Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Adorable Panda Bread

When a friend of mine sent me this link, I took a look and my heart skipped a beat. How adorable! The original creator of panda bread is Taro Taro from Japan. Who would have thought that a loaf of bread can hold some much creativity! I told myself I must make this bread and thankfully, Florence from Do What I Like has a translated recipe.
So here's mine.

Not nearly as perfect as Taro Taro's nor Florence's, but I was delighted. As I held the serrated knife, I told myself.. moment of truth.. and the next moment, two pairs of panda eyes were staring back at me! (OK.. maybe my standard is a little low...)

Here's the panda from the other side of the bread. A baby one... all squashed up. :-)

I liked the fact that every slice looked a little different.. surprises along every slice!

Try it! Its fun! Just follow Taro's detailed steps. Oh, by the way, if you look at Taro's site, it has pictures submitted by people who tried, some were ultra creative, others were hilarious.

I have replicated Florence's recipe here for your reference, with minor modifications. The dough is very easy to work with, not too tacky.

Ingredients: <600g loaf (206 x 108 x100h)

230g bread flour
70g cake flour
30g sugar
milk + 1 yolk = 210g (I used full cream milk)
4.5g salt
18g unsalted butter
4g yeast
8g green tea powder dissolved in 10g boiling hot water
8g cocoa powder dissolved in 8g boiling water

1. Heat up milk and yolk to temperature of 38℃. (I beat the yolk lightly with milk and send it to the microwave on HIGH for 30 seconds).
2. Put everything in bread machine and set to dough cycle. Let it knead for 20 minutes. Stop the cycle and restart the dough cycle and let it knead for another 15 minutes. (I did reset to restart the dough cycle and stop only when the dough is elastic.
3. Divide dough (about 560g) into 3 parts: 75g for the chocolate, 210g plain and the rest of the dough which is less than 280g for the green tea.
4. Add chocolate to the 75g dough and knead till the colour is even. Add green tea mixture to the 280g dough and knead till colour is even. (For the choc I did it manually, for green tea, I used the machine).
5. Round up the three pieces of dough separately and cover. (I usually use a big cake box or any other big container turned upside down and cover over it) Proof for about 40 minutes or double in size.
6. Punch air out of dough, round it and prove for another 20 - 30 minutes.
7. Use 90g plain dough for the face and 2 pieces of 27g chocolate dough for the eyes. (Refer to photo guide in Step (7) in TARO's site).
8. Fill the hollow of the eyes with 30g plain dough. (Refer to photo guide in Step (8) in TARO's site).
9. Roll remaining plain dough over the patterned dough. (Refer to photo guide in Step (9) in TARO's site).
10. Divide the remaining chocolate dough into 2 pieces (17.5g each) for the ears. (Refer to photo guide in Step (10) in TARO's site).
11. Use 70g of the green tea dough to fill up the hollow between the ears. (Refer to photo guide in Step (11) in TARO's site).
12. Wrap the rest of the green tea dough all around the patterned dough. (Refer to photo guide in Step (12) in TARO's site)
13. Place dough into a well-greased loaf pan and cover it with a lid and prove for 50 - 60 minutes in an enclosed area eg. microwave oven.
14. Bake at 200℃ for 25 – 30 minutes. (I baked at 180 degrees for 25 minutes)

More pictures.

Green tea paste from mixing green tea powder with hot water. Cocoa paste looks similar.

'Coloured' dough rounded and ready for proofing under a box.

The dough, all stacked up and ready to go into the loaf tin.

You can already see the panda staring at you with its lovely eyes...

Unfortunately, I did not roll the dough long enough, so its quite short lengthwise and was unable to fill the sides of the loaf pan. Or maybe I was too impatient towards the end and only proofed for about 35 minutes.

I was worried when I saw this... looks so lopsided.

This side looks much better.

It looks even better after slicing.

Right now, I have so many ideas of what other animals/pictures I want to create with this new learnt technique. Thanks to Taro! And also to SK who sent me the link.


Linda's Corner said...


So cute...

Btw, I've awarded you the Kreative Blog.


bakeAstory said...

what an honour! Thanks Linda!

FATMUM said...

hi hi, jst want to share that after i see your posting on this bread, its came under my to do list. Finally I tried out yesterday. Cute!

Betty said...

sooooooo cute!