‘Van Gogh Sandwich’: This Viral Loaf Is A Lesson In Natural Dyes

The Internet can’t stop marvelling at digital content creator Sahini Banerjee’s ‘Holi Sando,’ which is almost too pretty to exist. The sandwich is made of strategically coloured bread, and each slice looks right out of Van Gogh’s famous painting ‘Starry Night.’

Banerjee uses a layered dough technique to get the colouring right on the homemade bread. The best part about the bread is the ingenious use of natural colours! The loaf is entirely made with natural food colours, such as matcha (for green), blue pea flower powder (for blue), turmeric (for yellow), beetroot (for pink) etc. Banerjee also shared some notes on which colour retains better and the colours that may get lost.

If you’re trying to make colourful bread at home or want some interesting patterns, map out what you want visually before you get working on it. Natural food colours like beetroot, spinach, turmeric, blueberries, or activated charcoal which usually work well in baking. Here are some other options you can consider.

Vegetable Powders

Incorporate vegetable powders like pumpkin, carrot, or sweet potato into your dough to infuse it with colour and flavour. These powders not only add vibrant hues but also contribute to the nutritional value of your bread. Mix them into your dough until evenly distributed for a subtle yet distinct colouring effect.

Spiralling Techniques

Create visually stunning swirls of colour within your loaf by layering differently coloured doughs and then rolling them up together. This technique works particularly well with contrasting colours like red and green or yellow and purple. As you slice into the loaf, each piece will show a spiral of different colours.

Herb Infusions

Infuse your dough with the vibrant colours and flavours of fresh herbs like basil, parsley, or dill. Finely chop the herbs and knead them into the dough to distribute their colour and aroma evenly. Not only will this add a pop of colour to your loaf, but it will also impart a delightful herbaceous taste that pairs perfectly with a variety of dishes.

Edible Flowers

Enhance the visual appeal of your loaf by incorporating edible flowers into the dough. Flowers such as calendula or lavender not only add a burst of colour but also lend a subtle floral flavour to the bread. Gently fold the flowers into the dough before shaping it into a loaf, ensuring an even distribution of colour and texture.