How to make tiger bread

Tiger bread has a delicious savoury/sweet/slightly salty glaze that cracks as it bakes and makes a really delicious loaf.


For loaf: (Simple white loaf recipe but you could use any bread recipe that you like)

500g strong, white (bread) flour
10g fine sea salt
5g (or 1 sachet 7g) easy bake/ fast action/ instant yeast or 10g fresh yeast
Approx 340g water

For the glaze:
80g rice flour
4g fast action yeast (or you could use 5g fresh yeast)
5g toasted sesame oil
2g fine seal salt
60-75g water (you may need more if you are using brown rice flour, you want a spreadable paste)


Place your flour in a large mixing bowl. Add your yeast and mix through the flour. If you are using fresh yeast you can crumble the yeast through the flour like you would rub butter through flour when making pastry. Add the salt and mix through the flour. 

Add 320g of water to begin with and using one hand like a claw begin to mix the dough. There should be no dry bits, so splash in more water gradually as needed. You want the dough to feel soft and slightly sticky. Watch this video to see what your dough should look like and how to stretch and fold it to develop the gluten. If you prefer to knead this video will show you how. You can also use a stand mixer, this article describes my preferred method for using a stand mixer.

Once you have developed the dough using either the stretch and fold method, kneading or a stand mixer it is time to let the dough ferment. Keep the dough covered well, either with a large plastic bag, a shower cap or a proving cloth. If you keep the dough at room temperature it will have become light, airy and doubled in size in an hour or a little longer in a cool kitchen. To improve the flavour and texture of the loaf you can ferment it in the fridge overnight or for several hours. This is ideal if you have a busy day ahead and won’t be hanging around in the kitchen. It takes ten times longer for a loaf to prove in a fridge than at room temperature. 

When the dough has risen and become light and airy, it’s time to shape it. I shape it like a bloomer when I make Tiger bread as you will see in the accompanying video.

Make the glaze about twenty minutes before you want to shape the bread. Stir all of the ingredients together and then leave it to one side until you are ready to spoon it over the shaped loaf. Make sure it is a spreadable consistency, add a little more water if you think it needs it. Spread evenly over the loaf. Let the loaf prove.

Preheat the oven to 220C, 425F, gad mark 7 and when the loaf is ready, bake for 30-40 minutes depending on your oven. Allow the bread to cool completely on wire rack before slicing and enjoying.

Want to learn more about baking bread?

You might like our online Savoury Breads course

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