Cheesy Tricolor Braided Whole Wheat Bread

Back in 1950 on this day in January India became a Republic. In celebration of the Republic Day I present the tricolor braided cheese bread.

I used vegetables as dye to color the bread. I used carrots and cherry tomatoes for the orange layer, broccoli for the green and left the white uncolored. Though the colors are not visible on the finished bread under the melted cheese they are clearly visible on the slices.

I used the same recipe for this bread as I had for the zopf. The bread turned out soft with a lightly crunchy but very thin crust. It was great on its own but tasted even better with a dab of boursin cheese.

In my house I have never had to sneak in vegetables into anything. Everyone loves vegetables, most of all my daughter. But if you have picky eaters this might be a good way to get the vegetables in.

You will need (for two loaves)
280 gm white whole flour
200 gm all purpose flour
8 gm yeast
2 tsp. salt
1 egg yolk
2 tbsp butter, melted

For the green color
1 small floret broccoli
1/4 cup milk

For the orange color
4 cherry tomatoes
1/4 carrot, shredded
1/4 cup milk

For the white color
1/4 white onion, sliced (optional)
1/3 cup milk

For the wash
1 egg wash
1 1/2 tsp. water

For the topping
1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

Blend the broccoli with milk and keep aside. Saute the shredded carrot under tender. Cool completely. Blend with cherry tomatoes and milk. Keep aside. Saute the onion until tender and allow to cool completely.

In a large mixing bowl sift the flours. Add the salt and yeast and mix well. Next add the egg yolk and melted butter. Mix well and divide into three bowls by weight. To the first bowl add the ground broccoli. To the second bowl add the ground carrots and tomatoes. To the third add the onions. You could skip the onions if you choose.

Form a soft dough. You should have equal sized dough in green, orange and natural colors. Cover and allow them to rise until double in volume, about an hour.

Divide each of the balls of dough into two by weight. Take one half of the orange on a floured working surface. Flatten with the heel of your palm. Fold over like an envelop and seal with the heel of your palm. Now roll it on the board until you get a long rope. Keep aside and repeat with one green and one natural portion.

Keep the three ropes side by side. Pinch the top and start braiding. Place a piece of cheese between the braid as you go. When done tuck both ends under the braid for a neat finish. Push a piece of cheese over the curves of the braid. Keep aside covered for 20 minutes. Repeat for the remaining three portions.

As the braided dough rises preheat the oven to 425 F. Brush the top with the egg white and water mixture. Bake the loaves for 25-30 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 F and bake another 20-25 minutes. Tent with foil if the top browns too quickly.

Cool on a cooling rack before slicing.

Enjoy its own or with a dab of boursin.


  1. Perfect republic day post. Loved how you used veggies to bring out the color nicely.

  2. You àre a pro baker.Tricolor bread looks outstanding.

  3. That is such an innovative and colorful bread Varada. It came out just perfect, love the tri colored slices and the boursin cheese on top. yummy!!

  4. That's a fantastic bread..and what a lovely gesture. Like the way colours show up on the slices.

  5. Beautiful varada, Love it totally, the cheese topped bread looks absolutely temping!!

  6. So apt for the day! And love that you have used natural ingredients to color the bread. The bread has turned out so well Varada!And thanks for sending it to the event.

  7. wow Varada, when I had just read republic special, never expected a bread! beautifully done..very nice..

  8. Wow. a beautiful tricolor bread, well baked.

  9. Nicely done tricolor braided bread,kudos to your innovation...Wonderfully done and very well presented..

  10. I can't get my eyes off the perfect braids! You have made it so well :)

  11. Fabulous bread nice colour using veggies,great work

  12. Such a beautiful tricolour braided bread, fabulous its looks.

  13. Awesome! Love the braided bread.

  14. A wonderful gesture. The bread looks fabulous, especially the sliced pieces with marbled pattern.

  15. Kudos to you....lovely tricolor bread and they've come out so well. Jayanthi(

  16. Lovely bread Varada. Looks so cute. :)

  17. what beautiful braids and a great way to celebrate Republic Day

  18. I thought I commented on this. .. Anyways... Lovely tribute to the R-day theme !


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