Vegetable Il Gianfornaio

I bought a book recently that had a picture of an Australian bread called Vegetable Il Gianfornaio. It looked beautiful and I flipped through the book frantically trying to find a recipe, but it was just a picture. No recipe in the book! That must be the worst thing a cook book could do – have lovely pictures with no accompanying recipes! What’s up with that?

So I diligiously searched the Web and couldn’t find a recipe though I did find many references to the bread. So I decided to make up my own recipe. And it was a huge success.

Australian vegetable il gianfornaio is a bread made up of different strands woven together into a round shape. Each strand gets its color from vegetable juice. Not food coloring. Vegetable juice – I mean, how healthy! It looked and sounded wonderful.


Vegetable Il Gianfornaio

Make the basic dough 4 times. That is, start out with 4 different bowls and proceed from there.

Basic Dough

1 cup All-Purpose Flour for each bowl (4 cups Flour)
1/4 tsp Active Dry Yeast for each bowl (1 tsp Yeast)
3/4 tsp Salt for each bowl (3 tsp Salt)
1 tbsp Sugar for each bowl (4 tbsp Sugar)
1/2 tbsp Butter for each bowl (2 tbsp Butter)
110 ml Juice for each bowl

Juices:
110 ml each Spinach Juice, Beet Juice and Tomato Juice. Leave one plain.

Add individual juices to each separate bowl. So you’ll have one spinach dough, one beet dough, one tomato dough and one plain (white) dough.


Mix the dough until it comes together. Empty the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for about 8-10 minutes until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Place in an oiled bowl and cover with cling wrap. Repeat for the other bowls. Set in a warm, draft-free area of the house and allow to rise (approximately 1-1 1/2 hours).

Take the dough out of the bowl and gently roll back and forth to form a thick rope (about 10″ long). Repeat for the other dough. Now line all the ropes next to each other and pinch one end so that they come together. Now twist the ropes into a swirl and end up on top (next time I would tuck it into the center, so you don’t see the ends).


Place in a well-oiled round baking tray and cover with a tea cloth. Allow to rest for about 45 minutes to an hour. Preheat the oven to 240 deg C.

Place the baking tray into the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the bread is done (test by gently knocking on the bread, you’ll get a hollow sound when it’s done). Remove from oven and cool for about 1/2 hour.


It’s a gorgeous bread and when you cut it open, the insides are sure to get some cool reactions from guests!


It was soft and the vegetable juices definitely added a lightness to the bread. I think breads with spices and herbs are more flavorful, but this looks and tastes delicious too. Next time, I might add some pieces of mashed vegetable as well as the juice to get more flavor.

This is off to Boaz @ Grain Power for Bread Baking Day #14 – Colored Breads.
And to Susan @ Wild Yeast for Yeast Spotting.

To find out what my other marathoners are up to today, check out the links:

DK, Siri, Srivalli, Ranji, PJ, Curry Leaf, Medha, Priya, Bhawna, Raaji, Ruchii, Kamala, Roopa, Divya Kudua, Rekha, Divya, Lakshmi, Raaga, Lakshmi, Sripriya and Viji.

68 Comments Add yours

  1. Arundathi says:

    Tulip – I hope you like it as much as we did! Thanks for dropping by!Shalini – I use Fleishmann’s Active Dry Yeast. I havent had much success with the Indian brands. Good Luck.

    Like

  2. Varsha says:

    Awesome..!!!hatsoff to you..:)

    Like

  3. Michelle says:

    Oy, I just realised they gave that Andrew Lloys Webber musical the wrong name; it should be Joseph and his Technicolour Bread!! 😛

    Like

  4. Arundathi says:

    Varsha – thanks for stopping by and thanks!Michelle – LOL! 🙂

    Like

  5. javapot says:

    Cool colours and cool bread!! All I can say is WOW!

    Like

  6. Arundathi says:

    Javapot – Thanks for stopping by! And thanks! 🙂

    Like

  7. Lozzie says:

    I know this is an old post, but I used to work at the bakery that made these loaves and vegetable bread was my favourite out of all the bread they made. It was in Sydney, but I think they are closed now :o( It was seriously some of the best bread I have ever had. Yours looks exactly like it!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Arundathi says:

    <> lozzie – that’s a huge compliment – thank you! am so glad it looks like the original Aussie version! <>

    Like

  9. Lori says:

    I just wanted to let you know that I saw your bread on Yeastspotting some time ago and have not forgotten it. It is so beautiful. I used your bread as inspiration for a bread that I just made. I added a link to you in my post. This summer when I have all the ingredients on hand I will make your version!

    Like

  10. Arundathi says:

    <>Lori – I just checked out your bread and it looks great! And I’m so glad you loved the flavor!<>

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  11. hey, i love this recipe. my daughter and I made it recently and I linked to you.

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  12. Veggie Belly says:

    I found your blog while searching for australian vegetable bread recipes! Love those gorgeous colorful spirals, so pretty! Do you mind if I make this recipe and post it on my blog; I will ofcourse link to you 🙂
    Thanks!
    ~Sala

    Like

  13. Arundathi says:


    maybelle's mom – Oh i'm so glad – i hope it turned out well!

    veggie belly – i hope you enjoy it!

    Like

  14. Tebasile says:

    I have the same book with no recipe and somebody linked me to your blog. Thank you, your bread looks amazing 🙂

    Like

  15. Anonymous says:

    You know what, buy GSM blocker to disable all spy devices in your room or at work.

    Like

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  18. Anonymous says:

    i just finished making this bread today 🙂 i doubled the recipe and made 2 loaves and i did a 4 strand braid instead of the round pan. they look, smell, and taste wonderful!! this recipe is definetly worth the time and effort. 🙂 thank you so much for this fantastic recipe.

    Like

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