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 ran it was the most popular bread we sold! Making it at home isn’t as hard as you may think, and the paste can be knocked up in seconds.
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 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:
- A baking sheet suitable for high temperatures
- Mixing bowls
- A metal and plastic dough scraper
- A lid or some plastic wrap (something to cover the bowl)
- Scales, if you don’t a decent set you might want to try these scales from Myweigh
- A baking stone
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).
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.
How to make tiger bread (Dutch bread)
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 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 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. Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes for the yeast to activate.
10) Paste the tiger bread
When the bloomers 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”.
Once cracks are visible on the surface, it’s ready for the oven. Slide of the board onto the baking stone, drop the heat to 230C (450F) and add a good 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.
How to make tiger bread video lesson
Nutritional information per loaf
Calories: 1331kcal | Carbohydrates: 276g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 8g | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 15mg