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!