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Honey and Hibiscus Bread

Prep Time:

15 minutes + 2 hr rise time

Cook Time:

25 minutes


8-10 Slices

About the Recipe

This recipe for a multicolored bread was made in collaboration with Selefina Spices and inspired by the classic Swiss braided bread Zopf. I wanted to make a fun braided version of this bread so decided why not color half of the braid with the beautiful deep pink purple hue of hibiscus powder. Since the flavors of hibiscus and honey work so well together I decided to sweeten the dough with honey. (Similar to that of a Challah bread). The result, a multicolored marbled bread with a lightly floral and sweet flavor. Perfect for a fun weekend breakfast.


1 CUP warm water

2¼ TSP active dry yeast

¼ CUP honey

⅓ CUP vegetable oil

2 LARGE eggs

1 TSP salt

4 CUPS all-purpose flour

2 TBSP hibiscus powder

sesame seeds or pearl sugar (optional garnishes)


Eggs and oil in a bowl

In a bowl, combine warm water and yeast. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes until foamy.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together honey, vegetable oil, eggs, and salt. Add the yeast mixture and mix well.

Mixed dough in a bowl set aside to rise.

Gradually add the flour, one cup at a time, mixing until a dough forms. Knead the dough on a floured surface for about 8-10 minutes, or until it becomes smooth and elastic.

Risen dough on a fooured workspace divided into two pieces.

Divide the dough in half. Set one portion aside and to the other, add hibiscus powder. Knead until the powder is evenly distributed, creating a vibrant deep purple-pink dough.

One portion of dough deep purple dyed with hibiscus powder.

Place each portion of dough in separate greased bowls, cover with a damp cloth, and let it rise in a warm place for about 1-1.5 hours or until it has doubled in size.

Once risen, punch down the dough and divide each portion into two to three equal parts. Roll each part into a long rope.

Dough braided into a multicolored loaf.

Braid the ropes together, alternating between the regular and hibiscus dough to create a marbled effect.

Place the braided bread on a baking sheet or in a bread pan lined with parchment paper, cover with a cloth, and let rise for an additional 30-45 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).

Beat an egg and brush it over the top for a shiny finish. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or pearl sugar for extra visual appeal if you so desire.

Top of a baked braided bread close-up with sesame seeds.

Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the loaf sound hollow when tapped.

Allow the honey and hibiscus bread to cool before slicing and serving. Enjoy!

Cut loaf of honey and hibiscus bread where you can see the swirls of purple.

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