Can you tell I am on a leopard print kick? Or even a colorful bread making kick? After trying my hand at rainbow bread this past weekend, I was immediately hooked on trying all sorts of different patterened loaves of bread. And after sharing my rainbow swirl bread on Instagram, you all were just as obsessed as I was and had so many questions. So I figured I would write up a little tutorial on how to make leopard print bread and rainbow bread.
Now I will say that both of these were my first attempts at each pattern. The swirl came out perfectly! For the leopard print I would like to try it again with smaller logs so that the pattern is a little more distinguishable. But they both taste amazing and that’s what counts, right?
Recipe for Leopard print bread (adapted from Yammie’s Noshery):
- 1 cup whole milk
- 2 tsp instant yeast
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- Food coloring
- Extra flour for dusting
Begin by heating your milk to 110F. Then remove from heat and stir in the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes.
While the milk and yeast are blooming, add the butter, brown sugar, and salt to your mixing bowl with the dough hook attachment.
Next, add your yeast and milk mixture to the mixing bowl and add in two cups of your flour. Begin to mix until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. If the dough looks sticky still add in another 1/4 cup of flour. Beat with the dough hook for 8 minutes adding a TBSP of flour at a time if needed to get the dough to completely pull away from the sides of the bowl.
Once the dough is in a ball, remove from the mixer and separate into balls to add your food coloring. For the rainbow bread, simply divide into equal portions. For the leopard bread, you will want half of the dough to stay white, the remaining dough will be divided into equal portions to be dyed your choice of colors and black.
You can see here I made a little too much black and had a little less white dough than I needed. But it still worked.
To mix in your colors, add a few drops of food coloring to your dough and knead and fold the dough for 2-3 minutes until the coloring is well incorporated.
Once all the colors are mixed, cover the dough on the counter and let rise for 1 hour.
Once risen, it is time to begin assembling your leopard print bread. Begin by creating your leopard print logs. To do this roll the colored dough into a log shape. Then roll out a flat strip of black dough. Use a pastry brush or paper towel to dab water on the black dough and then roll it part of the way around the colored dough log.
You don’t want the black to fit all the way around the colored log or else the spots won’t look like leopard spots, they will just look like circles.
Repeat this process with all the colored dough. As I mentioned above, I would have liked the leopard spots to be smaller in my dough, so I should have made sure each log was around 1/4″ to 1/2″ thick. Mine were closer to 1″-1.5″ thick.
Once all the “leopard spot” logs are made, you will want to roll out the white dough flat. Then cut strips of the white dough to wrap around the leopard spots. Again brushing the white dough with water so that it sticks to the the leopard spot log.
Next, brush water on the remaining white dough and layer all these logs onto it and roll it up into a giant bread log.
Now, place this into a greased baking sheet and cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap and let rise again for about 45 min.
*For the rainbow bread, you will want to roll out each color layer with a rolling pin. Then brush the tops of each with water and layer them together. Next, roll out this sheet of rainbow colored dough. Now brush on more water and roll up the colored dough into one large log. At this time you can place in your greased baking pan or lay with seam side down on a baking sheet and cover to let rise 45 minutes.
Once risen, bake in a 425F oven for around 30 minutes. For a crisp french bread type crust, use a water bath on the rack below the bread. For a softer white bread type crust, forgo the water bath.
Once out of the oven, brush with melted butter. Let cool and but and then remove from the pan and slice. And enjoy the beauty and tastiness of your labor!