Leopard milk bread

Ok guys. How cool is this please?

I must admit, this time I am very proud of myself! Not only because this bread came out even better than what I expected, but also because it became viral on Instagram!

It was the first time for me to film a video tutorial, but you guys loved it and so many of you already made my recipe successfully! YAY! If you’d like to bake this bread along with me, please head over my Reels on Instagram for the tutorial.

The pattern is so pretty, do you agree?

To make the leopard pattern, you have to divide the main dough into 3 parts and then add cacao powder to two of them to get two different shade of brown color!

Once you have the three doughs, you will have to divide them into smaller portions and roll them into logs.That’s all!

I made this bread using the bread starter method (also called Tangzhong), which is an amazing and very simple technique to increase the moisture content of the bread. This results in a soft and moist bread that keeps fresh for several days without drying out!

This recipe is dairy- free , egg-free, and vegan-friendly. Feel free to replace soy milk with full fat milk and vegan butter with regular butter if you prefer.

If you make this recipe, be sure to drop a comment below and tag me with your recreations on Instagram @foodie.yuki !

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Leopard milk bread

Dairy-free, egg-free, vegan
Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time40 mins
Resting time2 hrs
Total Time3 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 1 20 cm loaf
Author: Yukiko @foodie.yuki


  • 20 cm loaf pan, stand mixer with hook attachment


Ingredients for the starter (tangzhong)

  • 45 g (3 tbsp) bread flour 240
  • 240 ml (1 cup) water

Ingredients for the dough

  • all the starter (tangzhong)
  • 440 g (3 1/2 cups) bread flour
  • 2 g instant yeast (or 1 pack active dry yeast)
  • 30 g light brown sugar
  • 3,5 g (1/2 tsp) fine salt
  • 45 ml full fat soy milk room temp
  • 100 ml water room temp
  • 30 g vegan butter softened

Ingredients for the light brown dough

  • 1 tsp cacao powder
  • 1 tsp soy milk

Ingredients for the dark brown dough

  • 1 tbsp Dutch processed cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp soy milk


Make the starter (tangzhong)

  • Whisk water and flour in a small pan. Cook on medium heat until the mixture starts to thicken. Cover and let cool down completely before using.

Make the main dough

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer whisk flour, yeast, sugar, salt. Add milk, water and starter and knead until just combined. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 5 min. Add butter and knead until smooth and elastic (about 15 minutes).

Make the brown doughs

  • Divide the dough into two parts, one slightly larger than the other.
  • Roll the larger portion into a smooth ball and place it in a greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap.
  • Cut the remaining portion of dough into two pieces.
  • Incorporate 1 tsp of cacao powder + 1 tsp milk into one piece, kneading until you achieve a uniform light brown color.
    Roll the dough into a smooth ball, and place into a greased bowl then cover with plastic wrap.
  • Add the dark cacao and milk to the second dough , kneading well until you have a uniform dark brown color. Shape into a ball and place into a greased bowl, covered.
  • Allow all three doughs to rise, covered, until they have doubled in size, about 1h.

Shape the bread

  • Once doubled , punch down each dough ball to remove air.Portion each ball of dough into 8 equal parts, cover with plastic wrap to keep them moist.
  • Take one light brown dough balls and roll it out into small rectangle. Roll the long side of the rectangle up tightly to form a long log. Repeat with all dough balls. Cover and set aside.
  • Next take a dark brown dough ball and roll it into a small rectangle, as long as the light brown log.
  • Wrap the dark brown rectangle around the light brown one and set aside.
  • Finally take one of the plain balls and roll into a rectangle. Roll the light and dark brown dough log inside of the rectangle and stretch to fit the pan. Place all the logs into the greased pan.
  • Cover the loaf pan in plastic wrap, set a sheet pan on top and set aside to rise for another 50 minutes.
  • Halfway through the proof, preheat oven to 175C /350F degrees.
    When dough has risen, brush the top of the loaf with soy milk and bake for 35-40 minutes.
  • When loaf is done, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack for at least one hour before slicing and serving.

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  1. Einhildur

    5 stars
    Hello Yuki, thanks so much for this amazing recipe! Could you please give us more details about your loaf pans? Like how deep are they? I’m willing to buy high quality material before testing your recipes. Right now I only have a long but not super deep cake pan and I’m not sure this recipe will work out in it. πŸ€” Thanks again β˜ΊοΈπŸ™πŸ»

    • yukiko83

      Hey there! Thnak you very much!
      I use a 20cm (long) x 12 cm(large) x 10 cm (height).
      To get the same result, I recommend using a similar size pan.

      Have fun!



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