Bake Your Own Tiger Bread

A bloomer-shaped loaf with tiger markings

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 preparation
25-30 mins cooking
Easy
One 900g loaf or two 450g loaves
Meats and cheeses

Equipment

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

Ingredients

Bread

  • 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

Method

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 dry ingredients for the bread in one of the mixing bowls.
  2. Add water and oil for the bread to the bowl, mix together.
  3. Cover and leave for 20 mins.
  4. Oil worksurface, knead dough on worksurface for 15 seconds (no more). Return to bowl.
  5. Repeat previous two steps twice on a lightly floured (not oiled) worksurface.
  6. Return to bowl, cover, leave until dough has risen 50%.
    • Halfway through this rise, mix together paste topping ingredients in another mixing bowl, cover and set aside.
  7. Turn the dough onto floured worksurface, knead and shape into a rounded brick by rolling a little.
  8. Place seam side down on floured and oiled baking tray.
  9. Using a pastry brush coat the dough’s surface with the paste, covering top and sides.
  10. Cover, leave until risen by 50%.
  11. Preheat oven to 200C (220C for non-fan, using non-fan is recommended).
  12. Add a small amount of moisture to the oven (very important). See tips section below.
  13. 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
  14. Cool on a rack.

 Tips

  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.
Disclaimer: this post contains Amazon affiliate links. Should you choose to buy from Amazon, you will not pay more, Amazon will give me a small commission. This helps pay for the blog hosting.

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