This month in our baking group ( We Knead to Bake ) Aparna has chosen a lovely bread which looks so attractive though it requires little effort in making but the result is so satisfying and worth it. It is Leopard patch / spot bread. The patch effect is created using cocoa powder. For the darker portion you can either use more cocoa powder or a drop of edible black colour. Unsweetened cocoa powder gives a slightly bitter taste but you can add more sugar as I have done in my recipe. You can also add a little vanilla flavour to the white portion of the dough if you like. Using the same technique you can also make giraffe striped bread skipping the dark version of the dough, I am sure kids are going to be super excited to see this bread.
Recipe Inspiration from here - http://www.cocoebaunilha.com/2015/12/pao-de-leite-leopardo.html
All purpose flour .... 2 and 1/2 to 3 cups
Warm milk ..... 2/3 cup
Warm water .... 1/2 cup
Butter ............. 50 gms (soft at room temperature)
Sugar .............. 3 - 4 tbsps (as per your preference)
Salt ................ 1 tsp
Instant yeast ... 2 tsps
Little more flour for dusting
Little milk or egg white for brushing.
For the lighter coloured dough:
Dark unsweetened cocoa powder ... 2 tsps
Milk ................................ 1/2 tbsp
For the darker brown coloured dough:
Dark unsweetened cocoa powder ........ 2 tbsps
Black food colour ....................... 1 drop
Milk .......................................... 1/2 tbsp
Take a large mixing bowl and add the flour, sugar, salt and instant yeast. Mix everything with a spoon.
Knead the flour adding the warm milk and water. Add as much required to make a sticky dough.
Remove the dough on a floured surface and knead it well until smooth.
Flatten it with your palm or a rolling pin. Spread the soft butter on it.
Knead well until the butter is incorporated well into the doug knocking it for a couple of times.
Shape into a smooth round ball.
Divide it into two equal parts.
Set aside one part and divide the other half into two equal parts again.
Take the first smaller portion and knead with cocoa powder and milk until the cocoa is mixed smoothly into the dough without any lumps.
Repeat the process with the second smaller portion adding a drop of black colour along with the cocoa powder and milk and knead well. If you have a machine for kneading the dough you can use it as it makes your task easier.
Shape all the three into smooth round balls.
Place all these in 3 different greased bowls and set them aside until risen to double.
Remove each dough and deflate it lightly. Roll and divide each coloured dough into six equal portions using a dough cutter or knife.
Roll them into ropes of about 8 and 1/2 inches long and set aside.
Now take the dark brown rope and flatten it with a rolling pin about 2 and 1/2 to 3 inches wide. Place the lighter coloured rope in this and seal the edges well and roll it uniformly.
Now flatten the white dough similarly. Place the previously rolled rope into this and seal the edges rolling it to a smooth texture.
Repeat the process with all the colored dough (ropes).
Now take each rope and roll it again making a thin rope of 17 inches long ( double the size). Cut all the 6 thin ropes into half making 12 thin ropes of 8 and 1/2 inches long.
Grease a bread loaf of 8 and 1/2 " by 4 and 1/4 " and arrange the ropes unevenly in layers and allow them to rise for about one hour until double in size.
Brush the top with milk or egg white and bake at 180 C ( 350 F) for about 30 to 35 minutes until done.
Allow the bread to cool before slicing it.
Note - Store it in a bread box or plastic bag. It stays good for 4-5 days without refrigeration. You may refrigerate it and take it out an hour before consuming to get the soft texture because of the butter content. This recipe makes one loaf.