brreabThis June, the Bread Baking Babes are baking Tiger Bread Rolls. Tiger Bread is also known in the US as Dutch Crunch Bread, Tijgerbrood in the Netherlands and Pao Tigre in Spanish and Portuguese speaking countries. The UK calls it Giraffe bread! Tiger Bread Rolls are Tijgerbolletjes or Tjigerbol in the Netherlands. The name of this bread comes from a crunchy tiger skin patterned crust. The recipe Karen chose for us is adapted from Netherlands-based Ralph Nieboer. Nieboer is a master bread baker who teaches bread baking classes across Europe.
We ate our first Dutch Crunch Bread in Portugal many, many years ago. This was long before I ever baked my first bread. We found it in the bread aisle while shopping for groceries. It was labelled Pao Tigre (or Tiger Bread) and looked so pretty that we picked it up. A beautifully cracked brown crunchy crust is the hall mark of this otherwise soft bread.
Tiger Bread or Dutch Crunch Bread is soft, slightly sweet bread with a crisp, crunchy topping that’s an interesting contrast. It’s not very difficult to make. The bread is typically made as a single oval shaped bloomer or round loaf. It can also be made into smaller buns or rolls. Buns or rolls make excellent sandwiches. This bread is best eaten the same day it is baked. If you live in humid conditions as I do, you’ll find the crunchy crust tends to soften the next day.
I have made Tiger Bread Rolls (also loaf) many times though not recently. You can find my Pao Tigre post here. I decided to bake the Tiger Bread Rolls once again for a couple of reasons. The first being that I thought it was time to revisit this bread. The second reason is that Karen’s recipe is a bit different from my usual one. This Tiger Bread Rolls recipe uses a polish or pre-ferment for the dough. It also uses bread crumbs in the topping “crunch paste which is unusual. The topping paste typically is made with rice flour, oil, sugar, and yeast. Use plain fine rice flour, not the sweet or glutinous kind.
The paste for the crust typically uses sesame oil. I find that coconut oil is good too. It is important to the rice paste mixture is thick and not gloopy, but spreadable. Apply it generously but not too thick. Too thick a layer will leave you with a very strong flavor of rice flour in every bite! Too thin a layer will not give you a good crust.
These bread rolls are best eaten the day that they’re made. Warm them in an oven for a crisp crust to serve the next day.
Tiger Bread Rolls
For the Poolish/ Preferment:
- 1/2 cup bread flour
- 1/3 cup warm milk
- 1/4 tsp instant yeast
For the Dough:
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 1/3 cups warm milk or more if required
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- All of the preferment
- 1/2 tsp of instant yeast
- 35 gm butter soft at room temperature
- 1 tsp salt
For the Rice Paste:
- 1/4 cup rice flour not glutinous rice flour
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs/ panko bread crumbs
- Scant 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- 1/2 tsp instant yeast
Make the Poolish/ Preferment:
- Stir together all of the ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and leave on the countertop to ferment for 10 to 16 hours, depending on ambient temperature.
Make the Dough:
- Mix the flour and milk together with a spatula/ hand in the bowl of a stand mixer. Cover and let sit for an hour.
- Add the remaining ingredients for the dough and knead on low for 8 to 10 minutes, till the dough comes together. It should be smooth, elastic and just short of sticky. Add a little flour if necessary to achieve this consistency.
- Shape the dough into a ball, place it into an oiled bowl turning well to coat with oil. Cover and let the dough rise until doubled (about 1 to 1-1/2 hours).
Make the Rice Paste:
- While the dough is rising, mix together the rice flour and bread crumbs in a small bowl. Add the boiling water, stir, and let the mixture rest until it down to lukewarm. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. It should make a spreadable but not gloopy paste. Cover the bowl, and let it rest for an hour.
Shape the Rolls:
- Preheat the oven to 215C (420F).
- Deflate the dough and divide it into 10 portions. Shape each into a round or oblong roll and place them, seam side down, onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let them rise for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Divide the rice paste into 10 equal portions. Spoon each portion onto a roll. Spread gently to uniform thickness, using an offset spatula or thin knife, covering the top and some part of the side of the rolls.
- Allow them to rise for 45 minutes, uncovered. Bake them at 215C (420F) until the topping cracks, turns crisp and brown and the rolls are done. Cool on a wire rack.
The Bread Baking Babes are –