Cracking the tiger bread mystery

Edited (17/10/2017): Please note this post was originally written in 2008. The only edit I have done to the post is to add the above photo of the tiger crust used on a sourdough loaf baked in a dutch oven. I haven’t experimented uch with the recipe since I wrote it in 2008 but feel the flavour of the crust could be improved with maybe a touch of malt extract or marmite.  

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.

%d bloggers like this: