small loaves approx 25 minutes) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. When you tap the loaf, it will sound hollow.Rolls will bake for approximately 12-15 minutes.
Makes 2 small loaves or 1 large loaf or boule or 20 rolls.