Bake Your Own Tiger Bread

With its distinctive taste and mottled crust, there are few loaves of bread that look as impressive as the aptly named “Tiger Bread” (also known as Giraffe Bread, Dutch Crunch and Dutch Crust). Using this recipe you can bake one for you and the family. Or just for you.

Tiger Bread

2-3 hours prep
25-30 mins cook
One 900g loaf or two 450g loaves
Serve with
Meats and cheeses


  • Baking tray
  • Kitchen scales
  • Dough scraper or spatula
  • Two mixing bowls
  • Timer (kitchen, phone app)
  • Pastry brush



  • 600g strong white bread flour
  • 400ml warm water (300ml cold + 100ml boiling)
  • 25ml toasted sesame seed oil
  • ½ sachet dry instant yeast (or 1 tsp from a jar)
  • 1 tsp table salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp olive oil
The amount of sesame seed oil can be varied, depending on how much of its flavour is desired. Balance the change with the amount of warm water, so the total liquid volume is 425ml.

Paste Topping

  • 2 tsp yeast
  • 90ml warm water (60ml cold + 30ml boiling)
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seed oil
  • 75g rice flour


This method is almost the same as the easy home-baked bloomer loaf. It’s worth referring to that post for a descriptive version and pictures of the basics of this recipe.

  1. Put the dry ingredients for the bread into one of the mixing bowls. Add water and oil for the bread and mix together. Cover and leave for 20 mins.
  2. Oil a worksurface. Turn the dough out of the bowl onto the worksurface, knead the dough on worksurface for 15 seconds (no more). Return to bowl, cover and leave for 20 mins.
  3. Repeat previous two steps twice on a lightly floured (not oiled) worksurface.
  4. Leave the dough until it has risen 50%. Meanwhile, mix together paste topping ingredients in another mixing bowl, cover and set aside.
  5. Turn the dough onto floured worksurface, knead and shape into a rounded brick by rolling a little. Place seam side down on floured and oiled baking tray.
  6. Using a pastry brush coat the dough’s surface with the paste, covering top and sides. Cover, leave until risen by 50%.
  7. Preheat oven to 200C (220C for non-fan, using non-fan is recommended).
  8. Add a small amount of moisture to the oven (very important). See tips section below.
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the crust is cracked and golden brown.
    • After about five minutes the crust will begin to crack, it’s fun to watch through the oven door glass.
    • A very small amount of charring at the edges of the cracked tiles is fine
  10. Cool on a rack.


  1. Unlike other bread recipes, don’t score the dough at any stage.
  2. This does need moisture in the oven to get the dough to rise initially. However, the topping needs to crack rather than expand, so spraying with water partway through the bake (as in other bread recipes) is counter productive.


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