Cracking the tiger bread mystery


When we buy bread from the supermarket it’s more often than not tiger bread. Some searching on the internet for a recipe appeared inconclusive and one forum where the recipe of tiger bread has been in hot discussion couldn’t settle on a recipe. Because of this I decided to have a go at making my own using the little tips I had picked up. It was a bit of an experiment, but it worked really well. It did taste very like the tiger bread from the shops.

Rather than making a tin loaf I made a bloomer which spread out quite a bit leaving a loaf only a couple of inches thick. I think this was due to me making the dough a bit too wet. Saying this it still made a very good bread. The reason it is called a tiger loaf is because of the paste that is smothered on top of the bread. The paste is made from rice flour that doesn’t contain gluten, so doesn’t stretch like traditional bread dough and instead cracks producing a tiger stripe pattern. I inadvertently increased the cracked look while the bread was going through it’s second rise. While it was rising a placed a piece of oiled cling film over the bread to protect it. When the rising time was over I peeled off the cling film and it produced a mottled effect.

I’m really enjoying this bread making!

Tiger Loaf
Makes 1 loaf

500g strong white bread flour
2 tsp salt
2 tsp of yeast (or 1 sachet of fast-action yeast)
2 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp sugar
300ml warm water ( 1/3 freshly boiled, 2/3 cold water)

If you are NOT using fast-action yeast prepare yeast with the warm water & sugar and leave for 15 min to froth.

Tiger topping

1 1/2 tsp yeast
65ml warm water (you may need more)
1 tsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
60g rice flour

1) Mix together flour, salt and fast-action yeast (if using).

2) Stir sesame oil into the warm water/sugar (and yeast is not using fast-action) mix. Pour the liquid slowly into the flour, stirring constantly until well combined.

3) Knead dough on a floured surface for 10 min. If using a mixer, use dough hook and knead for 2 min. Shape dough into a bowl, place in a lightly oiled bowl and leave to prove in a warm, draft-less place for 2 hours (or until dough has doubled in size).

4) Mix together tiger paste ingredients and leave for 15 min. You may need to add a bit more warm water to loosen the paste.

5) Preheat oven to 240oc. Flatten the risen dough with your hand then knead for a further 30 seconds on a floured surface. Roll out into a fat sausage shape and place onto a greased baking sheet. Coat the surface of the bread with the tiger paste and leave to prove for a further 30 min.

5) Cook bread for 10 min at 240oc then turn the oven down to 200oc. Cook bread for a further 10 min. If you tap the base of the bread and it sounds hollow the bread is cooked. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Post Author: Jules

Freelance food geek who's passionate about food education.

21 thoughts on “Cracking the tiger bread mystery

  • Catherine

    (October 22, 2009 - 8:30 am)

    I make tiger bread like this and it is delicious, not quite the same flavour as supermarket but better!

  • Jules

    (October 22, 2009 - 8:53 am)

    Catherine – I've never quite nailed the supermarket flavour, but I'm more than happy with the version I use :)

  • Sweet Chilli Jam « Butcher, Baker

    (December 29, 2009 - 9:17 pm)

    […] weekend started off quite busy with me making a batch of Tiger rolls and Guernsey Gâche. The Gâche, a butter laden fruit bread, was delicious, but I feel it needs a […]

  • Jagruti

    (February 19, 2010 - 10:19 pm)

    Hi Jules
    I have used your recipe to make tiger bread…came out really well and we all loved it….please come and check my blog….I want your opinion…


    • Jules

      (February 21, 2010 - 8:48 pm)

      Glad the recipe worked so well for you.

  • Perfect Pita Pockets « Butcher, Baker

    (July 7, 2011 - 9:27 am)

    […] the easiest bread recipes I know. I’ve submitted my pitas to YeastSpotting. They featured my Tiger Breada few weeks back and it’s becoming a regular haunt for me as it is great […]


    (September 7, 2011 - 12:25 am)


    • Jules

      (September 7, 2011 - 9:53 am)

      Hi Tripto, I haven’t managed to try this recipe with Malt Extract Powder, but I would start by trying it with around 2 teaspoons of the powder.

  • angyee

    (June 25, 2013 - 4:25 pm)

    Hi, I am about to try this recipe. Just wanted to ask is it okay to use sesame seed oil? Thanks

    • Jules

      (June 25, 2013 - 4:39 pm)

      Yes that’s fine.

  • Kirsty

    (July 30, 2013 - 7:36 pm)

    Hi Jules, Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. This is the first bread recipe that I have tried that was actually successful. I just blogged about this – which im new to so hope you can check it out. Thanks Again

    • Jules

      (July 30, 2013 - 7:40 pm)

      Kirsty, so pleased the bread was successful for you. I haven’t made this recipe in ages. I’ll have to make it again soon.

      • Baker

        (August 8, 2013 - 4:47 pm)

        You should apply the paste only before going in the oven, not before proving. And the paste should not be stirred once it has frothed. I make this bread for a living in a very well known supermarkets bakery :)

  • […] I used the recipe from Butcher, Baker – you can read the blog and find the recipe here. Jules has an amazing blog and if you are into food I recommend checking it out. I followed the […]

  • jeanette

    (February 8, 2014 - 11:17 am)

    hi every one tryed this bread the bread is great but the tiger bit was not is the paste a thick or thin mix please can anyone help to solve this thanks a lot

    • jeanette

      (February 8, 2014 - 11:22 am)

      hi baker is the paste thin or thickish dont seem to be any taste is it the same as you put on bread at work or am i missing something thanks

      • Jules

        (February 8, 2014 - 11:30 am)

        Hi Jeanette,

        The paste should be thick. This blog post is 5.5 years old and I have to confess I haven’t made tiger bread since writing this post. This post should have lots of comments at the bottom but these were lost when I moved blog to self hosting.

        I do say in blog I could never quite nail down the flavours in tiger bread and was taking a wild guess with this paste. Some have suggested malt extract may help the flavour.

        Sorry I can’t be much more help.

        • jeanette

          (February 8, 2014 - 11:39 am)

          i know i am asking a lot but do you have the recipe for the paste thanks for your reply most helpful

          • Jules

            (February 8, 2014 - 11:41 am)

            The only paste recipe I have is the one mentioned in the blogpost.

  • Eileen

    (March 28, 2014 - 4:31 pm)

    Hi, I have just made ‘tiger bread’ I used my normal recipe for French bread, but your recipe for the ‘tiger’ topping. It didn’t taste like or look like tiger bread. The topping didn’t ‘crack’ and was quite smooth and it didn’t taste or smell like tiger bread even though I used sesame oil. Any idea where I went wrong? Wondered if I should have used malt extract? Eileen.

    • Jules

      (March 28, 2014 - 5:18 pm)

      Hi Eileen,

      It’s been a long time since I’ve made this recipe and think I need to return to it and tweak it. Malt extract may be the answer.

Comments are closed.