Instagram is like this ginormous tree trunk in the middle of the highway. You may be walking at the best pace possible and then, suddenly, you bang into this Trend and your entire life will stop …because you have to check out this trend.
So I got stuck on this konel bread Trend. A Japanese lady makes the most amazing breads ever. Nobody cares how soft or hard or tasty or tasteless they are, they are just beautiful.
And suddenly I was roped in. I just had to make this. The first one was a little wonky shaped but I got the general idea. My boys did not seem too excited, pretty breads don’t excite boys… So I took it over to a friends place and she loved it and waxed eloquent about it.
So I posted this picture on a Facebook group and my timeline was like crazy because everyone wanted to know how. Imagine baking bread at 11 o’clock at night… and trying to film a video with 1 hands. I really need to get a phone tripod. So this video is up on Facebook and the pictures of the bread here for you to see. This Leopard print bread.
I started with a black brown and white combination but when I was making the video I thought that the black would not be quite visible on top of my black kitchen counter. Shaun the last minute I made it yellow because Leopard stripes sometimes have tinges of light brown and yellow too.
I planned to use a normal bread dough,but then with all this extra kneading, I thought better to use a tangzhong . Its nothing but flour and water cooked together to get starch or maand as they say in Hindi. It is also called Water roux. What it does is ,gelatinizes starts starch and allows the flour to hold more water ,making the bread softer softer.
Biochemistry this is.
Read the recipe at least twice before your attempt the bread and do check out my amateurish video… any suggestions, comments ,questions, criticisms …all welcome.
Tangzhong or water roux
40 GM’s all purpose flour
80 GM’s water
Mix the two well in a sauce pan and cook over low heat till the flour is all cooked out and the starchy tangzhong comes together into one gelatinous mass.
Remove from gas and allow to cool.
Leopard Print Hokkaido Bread
All the tangzhong
300gms all purpose flour
1 ½ tsp or 7 gms instant dry yeast
3 tbsp or 45 GM’s sugar
1 tsp or 5 GM’s salt
3 tbsp or 45 mils vegetable oil
4 tbsp or 60 mils warm milk
70-80 mils water -as needed to knead the dough
1-1½ heaping tbsp cocoa powder plus a few drops oil
1 tsp turmeric powder or black food color as needed
The best way would be to use a stand mixer or a food processor.
Except the last three ingredients ,add everything to the machine and bring together.
Add only as much water as needed and knead to a smooth and well hydrated dough. If you’re an experienced bread baker a slightly wet dough will also be ok.
Bring out the dough onto the work surface and knead a little more.
Divide the dough into 3 parts. The first part 60%, the second around 25% and the last a small ball.
If you are keen to use black food colour then Divide the dough into 60-40% balls.
Place the bigger ball in a well oiled bowl. The second, knead in the cocoa powder. You may need a little milk to make the cocoa blend.
Now cut this cocoa ball into 2 parts. Place the bigger in an oiled bowl and to the smaller , knead in black food coloring.
I also used yellow in the second loaf I realized the yellow would show better on the black work surface and also ,as well in the pictures.
So that’s why three parts. One white, one with cocoa powder and in the third part ,I kneaded in a little food coloring and Turmeric powder.
Place this ball in an oiled bowl to rise too.
After half an hour,the dough would have risen. Not double, but good enough to work with. Don’t wait too long, because rolling the dough eats into precious time here.
Divide each dough ball into seven random pieces. If you have 2 big and 5 small white pieces ,you must have similar cocoa and yellow/black dough pieces.
Roll the cocoa ball into a small rope.
Pat down the yellow/black dough as long as the cocoa rope and partially wrap it on the rope.
Pat down the white dough as long and wider than the ropes because they have to be totally wrapped in this.
Flatten the white dough into a long rectangule. Place the cocoa rope and close white dough over. So you’ll have white visisble only. Seal by pinching and set aside on oiled paper till all ropes are done.
Now roll the ropes to make them longer. You want them to be twice as long as your bread tin. Put pressure in the centre and thin out.
Keep the 7 ropes side by side.
Paper your loaf tin.
Cut the ropes in half. They will shrink because the gluten is there.
Now place the ropes in the loaf tin carefully ,one on top of the other.
Cover and set aside. After 15 minutes, preheat the oven to 200C.
After the dough has risen brush the top with water, or milk and pop into the oven.
Reduce the temperature to 180C and bake for 35-40 minutes or till a hollow sound comes when you tap the sides.
The bread will be well risen and golden brown. Place on a wire rack and brush with either butter or oil.
This ensures your bread is soft . Al
After 5 minutes, remove the bread from the tin.
Allow it to cool at least 40 minutes. Now either wrap in cling wrap or place in a zip lock bag and allow to cool completely.
Slice with a serrated knife. The first one or two slices may not be so pretty,but as you cut more slices, a gorgeous leopard print will emerge.
The brown and yellow or black will contrast beautifully with the soft white dough. Since this is unsweetened,you can make sandwiches or toast this bread.
We’ve eaten this just as it is ,with coffee and eggs for company.
These print breads are just a beautiful food trend that’s going on these days. Such a conversation starter, these are super soft and yum .
It may seem to be a whole lot of effort, but pretty things are joy on the plate.
Do try this bread out. This is the Miss Universe of breads for me. And sometimes pit stops are a great way to learn new things.
Enjoy the bread.