Friday, December 28, 2012

Soft Butter Rolls colored with Thai herbs

Katha of Katha Kocht is the host for Bread Baking Day#55. She came up with the lovely theme: Colored bread

Living in Thailand we see a lot of food with colors. Thai people use natural colors from Thai herbs for rice and sweets. There are many herbs to choose from and I used these:

Rosella (Hibiscus sabdariffa). The juice is prescribed for gallstones, kidney stones and urinary tract infections. Also to treat indigestion flatulence, peptic ulcer, fever, cough, hypertension, kidney cramps and back pain. It’s high in calcium and lowers blood cholesterol. 
Butterfly pea (Clitorea ternatea). The seed is used to treat constipation and to soothe stomach pains and cramps. The herb is aalso a hair tonic, used to treat baldness and falling hair.
Tumeric (Curcuma longa). The rhizome is used as a digestive stimulant and for gastrointestinal complaints. It is said to lower blood sugar and a remedy for cough, arthritis, chronic back pain and painful or blocked menstruation.        

Beside the health benefits we love the taste of these herbs. We love to drink hot and cold Rosella juice and turmeric is often in our food along with garlic, chili, Thai basil and of course Gotu Kola.

Name                               Soft Butter Rolls colored with Thai herbs
Adapted from                    Jeffrey Hamelman’s Bread
Yields                               12 rolls
Dough temp.                      24°C
Mixing                               5 minutes (medium consistency)
Fermentation                     1 hours
Shape                                cloverleaf rolls
Proof at roomtemp.            60 – 90 minutes until fully
Bake 204°C                        15 minutes

This is what I used:
Bakers formula                  %        grams
Flour                                100     249
Water                               46      114
Salt                                  2        5.5    

Final Dough
Bread flour                                 249    
Water                                        114
Eggs                                          25
Butter, soft                                20
Sugar                                         14
Dry milk                                     13
Salt                                           5.5                                           
Yeast                                         4

Herbs for color
Butterfly pea
This is what I did:

I washed the herbs and placed them in a bowl with cold water and left them until they colored the water.

The dough: I divided all ingredients by 3 and added colored water to make separate dough. Each batch was mixed until all was well combined, this took about 2 minutes. Then I mixed on second speed for 3 minutes. The dough should be supple, with moderate gluten development.

Bulk Fermentation:
 transfer the dough to a slightly oiled containers, cover and leave for 1  hour.

Shaping: I divided the colored dough into 4 pieces and loosely pre shaped into balls. Covered with a towel and left for 15 minutes to rest. I shaped all balls firmly and placed them in (buttered and with flour dusted) muffin cups. In each cup I placed 3 different colored balls.

Proofing: I proofed the rolls for 60 – 90 minutes until they are fluffy. This depends on the temperature in your kitchen.

Pre heating: I pre heated the oven to 204°C .

Preparing and Baking: Just before baking brush the top of the rolls with melted butter. I baked the rolls for 18 minutes until the tops were golden. Brush again with butter.

Cooling: Let the rolls cool completely on a wire rack.

I send this to Susan’s YeastSpotting and to Bake Your Own Bread and of course to Katha of Katha Kocht for BBD#55

What did you bake this month? Don’t forget to share it. 


  1. Hello Connie,
    thank you for these great coloured butter rolls. It's amazing to see how you brought the colours to the dough with only natural ingredients.
    Warm regards,

    1. Thank you Katha for your theme for BBD, I enjoyed it very much.

  2. Connie, I am in great favor of using natural coloring. You have made a simple butter roll very interesting! Happy New Year to you and family.

    1. Thank you Quay Po, Happy New Year to you and your family too. I think it's healthier to use natural colors and more fun too.

  3. I find these very attractive, and your description of the herbs you used- very nice. Maybe I will try something of that kind myself.

    1. Thank you. It's fun to use herbs for their color. You probably like it too.

  4. Beautiful and creative rolls.
    Can you tell me if you can taste the 3 different flavors from the herbs you used in the water?

    1. Thanks, we could taste the different flavors but the taste was very mild. Probably when I had given it more time the flavor would be stronger.

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