Temptingly good Tiger Bread

We LOVE tiger bread in our house. It’s got a soft, tasty, lovely and squashy inside with a crunchy top which is flavoured. It’s a great bacon sarnie bread!

Tiger bread is known by many names, sometimes it’s called giraffe bread, other times it’s known as Dutch crunch bread – I think that’s where it originated from.  Whatever it’s called, it’s delicious and, wherever you look, the makings of the bread seem to differ.

Because it’s difficult to find a ‘standard’ recipe, I’ve actually tried loads of different ones. It’s taken many many attempts to perfect the recipe and finally I’ve hit upon a formula that works.  Each time I’ve made it in the past I couldn’t achieve the perfect squidginess of the bread, nor could I get the right flavour for the top.

But, if at first you don’t succeed, then try, try and try again!  Honestly, the effort was well worth it.

It turns out that the secret is to use a mixture of strong white bread flour and plain flour for the dough along with mostly milk for the liquid. For the topping, the secret to the perfect crunch and flavour is a combination of rice flour and toasted sesame oil.

You can actually use the topping part of the recipe on any standard loaf, but I wanted to try and make a bread which mirrors the soft squidgy loaf you get from the supermarket and this one certainly hits the spot for me (and the hubster – which is much more important) 😉

You should definitely give this recipe a go, I’ve popped some step by step images below, but if you don’t want to see the pictures you can just  Skip to the printable recipe.

IMG_3099

Step 1 – Make the dough

  • Time = 5 – 10 minutes kneading, 1 hour to rise
  • Ingredients = 250g of strong white bread flour, 250g of plain white flour, 1tbsp of instant yeast, 1.5 tsp of salt, 2 tbsp of oil (any, except extra virgin), 1 – 1.5 tbsp of sugar, 240ml of warm (just hand hot) milk (semi-skimmed is fine but don’t use skimmed), 60ml of warm water (just hand hot).
  1. Mix the milk, sugar, yeast and water, stir to combine and let it sit for 5 minutes until it’s nice and frothy.
  2. Measure the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the oil and then stir in the frothy yeast mixture. Knead well in the bowl for a few minutes until it cleans the side of the bowl and then tip it out onto a work surface and knead for another 5-10 minutes until it’s nice and stretchy. If using a stand mixer just knead for 5 minutes on speed 4. Either way, when it’s kneaded shape it into a nice round ball so that you get an even rise.
  3. Pop the kneaded dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1  hour (until it’s doubled in bulk).

Image 1 = The frothy yeast mixture. Image 2 = Kneading the dough. Image 3 = Shaped into a ball. Image 4 = now it’s doubled in size.

Step 2 – Make your topping at least half an hour before the dough has doubled

  • Time = 2 minutes to make. 30 minutes to rest. 
  • Ingredients = 1 tbsp instant yeast, 120ml of hand hot water, 1tbsp of sugar, 2 tbsp of toasted sesame oil, 1/4 tsp of salt, 120g of rice flour (brown or white it does not matter which). 
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Give them a really good beat either with a dough whisk or wooden spoon. You should get a really good stiff paste a bit like royal icing.  Don’t be tempted to add more water, it is supposed to be very thick.
  2. Cover the topping and leave somewhere warm(ish) for half an hour.
  3. It will start to bubble up, it won’t quite double but it’s ready when it’s noticeably bigger.

Image = 1 The paste when first mixed. Image 2 = The paste after it’s rested (see it’s risen – sorry about the image quality!).

Step 3 – Shape the loaf, spread on the paste and bake!

  • Time = A couple of minutes to prepare and shape, 15 minutes to rest before applying the topping, another 15 – 20 minutes to rest once the topping is applied, 25 – 35 minutes to bake.
  • Ingredients – salt and pepper (optional) and your topping from step 2.
  • Once shaped and the topping is applied, pre-heat your oven to 200 (fan) 220 (non fan).
  1. When your dough has doubled in size tip it onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knock back. Handle this one with care as you don’t want to degas it completely.
  2. Gently shape your dough into the desired shape. I shaped mine as a bloomer style shape, but rolls or a round would work well too. Don’t try and do this in a tin, you won’t get a good result. If you want a bloomer shape too then very gently flatten the dough into a rough rectangle (fold in sides if necessary). Keeping the shortest edge of the dough nearest to you, start at the end furthest away and roll very tightly in one direction into a sausage shape, tucking the ends in as you go. Make sure the seam is underneath at the end and really well tucked in.
  3. Place the shaped dough onto a baking sheet lined with lightly floured baking paper, cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  4. Once the dough has rested, using a small palette knife, thickly spread the topping all over the top and sides. When I say thick, I mean seriously thick! It needs to be thick, otherwise it won’t crack. Let it rest uncovered for a further 15-20 minutes. Whilst it’s resting pre-heat your oven.
  5. When the dough with the topping on has rested. Sprinkle over some salt and cracked black pepper if you like. Pop into your pre-heated oven and bake for 10 minutes at the higher temperature, depending upon the colour, turn the oven down to 180 fan or 200 non fan.  Bake for a further 15 – 25 minutes depending upon how dark you like it. I left mine for the full 35 minutes and whatever you do, make sure the bread cooks for a minimum of 25 minutes, otherwise the inside will be raw. Whilst it’s cooking the loaf will spring a bit in the oven and the top will crack and become very crunchy. When it’s cooked just leave on a wire rack to cool and then enjoy!

Image 1 = The dough shaped and rested. Image 2 = Topping applied. Image 3 = Sprinkled with salt and cracked black pepper. Image 4 = The tiger bread once baked.

I hope you enjoy making and eating this bread, I certainly did.

Below is the printable recipe for my tiger bread.

For other recipes on my site please follow this link.

Sign off image

Temptingly good tiger loaf

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Crunchy on top and lovely and squidgy inside.

For us, this is the ‘perfect’ tiger bread. It is surprisingly similar to the store bought bread. I have tried to use olive or vegetable oil for the topping instead of sesame oil, but the taste is much better with the sesame oil.

Ingredients

    For the dough
  • 250g of strong white bread flour
  • 250g of plain white flour
  • 1 Tbsp of instant fast action yeast
  • 1.5 Tsp of fine sea salt
  • 2 Tbsp of oil (any except extra virgin)
  • 1.5 Tbsp of sugar
  • 240ml of hand hot milk (semi-skimmed is fine, just don’t use skimmed)
  • 60ml of hand hot water
  • For the topping

  • 1 Tbsp of instant yeast
  • 120ml of water (hand hot)
  • 1 Tbsp of sugar
  • 2 Tbsp of toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4 tsp of fine salt
  • 120g of rice flour

Directions

  1. Make the dough first by mixing the milk, sugar, yeast and water, stir to combine and let it sit for 5 minutes until it’s nice and frothy. Measure the flour and salt into a large bowl and stir to combine. Add the oil and then stir in the frothy yeast mixture. Knead well in the bowl for a few minutes until it cleans the side of the bowl and then tip it out onto a work surface and knead for another 5 minutes until it’s nice and stretchy. If using a stand mixer just knead for 5 minutes on speed 4. Either way, when it’s kneaded shape it into a nice round ball so that you get an even rise. Pop the kneaded dough back in the bowl, cover and leave to prove for 1  hour (until it’s doubled in bulk).
  2. About half an hour before the dough has finished rising make the topping. Combine all of the ingredients for the topping in a small bowl. Give them a really good beat either with a dough whisk or wooden spoon. You should get a really good stiff paste a bit like royal icing.  Don’t be tempted to add more water, it is supposed to be very thick. Cover the topping and leave somewhere warm(ish) for half an hour. It will start to bubble up, it won’t quite double but it’s ready when it’s noticeably bigger.
  3. When your dough has doubled in size tip it onto a lightly floured work surface and gently knock back. Handle this one with care as you don’t want to degas it completely. Gently shape your dough into the desired shape. I shaped mine as a bloomer style shape, but rolls or a round would work well too. Don’t try and do this in a tin, you won’t get a good result. If you want a bloomer shape too then very gently flatten the dough into a rough rectangle (fold in sides if necessary). Keeping the shortest edge of the dough nearest to you, start at the end furthest away and roll very tightly in one direction into a sausage shape, tucking the ends in as you go. Make sure the seam is underneath at the end and really well tucked in.
  4. Place the shaped dough onto a baking sheet lined with lightly floured baking paper, cover and let it rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Once the dough has rested, using a small palette knife, thickly spread the topping all over the top and sides. When I say thick, I mean seriously thick! It needs to be thick, otherwise it won’t crack. Let it rest uncovered for a further 15-20 minutes. Whilst it’s resting pre-heat your oven to 200 fan 220 non fan.
  6. When the dough with the topping on has rested. Sprinkle over some salt and cracked black pepper if you like. Pop into your pre-heated oven and bake for 10 minutes at the higher temperature, depending upon the colour, turn the oven down to 180 fan or 200 non fan.  Bake for a further 15 – 25 minutes depending upon how dark you like it. I left mine for the full 35 minutes and whatever you do, make sure the bread cooks for a minimum of 25 minutes, otherwise the inside will be raw. Whilst it’s cooking the loaf will spring a bit in the oven and the top will crack and become very crunchy. When it’s cooked just leave on a wire rack to cool and then – ENJOY!

5 thoughts on “Temptingly good Tiger Bread

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