Dear Constant Reader,
There’s been this post going around about a baker who made leopard bread. Baking. Leopard-print. What’s not for me to love and want to try in my own kitchen?
One makes bread dough and leaves some of it white, colors some of it dark brown and some light brown with cocoa powder and then rolls the colors up around one another so that when you slice into the loaf, it reveals a leopard pattern, but there was no actual recipe in that post.
However, hidden in the post was a link to a baking blog with the bread recipe. It was in Portuguese. I don’t know Portuguese, but I figured I could muddle through with my experience with other romance languages plus a dictionary. Then I found a link on that page to what seemed to be the original recipe and it was in French. Excellent! I happen to read culinary French very well. I ended up translating both and comparing them.
In addition to translating the words into English, I also converted all the measurements from grams, milliliters and Celsius to cups, teaspoons, ounces, and Fahrenheit. This required a fair amount of research since every ingredient converts from weight to volume differently. I had to do a lot of thinking about the appropriate type of flour.
In the end I went with the French version as writ because it was more detailed and the white dough was flavored with orange zest instead of vanilla. However, I decided not to top the bread with melted chocolate and chopped hazelnuts, although that sounds pretty good…
And this was the result.
It’s not bad for a first try. Since I cut it open you can’t tell that is not a nice loaf shape. The dough was very elastic and I wasn’t able to keep the rolls from shrinking when I put them in the loaf pan, so it has uneven protuberances on the ends. It’s also not done all the way though, although I thought it was. It had all the hallmarks of done bread, but it needed at least another 5-10 minutes. I’d also like to make sure there is a clearer distinction between the light brown dough and the dark brown dough — just a touch less cocoa powder for one and a touch more for the other should be fine.
Since baking it I found yet another link in the French blog and found another version in English by a Chinese baker which referred this one in Chinese (which is where the trail ends). However, the bread in these two versions is different than the sweet cake-like bread of the Portuguese and French versions, the first being more of a white sandwich bread and the second being a sourdough-type.
I’m pretty sure that a variety of bread recipes will work with the spot-forming technique and I might try a different one next time.