I have given up on using natural food dyes. I like the convenience and speed of commercial food dyes and the flexibility of being able to adjust the intensity of colours.
Whilst natural food dyes is the healthier option, I find that it makes too much of a mess, is more work, less predictable and so time consuming. Just to remind myself why I no longer dye eggs with a collection of onion skins, beetroot, purple cabbage, tumeric powder, hibiscus tea leaves, blueberries, cranberries, green apple skins, etcetera, I went through the whole process a few days ago. After all the peeling, boiling, straining, washing and cleaning up of the far too big a mess, this is the dismal result:
The last reminder I ever need to not bother again with natural food dyes. You cannot control the intensity of colours and it seldom comes out as even tone as eggs dyed with commercial food dye.
I should add that the majority of the eggs that I dye have been ‘blown out’. No, I do not blow out the raw eggs with a straw as some people might to empty them out. I can’t bring myself to do it. Instead, I carefully chip out an opening the size of a pea on the pointy end of the egg and tilt and shake to empty the contents, then wash and rinse out.
After I have amassed a small collection of ‘blown out’ eggs, I dye them. This kind of dyeing I enjoy hugely! Water, vinegar, a few drops of colouring, wait 3 to 5 minutes and voila! I have much more evenly dyed eggs the exact hue that I want! Drip dry on skewers and that’s it! It gets me all excited just thinking about it.
If you worry about staining, and there will be staining, use lots of newspapers and wear disposable gloves. It is much better than peeling, boiling, grinding vegetables and fruits and it saves major cleaning, washing up and food wastage! While the majority of the eggs I dye are ‘blown-out’, I do dye 2 or 3 eggs that that have first been boiled. Those boiled eggs are reserved for a deep red dye. These red eggs I insert into my Easter bread for its symbolic significance and just because it looks pretty. I baked a Greek Easter bread, Tsoureki, recently and slotted the eggs in them.
Do I eat those eggs? Well, yes. I doubt a little red dye that might seep into the bread and into the eggs are going to have any negative effects on me. After all, the convenience food that I consume already have an impressive range of colourings and preservatives. Keep in mind that brown eggs as opposed to white eggs will give the deepest coloured red dyed eggs. I am off to dye another batch of eggs. I want pastel shades this time round. What fun!
This completes my Easter bread series. I had baked 3 kinds of delicious festive bread. Are they not pretty?
(2) Kulich Russian Easter Bread
A challenge to get them so large and high but it is a true festive bread.
(3) Tsoureki Greek Easter Bread
A very soft bread and uniquely flavoured. I have never had anything like it and I like it a lot. The bread pulls out in threads, the way candy floss does.
Quickest Way To Dye Eggs With Food Dye
|Inactive:||3 – 5 minutes|
|Makes:||~12 dyed eggs|
|Can recipe be doubled?||Yes|
Things you need
12 boiled eggs (completely free of cracks) OR 12 eggs that have been ‘blown-out’* (emptied of its contents)
This is how I ‘blow out’ eggs
1. Use a knife and carefully, bit by bit, pry open a hole slightly larger than the size of a pea.
2. This is about the right size of a hole (below).
3. Hold the egg at a 45 degree angle and shake and rotate the eggs at the same time to remove its content. Alternatively, break the yolk up with a toothpick or cake skewer to facilitate the outflow.
4. Rinse out the eggs with soap and water. Drain. Set aside.
Prep vinegar solution and egg dyeing paraphernalia
1. In a large jug, pour in vinegar, hot and room temperature water and mix well.
2. Divide this solution into as many individual bowls as required. There should be enough solution in each bowl to entirely submerge an egg(s). Refer to image below.
3. Have food dyes measured out onto individual teaspoons. You will be using the same teaspoon for stirring dye into the solution. No sharing of spoon allowed or you risk messing up your eggs.
4. Have paper towels handy and it’s best to place everything on a huge tray to contain mess or line your work surface with plenty of newspapers.
Before you start keep in mind…
1. Commercial food dyes will stain your fingers. Wear gloves to protect them.
2. As for how much dye to use, I start off conservatively and add more if required.
3. To get an even colour on your egg, be sure to dissolve all traces of food dye evenly in the solution BEFORE adding the egg.
Let’s dye some eggs!
1. Stir in dye completely. Submerge egg completely. Top up with more solution if necessary.
2. Let egg soak for 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Use the teaspoon to check on how well the dyes have set in. If you are dyeing ‘blown-out’ eggs, you have the option of inserting a bamboo skewer (blunt end in). Use the skewer to check the colouring process. Refer to image above.
4. If you leave the eggs too long in the dyes, tiny bubbles will start to appear on the surface of the eggs and you might get spotty looking dyed eggs. It should be dyed to your liking within 5 minutes.
Removing eggs from the dye solution
1. If using ‘blown-out’ eggs, remove egg with the skewer, with the help of the teaspoon. Skewer directly into a clean dish sponge, a garden patch, planter or styrofoam boxes to drip and air dry.
2. If you are using boiled eggs, remove with a spoon on to paper towels.
3. Blot dry with paper towels and dry completely on more dry paper towels.
Polish the dyed eggs
1. When eggs are completely dry, polish with oil to preserve the colours and make them gleam.
1. Buy white-eggs early
Buy white eggs 2 weeks before Easter. As Easter draws nearer, the stocks for them starts to run low. If you are going to dye ‘blown out’ eggs, it makes sense to start accumulating your stash even earlier. You will be eating eggs often enough anyway, so you might as well start cleaning them out and have them ready.
2. Start amassing ‘blown-out” eggs early and it serves as a conversational piece as well!
Place the ‘blown-out’ eggs that you have been collecting in a huge basket or glass vessel. There is always a sense of excitement and anticipation as you watch your collection grow.
WHAT’S COMING UP NEXT?
I have been spotting lots of Thai mangoes on supermarket shelves, so it’s time to make Thai Mango Sticky Rice. I am not quite sure if it is a dessert or a snack but this sweet glutinous rice treat drenched with a coconut sauce is always a pleasure to eat.
I no longer steam the rice which can be a tediously long process. I have come up with a speedy full proof microwave method. That’s the only way I would cook the glutinous rice now.