Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Panda-monium Pand Bread

This was an utterly cute bread-making project!

The bread was soft and yummy, but what made the entire project special was cutting into the loaf to reveal a Panda looking out at you, from a field of green.  And no two Panda bread look the same (nor does each slice for that matter!) - after all, the proving of the bread is organic, and there's no guarantee that during the proving the Panda would look like what it would. :)

The method for making Panda bread can be very easily picked up here:
The video is in Cantonese, but the video is well-made and breezy... it was clear that the ladies had lots of fun making this bread. :)  No bread machines were used, so do try it out.

If you'd like to try making this bread, I'm posting the recipe below, with my modifications in brackets:

Panda Bread

300g Bread Flour (I used mix of atta flour and plain flour to get 300g on the kitchen scale... that's why my Panda's a little more brown than white. ;) )
30g Sugar
Milk + 1 egg yolk = 210g
3/4 tbsp salt
18g unsalted butter, softened (I used salted butter.)
1 tbsp green tea powder mixed with 2 tsp hot water (I used 2 tsp of Chlorophyll powder because that was the only green colouring I had on hand; you could use green food colouring instead if you have them on-hand)
8g cocoa powder
1/2 sachet active dried yeast


  1. Beat the egg-milk mixture lightly, and then microwave it for about 30 sec.  Add sugar and yeast and leave the liquid for 10 minutes to froth.  If the mixture doesn't froth after 15 minutes, your liquid is probably too hot, which killed the yeast, or the yeast has expired.  If there's froth, your dough will definitely rise. ;)
  2. In a bowl, mix the flour and salt.  Add in the liquid and butter, and stir everything until it comes together.
  3. Knead into dough ball in bowl and then pour out onto a floured countertop and knead for at least 8 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Divide dough into 3 portions: One portion is a half; then from the leftover half, divide into thirds, and cut out a third.  You should get 1/2 (big), 1/3 (medium), 1/6 (small) pieces.
  5. The Big portion, colour it green.  I used Chlorophyll powder, but you could use green tea powder or even green food colouring. Once the colour is kneaded through, roll it into a ball, grease it and then cover it to rest.
  6. The medium portion, leave it plain - this would be the white face of the Panda.  Just roll it into a ball, cover and rest.
  7. The smallest portion, colour it with the cocoa powder.  If you're out of cocoa powder, you could use black food colouring.  There are those who would use charcoal powder too, which is available in the baking shops here.  Once kneaded through, roll it into a ball, cover it and rest.
  8. Place all 3 doughs in a warm place to rise until they are doubled it size.  I usually put my doughs to prove in the oven with a bowl of warm water to create a warm atmosphere.  This first proving takes about 30mins to 2 hours - but essentially, you're waiting for the dough to double in size.
  9. After the dough has risen, cut the black dough into 4 equal pieces, green dough into 2 pieces (1/3 and 2/3), and the plain dough into 2 pieces (3/5 + 2/5).
  10. Begin with the largest green dough piece. (See Video, about 4.21min mark.) Roll it out into a rectangle that would fit into your loaf pan, and then place the longish green dough piece in the centre, followed by 2 of the black pieces by its side.  In the video, the lady rolled out the 2 black doughs, then sliced off a bit of the green dough and put that piece in the centre.)  The first layer is essentially the same idea.
  11. Next, roll out the larger white piece in a rectangle and place this over the first layer.  Then roll the other white piece and place it in the middle of the white dough like this:
  12. Place 2 long rolls of black dough at the sides of the middle piece, and then seal up this portion with the larger rectangle piece along the top.
  13. Finally, seal the entire loaf with the green dough in like manner.  (See the video.) Make sure the dough seals in everything.
  14. Prove the loaf until it is doubled in size, then bake in a pre-heated oven at 200deg C, for about 25 to 30 mins.


Into lunch bags...

No two Pandas alike!

Happy Panda-fun!

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