I recently learned about a food-safe color technique for bright yellow and wanted to try it out on a Sunflower Challah. I really love this recipe for many reasons, especially its delicate texture, buttery rich flavor, and lovely yellow color. In this blog, I will share how I tested this new way of painting the sunflower petals yellow and other details about shaping bread into a big, beautiful sunflower in my favorite 16″ camp Dutch oven.
After kneading the dough for 20 minutes, I let it rise until it is doubled in size, for about an hour. While the dough is rising, I prepare the colors and textures for the sunflower. Set up two small bowls, one for egg white wash and the other for the vodka yellow saffron. For the egg white wash, whisk together two egg whites with about a tablespoon of water until frothy. In the second bowl, add about two tablespoons of vodka and a pinch of saffron strands. Put the egg whites into the refrigerator and chill until needed. After the saffron has steeped into the vodka, stir and judge the intensity of the yellow color, adding more saffron if needed.
… and make a four-inch circle in the center with a glass 0r biscuit cutter.
To make the sunflower petals, use kitchen scissors or a sharp knife and cut about 2 inches apart from the outside to less than an inch at the center.
Then rotate each cut 45 degrees up to create the “petal.” Make sure to rotate each petal in the same direction.
With a pastry brush, paint egg white wash in the center of the bread and then sprinkle a generous amount of poppy seeds to create center of the sunflower.