Monthly Archives: September 2016

How to make the perfect leopard bread loaf

27 September, 2016

As professional bakers, it’s always good to experiment with a new loaf every now and again. If you’ve already mastered sourdough and can whip up rye bread in a jiffy, why not put your baking skills to the test with a loaf that’s sure to turn a few heads?

Leopard bread, the baking world’s sassiest new loaf, is made by making three doughs –dark chocolate, chocolate and plain – then encasing one inside the other in strips before baking. Sounds tricky, right? Well, the whole process is actually surprisingly simple, so there’s no reason not give it a try. Here’s a quick guide to making the perfect leopard bread loaf.


– 375g bread flour

– 35g caster sugar

– 250ml milk

– 20g softened unsalted butter

– 1 tsp dried yeast

– ½ tsp table salt


For the chocolate dough:

– 15g cocoa powder

– 10ml milk


For the dark chocolate dough:

– 6g dark cocoa powder

– 5ml milk



1. Into a large bowl or mixer, add the bread flour, sugar and yeast, then mix the ingredients together. Next, add in the salt and milk, then combine the ingredients together using a low speed. Once combined, knead the mixture into a rough dough.


2. Add the softened butter, then knead the dough until it’s smooth – this should take around 20-minutes. You’ll know the dough is ready when you can stretch it out thinly without it breaking.


3. Remove 320g of the dough and place it in a clean bowl to prove for an hour. The dough should double in size.


4. With the remaining plain dough, add in the cocoa powder and 10ml of milk, and mix well. Then, remove 250g of the chocolate dough, set it aside in another clean bowl and prove for one hour.


5. Add the dark chocolate powder and 5ml of milk into the remaining chocolate dough, knead until mixed in, then prove for an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.


6. After the doughs have risen, divide them into balls. For the plan dough, you’ll roughly need two large 55g balls and five 40g balls. For the chocolate dough you’ll need two large 38g balls and five small 25g balls and for the dark chocolate dough, you’ll need 2 large 36g balls and five small 23g balls.


7. To prevent the balls of dough from drying out while you put them together, cover them with a towel. Use a rolling pin to roll out a chocolate dough ball into an oval shape, then roll it into a cylinder like a swill roll. Repeat this for each chocolate dough ball.


8. Roll out a dark chocolate dough ball into an oval shape, ensuring it’s big enough to wrap around the chocolate dough cylinder. Leave some only partially wrapped around and some fully. Repeat the process again until all the chocolate dough cylinders are wrapped in dark chocolate dough. Don’t forget to match the big dough balls together.


9. Roll out a plain dough ball, ensuring that it is big enough to completely wrap around the chocolate and dark chocolate, sealing the edges. Repeat this until all the dough cylinders are wrapped in plain dough.


10. With your hands, roll out each sausage of dough until it’s double the length of your loaf tin, then cut them in half and randomly stack them in your lightly greased loaf tin. Cover the tin and leave the dough to rise for one hour before baking.


11. Pre-heat your oven to 180˚C fan / 200˚C electric / gas mark 6 and bake the bread for 30-35 minutes. Once baked, remove from the oven, take out of the tin and leave to cool completely before slicing.


So bakers, think you’ll be giving leopard bread a go? Let us know via Twitter!

6 of the best cupcakes to make during National Cupcake Week

22 September, 2016

At BAKO, one of our favourite weeks is here – National Cupcake Week! Running from 19th – 25th September, this event is an amazing seven days of scrumptious, icing-smothered, spongey goodness, all to celebrate the wonderfully delicious cupcake. In true spirit of this baking bonanza, we’ve found some of the best cupcakes you can make that are guaranteed to wow your customers.

1. Coffee and donut cupcakes

There’s not much quite like piling desserts on desserts, is there? This is why we love this doughnut-covered cupcake that oozes indulgence. Mini chocolate ring doughnuts, covered in sprinkles, on top of a mouth-watering bed of sophisticated cappuccino frosting – what’s not to like? Mix it up with different doughnut and frosting flavours for a divine, rich treat!

Coffee and Donut Cupcakes

2. Pancake cupcakes

Who knew it was acceptable and oh-so good to cover a cupcake in mini pancakes and, of course, laden with lots of maple syrup? Your customers can tuck into these as a mouth-watering late morning pick-me-up that’s pushing the boundaries yet tastes so delicious!

Pancake Cupcakes

3. Nutella lava cookies

Guaranteed, if your customers want an indulgent, heavenly treat, then these exploding Nutella cupcakes are perfect! Topped with frosting that tastes just like the chocolatey-hazelnut spread, and bursting with gooey chocolate in every bite, these cupcakes are finished with amazing Ferrero Rocher chocolates, which you can choose to include or swap for another confectionery. Yum!

Nutella lava cupcakes

4. Galaxy cupcakes

Despite being a traditional cupcake in sponge and icing, these world-changing galaxy cupcakes look astounding, with three-tone frosting. In fact, you can experiment with a variety of space colours and finish with sparkly glitter, cake dust or make your own themed topper!

Galaxy cupcakes

5. Candy-floss cupcakes

Fairground-themed cupcakes really will catch your customers’ eyes, with their bold rainbow frosting and cotton candy decoration! A popular cupcake with children, these bakes almost look too good to eat. Buy pre-made candy-floss, a few lollipop sticks and you’re almost there! Want to make your candy-floss cakes more striking? Experiment with food colouring for bolder shades.

Candy floss cupcakes

6. Cupcake ice-cream cones

For a show-stopping cupcake, we really love these ice cream inspired cupcake cones that are truly unique. Beneath the crunchy exterior of an ice-cream cone, we have a soft chocolate sponge which is topped with buttercream, smothered in hot fudge sundae syrup and finished with sprinkles and maraschino cherries. Yes, this creates an astounding cupcake!

Cupcake ice cream cones

What are you whipping up for National Cupcake Week? Don’t forget to send us images of your amazing cupcakes via Twitter!

5 of the best autumn foodie festivals

22 September, 2016

Want to discover new autumnal baking ideas? This season is one of the greatest for food festivals, where you can hone in on your baking skills, learn new tips and find inspiration on what to serve your customers during the coming months. Across the UK, foodies, chefs and professional bakers will be uniting to appreciate great cuisine, cooking techniques and watch live demonstrations from their favourite TV chefs – helping to further develop their autumn dishes and delicious bakes. At BAKO, we’ve found some of the best food festivals taking place this season that offer a wealth of cooking creativity.

1. Melton Mowbray Food Festival

1st and 2nd October 2016


It wouldn’t be a food festival in Melton Mowbray without trying two of the local specialities – Stilton cheese and, of course, Melton Mowbray pork pies. This festival offers traditional British delicacies alongside international street food, fantastic entertainment provided by local community groups and a food theatre, hosting interesting demonstrations and talks about all things food!

2. Hertford Food and Drink Festival

7th– 9th October 2016


Events are taking place throughout Hertford for their annual food festival, offering an eclectic variety of inspiring cooking-themed activities for both adults and children. From an evening at a brewery to the festival’s exciting food festival trail, the town has something for everyone – not just professional bakers! This event will feature an interesting food swap – a great way to sample someone else’s specialities, alongside workshops and over 20 food stalls located in Hertford Castle.

3. The Chocolate Show, London

14th– 16th October 2016


For bakers, chocolatiers or just those who love this scrumptious sweet, The Chocolate Show at London’s Olympia National Hall is a must-visit foodie event. Based around one of our favourite pieces of confectionary, attendees will enter the mouth-watering world of chocolate, which includes workshops and demonstrations from top chefs and renowned chocolatiers with, of course, plenty of tasting! A chocolate fashion show will provide endless inspiration on how you can use this sweet treat to create astounding decoration, while you can wander around exhibition stands to see more chocolate-related products and treats.

4. The Cake and Bake Show, Manchester

10th – 13th November 2016

Enticing lovers of the Great British Bake Off, at The Cake and Bake Show, taking place at Event City in Manchester, you can expect some of the show’s most popular stars, including last year’s winner Nadiya Hussain, alongside John Whaite and Paul Jagger, plus many more. They’ll be switching the Bake Off tent for the event’s Cake and Bake theatre, whipping up their own recipes to an audience of avid cake creators. At this exciting event you will also have the opportunity to partake in a baking and decorating class, wander around the stalls of heavenly food and enter a cake and bake competition!

5. BBC Good Food Show, Birmingham

24th – 27th November 2016


In November, the hugely popular BBC Good Food Show will be hitting Birmingham for four days of super chef celebs, from Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood to the Hairy Bikers. A book signing will give you the opportunity to meet your favourite cooking stars, while the event’s Supertheatre offers a hub of seasonal food inspiration with fascinating live demonstrations. Demos from Paul Hollywood, James Martin and Nadiya Hussein are taking place on the BBC Good Food Stage, and they’ll even be a magical Christmas-themed demonstration at the Renshaw Academy, where you can improve your festive cake decoration skills! With a fantastic mix of stalls, samples and workshops, this event really is not to be missed for professional bakers!

Will you be attending any of these fantastic autumn food events? If so, why not tell us how they were via Twitter?