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Peek-a-Boo Panda Bread #BreadBakers

BreadBakers#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the Bread Bakers home page

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Kelly of Passion Kneaded is hosting and she wrote: "Bake up some bread with something fun inside! Will it be a pattern? A filling?"

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at

I was both intrigued and intimidated by the possibility for this event. Mostly intimidated because Kelly shared a link to this bread artist's Instagram: Konel Bread. Yeah, I almost gave up then and there. But I soldiered on and came  up with a bread that made me smile. First, here's the line-up of the #BreadBakers surprise inside breads...

Peek-a-Boo Panda Bread

I did some searching for pictures of breads with hidden designs and came across one with a panda face. Then I remembered a friend of mine doing this for her panda-loving son years ago and decided to give it a try. The other clincher: the bread had a green background, so I knew that I'd get to use matcha! D groans and tells me that I overuse that ingredient. Nonsense!

I do have to share a friend's comment, after I shared a sneak peek photo. It made me chuckle. She posted: "You are hands down the most creative culinary being I know...but this raises the question of if you’ve ever seen a real panda?" Ummm...maybe. At a zoo when the kids were small. I guess it shows. So, I'll call it a 'stylized panda'?!?

Ingredients makes one loaf

  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons organic granulated sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon dry active yeast
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 Tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1 Tablespoon matcha green tea powder mixed with 2 teaspoons hot water
  • 1 Tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder mixed with 2 teaspoons hot water


In a small saucepan, heat the milk until steaming. Remove from the heat and cool for five minutes. Pour the milk into a large mixing bowl and whisk in the sugar. Float the yeast on top and let it bloom until frothy. Beat in the egg, salt, and softened butter. Then fold in the flour.

Knead until you get smooth, elastic dough, approximately 5 minutes. Divide the dough into five equal pieces. You can approximate, but two balls get 2/5 and the last is just 1/5.

Take one of the larger dough balls and mix in the green tea-water mixture. Knead until you have a mostly uniform green hut. The second large ball stays its natural color. Then, take the smaller ball and do the same with the chocolate-water mixture.

Place all of the balls into lightly greased bowls and let rise until doubled.

Once dough has risen, divide the dough as follows...

  • Plain into three pieces with one piece being half the size of the others (P1), P2, and P3
  • Cocoa powder into five equal pieces, C1, C2, C3, C4, and C5
  • Matcha into two pieces with one being half the size of the other (M1) and M2

Then you just need to shape and place the pieces to create the panda face. Roll all cocoa pieces into ropes. Roll M1 into a rope as well.

Sorry if this seems needlessly complicated. I just don't know how to describe this in a way without showing you by video. So I might be do that eventually. For now, this is what you get. All pieces should be the length of your loaf pan or slightly longer.

Roll P2 to the length of your loaf pan and about the width of the pan as well. Roll  P1 to the length, but since it is half the size, it will be half as wide.

Place C1, C2, and C3 ropes on the plain dough to form the eyes and nose. Gently tuck P1 around the nose rope so that there is a plain dough dividing those three. Fold the sides of P2 up around the eye ropes. 

Place C4 and C5 on top to form the ears, placing M1 between the ears to keep it green. Roll M2 out and tuck it all the way around the roll to keep everything in place.

Finally roll out P3 to cover the entire loaf.

Place dough in a lightly greased loaf pan, cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once dough is risen, bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on the outside . Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack before slicing or serving.

Look at the photos above to see how it turned out. I was happy with my Peek-a-Boo Panda! That's a wrap for our Surprise-Inside breads. The #BreadBakers will be back with Breakfast Breads with Swathi of Zesty South Indian Kitchen hosting. Now to decide what I want to share for that one. Stay tuned.


  1. Your bread panda looks super cute. And the step by step explanation is really helpful. It must be a delicious bread.

  2. You all got so creative with these peek-a-boo breads! It looks ADORABLE! Love the instructions - and all those colors you worked in there.

  3. So stinkin' cute.....I keep saying that on all of these posts this event but I can't seem to find any other words. Great job Cam.

  4. This looks so cute ! I really love that pattern.. panda!

  5. Very cute panda! Love all of your labels of the dough pieces =)

  6. I LOVE how your panda turned out! That was the only picture inside bread that I could find a video tutorial to make.

  7. It looks just like a panda! Tell your friend we all said so. :D

  8. I'm glad you soldiered in because you have a cute little panda!

  9. That is beautiful cute little panda. I loved this. I need to try it.

  10. Such a cute panda bread this is. Panda looks cute.


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