Nutritional information per loaf

Calories: 1331kcal | Carbohydrates: 276g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 15mg

Tiger Bread Recipe That Really Cracks!! (Dutch Bread)

This is a great tiger bread recipe which is otherwise known as “Dutch bread” or “Giraffe bread”. It’s a favourite amongst children, and in some of the bakeries I’ve run, it was the most popular bread sold! Making it at home isn’t as hard as you may think, and the paste can be knocked up in seconds.

Tiger Bread
Total Time
Watch Recipe Video
00:32:04 min

Nutritional information per loaf

Calories: 1331kcal | Carbohydrates: 276g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 15mg

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Ingredients for 2 Servings:

For the dough:

  • 600g  White bread flour
  • 410g  Water
  • 13g   Fresh yeast (6g active dried)
  • 10g   Salt

For the tiger paste:

  • 90g  Rice flour
  • 15g  Caster sugar
  • 4g  Table salt
  • 5g  Sesame oil
  • 3g   Fresh yeast (2g dried yeast)
  • 1 cup  Warm water 32C (90F)

Using dried yeast

If using instant yeast, divide the amount of fresh yeast used by 3 and follow the same method as fresh yeast.

Active dried yeast needs to be activated before use. In this case, warm 20 grams of water to 35C (95F) – no higher! Add the yeast with half a teaspoon of sugar, whisk and leave to stand for ten minutes before adding to the dough. Remove 20 grams of water from the recipe.

Changing the size of the recipe

This recipe makes 1 medium sized bread. If you want to change the size of the recipe, use the bakers formula.

Total Recipe Time

  • Preparation Time
  • Cooking Time

Tiger bread is really rewarding to make, especially when the paste cracks nicely! For the best tiger bread getting the perfect proofing point to add the paste is the challenge! You’ll also want a great tiger paste like this one. Expect this bread to take around 4 hours to make. You may wish to add a preferment to the dough, but I’ll leave that for you to experiment with if you feel brave! This recipe makes 2 loaves.

What you need to make Dutch Bread

To make tiger bread, you’ll need the following equipment:

If you don't have a baking sheet you can bake these directly on the stone.

What if I don’t have a baking stone?

A baking stone conducts heat into the loaf. Using one increases the height of the oven spring and helps to give an even bake on the base of the loaf. If you don’t have a baking stone, preheat the thickest baking sheet that you have.

Can I use a Dutch oven to make this recipe?

Yes, if you would rather use a Dutch oven to make this tiger bread you won’t need to add steam to the oven. Simply preheat the dutch oven and drop the dough inside on a sheet of parchment paper to bake. If you are looking to get a dutch oven, I recommend getting this one from Challenger.

Using a thermometer will help you with controlling proofing times. For accurate dough temperature readings try this thermometer from Gdealer. Aim for dough temperature between 25C and 28C (77-82F).

Step-By-Step Method For This Recipe

1) Weigh the ingredients

Weigh the ingredients, keeping the dry ones separated from the wet.

2) Start kneading!!

Add the ingredients into a mixing bowl and use a plastic dough scraper around the edges of the bowl to combine the ingredients. After a minute or so, take the dough onto the table and use some long stretching motions to gently knead the dough. Continue for 8 minutes and then put the dough back in the bowl, in the fridge for 10 minutes.

Using a dough mixer:

Add the ingredients into a dough mixer with a dough hook. Mix on slow speed 7 minutes, until the dough is nice and elastic. Then increase the speed and knead for another 5 minutes. Put the dough into a bowl and take a temperature reading if it’s above 26C (78F) cover and put it in the fridge. If it’s cooler than 26C (78F) cover and leave at room temperature. Skip to step 4.

3) Fast knead the dough

Take the dough onto the table and knead as fast as you can for 7 more minutes. At the end of this the dough should be reasonably stiff, with signs of a strong gluten network appearing.

4) The first rise (bulk ferment)

Put the dough into a mixing bowl, cover, and leave to rest in the fridge for one hour.

5) Stretch and fold

Knock back the dough or complete a stretch and fold.

6) The bulk fermentation, continues…

Take a temperature reading of the dough, if it’s above 26C (78F) place it back in the fridge, if it’s cooler then leave it out on the table, covered for another hour.

7) Pre shaping

Remove the dough from the bowl using a dough scraper onto a lightly flour-dusted area of a workbench. Divide the dough into 2 even weights, which should be around 485g – 500g. Pre-shape the pieces into round balls and allow them to rest for ten minutes.

8) Final shape and rise

Final shape following the bloomer final shape and leave to proof on a dusted wooden board or a baking sheet lined with baking paper. You should consider preheating the oven at around this point. Preheat to 250C (480F) with a baking stone above a lipped baking sheet.

9) Prepare the paste

After 30 minutes (½ proofed) start making the tiger paste. Except for the oil and the water, add all the paste ingredients to a bowl. Add the oil and a tablespoon of warm water to start with and whisk. Gradually add more water a little at a time to create a thick batter. Rest for 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate.

10) Paste the tiger bread

When the boomers are ¾ proofed, apply the paste using a brush or by hand. Gently distribute it over the surface, but be careful not to damage the dough. Once pasted, continue to proof for another 15 minutes, this allows time for the paste to adhere to the dough and start to “crack”.

11) Bake

Once cracks are visible on the surface, it’s ready for the oven. Slide it from the board to the baking stone, drop the heat to 230C (450F) and add a cup of hot water to the preheated tray beneath the stone to create steam. Wear oven gloves when doing so and shut the door quickly, but safely! Bake for 30-35 minutes, opening the oven door temporarily after 20 minutes to release the moisture.

If you are using a Dutch oven remove the lid after 20 minutes of baking.

12) Remove and cool

Take out the oven and cool, the cracks in the tiger bread will be more defined after cooling.

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