Leopard print bread is one those few loaves of bread which are visually very appealing. The subtle color between the light brown and dark brown makes the whole bread look very beautiful. If you love bread and if you like the flavor of chocolate in your bread then this bread is for you. This bread uses small quantities of cocoa to get the leopard patches. Hence this bread can be said to be a sweet bread too. I guess a very creative baker came up with this design in bread making. Though making this bread looks very complicated, it is quite easy with the alternate use of cocoa patches strategically placed to get that leopard print patch look. I have used small quantities for the dark-colored patch. You can choose to use the food color to get even darker blackish color.
As much as possible, I avoid artificial food colors, hence I have changed the quantities of cocoa in both patches to get different shades of brown. Now as I write this post, I can imagine the many variations you can do with this bread dough and this technique. I shall leave it to your imagination to come up with yet another creative bread. I have bookmarked this recipe from Mayuri.
- 1 cup warm milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- Light Brown Spots
- 1/2 tablespoon milk
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 3 teaspoons cocoa powder
- In a bowl, whisk together warm milk, sugar, and active dry yeast. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix together flour and salt. Add yeast mixture, vanilla extract, and butter. Mix until combined. Remove from bowl onto a floured surface and knead for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Roll bread into a ball and cut in half. Place 1 half in a bowl, cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- Take the second half and roll into a ball. Divide in two.
- To one half, add 1/2 tablespoon milk mixed with 1 teaspoon cocoa powder. Knead until combined. This will make your light brown spots. Place in a bowl, cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- To the second half, add 1 tablespoon milk, mixed with 3 teaspoons cocoa powder. Knead until combined. This will make your dark brown spots. Place in a bowl, cover and allow to rise for 1 hour.
- After 1 hour, divide each piece of dough into 7 balls. Roll out balls: light brown dough will be a long cylinder, dark brown dough and the regular dough will roll out flat. Wrap dark brown dough around the light brown dough, and wrap normal dough around both. Continue until all the dough is used. You will have 7 pieces of dough.
- Line a bread pan with parchment paper and place dough in the pan — 3 rolls on the bottom 4 on top (like paws!). Cover and allow to rise for another 30 to 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Brush dough with melted butter and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Cut with a bread knife, serve and enjoy.