Friday, January 6, 2012


People only see what they are prepared to see.
                                    - Ralph Waldo Emerson

It seemed so Panda-Like before it was a Panda. As three lumps of dough rising in a round it was the very essence of the reclusive, polygamous, bamboo-munching black and white beast. 

I had had a simple vision: bake a Panda Bread in lieu of a traditional la Galette des Roi on the night of the Epiphany for a few friends over a dinner of Japanese food at Momo. One of the loaves of bread would even say "Momo" as a gift to the restaurant's owner (Aka: The Nicest Man in the World*).

I carefully drew out the positioning and portioning of the bread structure.

I kneaded the bread and incorporated the matcha tea powder and cocoa for coloring and I let the dough rise. I punched the dough down. I kneaded the dough. I let the dough rise again and...I ran out of time. So I went to dinner with no gift of bread in hand, no magic bean (la fève) and instead went home near midnight to bake the perfect Panda Bread. 

At this point, given the precision of my preparations and dough construction it was difficult to imagine how this Panda Bread would not turn out! I mean look at these images! And yet bread was not like Other People's Pandas. OPP had a distinctly different shape. Or maybe it was just the camera? I think at a higher angle and with better lighting....

Friends and Uni at Momo
Other People's Pandas can be seen @ Taro-Taro blog

* Officially the Nicest Man in the World is my Father - so this is The Nicest Man in the World whom I am not related to.

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