The Gardenia in the background wasn’t intentional!
This is my very first attempt at baking bread, as I was initially put off by how complicated the process seemed. However, I was so inspired by this. The bread looked too cute to resist so I felt I had to do it!
I have no bread maker at home so I did everything manually.
Actually, it isn’t necessary to have a bread maker, other than the fact that without, things will get messy.
To proof the dough, it is rather simple. The weather in Singapore is simply too warm, so it is perfect. Popping the dough in the cabinet under the kitchen stove is even better, as it is really warm in there.
So here I’m unveiling my very first loaf of bread!
The panda bread can be found all over the internet. I’m just posting the recipe I eventually used!
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cup milk
- 2 1/2 tbsp white granulated sugar
- 3/4 tbsp salt
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tbsp green tea powder mixed with 2 tsp hot water
- 3 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with 1 1/2 tsp hot water
- 2 1/4 tsp instant active dry yeast
- Mix milk and egg yolk together in a large bowl and place in microwave for 40 seconds until mixture feels warm to the touch.
- Add butter (it should melt)
- Add sugar, salt and yeast and mix together
- Blend in one cup of flour
- Blend in second cup of flour with spoon, and dough should form.
- Add a bit more flour until dough starts to come together. Knead into dough ball in bowl and then invert onto countertop and knead for at least 5-7 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic, adding the remaining flour bit by bit.
- Divide dough into three pieces two large and one small (small one about a third the size of the one of the other two large ones)
- Place one plain dough ball in a greased bowl, turning dough to coat and cover.
- Knead in green food colouring into other large plain dough ball, this may take a while, be patient. Place in greased bowl, turn to coat and cover.
- Knead black food colour into small dough ball. Place in greased bowl, turn to coat and cover.
- Place all three covered bowls in a warm place to rise. Let rise until doubled in size, about 1- 2 hours. (The rising time will depend on the temperature.)
- Arrange the dough like this:
- Place the finished combination in your loaf tin and allow it to expand, in a warm place, for about 1 hour. It should expand to the full capacity of your loaf tin.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 190 with fan mode, for 30 minutes.
- You can actually use any white bread recipe you like. This is essentially white bread.
- If you want a square bread, you must use a Pullman loaf pan, it not it will rise to have a dome top
- Use good quality matcha and cocoa powder. I advise against baking store brands. Get real matcha from a Japanese shop and good quality cocoa powder like valrhona or at least Hershey’s.
- The amount stated in this recipe is actually too much for the loaf tin I have. For this size, perhaps 2/3 of this dough would be sufficient.
My panda is kind of distorted but given that it was my very first attempt at bread making, I deem this a success! I definitely would want to make more bread so check out this space if you’re interested in bread making.