Tiger Bread Recipe

Tiger Bread Recipe

Tiger bread is a delicious and fun Dutch traditional bread made as a loaf or into buns then brushed with a paste made from yeast, oil, rice flour, sugar, salt, and water. The rice paste is what creates the tiger pattern on the top of the bread and provides a slightly sweet taste. Serve this bread warm at your next dinner.

Tiger Bread Recipe/Tester Image

“A crackly crust adds a fun visual and textural element to these soft and chewy buns. They don’t require any technical skill either. Dividing the dough into 8 pieces makes for big, 6-inch buns. I might divide the dough into a few more pieces for smaller buns next time.” —Danielle Centoni

A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

For the Dough:

  • 1/2 cup water, warmed to 115 F

  • 1 cup whole milk, warmed to 115 F

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1/4 ounce (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant dry yeast

  • 1/2 cup (3-ounces) whole wheat flour

  • 3 cups (15-ounces) all-purpose flour, divided, more as needed

  • Vegetable oil, for the bowl

For the Topping:

  • 1 cup (5-ounces) rice flour

  • 1/4 ounce (2 1/4 teaspoons) instant dry yeast

  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil

  • 3/4 cup water, warmed to 115 F

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Tiger Bread ingredients in bowls

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  2. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, add the water, milk, butter, sugar, salt, and yeast. Mix on low speed until incorporated.

    Water, milk, butter, sugar, salt, and yeast in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Add the whole wheat flour and 2 cups of all-purpose flour, mixing on medium speed until a thick batter forms.

    Dough in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Switch to the dough hook. Add the remaining 1 cup of all-purpose flour and mix on medium-high speed until the dough is smooth and elastic, begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl, and clings to the dough hook, about 5 minutes.

    If mixing by hand, add about 1/4 cup of flour at a time and knead until incorporated. Repeat until all the flour is used and the dough is smooth and elastic, 7 to 8 minutes or more.

    If the dough is too sticky, add more all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon at a time mixing or kneading by hand until the proper consistency is reached.

    Dough in a stand mixer

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Oil a large bowl, add the dough turning once to coat. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place (like the oven with the light on) to rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

    Dough ball in a bowl, covered with plastic wrap and a towel

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 8 equal portions. Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball and place evenly spaced on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

    Dough balls on a wooden board and on parchment paper lined baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Cover the rolls with a clean, damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.

    Dough balls on a parchment paper lined baking sheet, covered with a towel

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Make the topping by whisking together the rice flour, yeast, sugar, and salt.

    Rice flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a bowl with a whisk

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  9. Add the oil to the warm water. Add the oil-water mixture to the rice flour-yeast-sugar mixture. Whisk until combined. Set the topping aside for 20 minutes until bubbly.

    Topping dough in a bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Brush the topping generously onto the rolls (use it all). Let the rolls rise, uncovered, another 20 minutes. Meanwhile, position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 400 F.

    Tiger bread topping spread on top of the dough

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Bake until golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Cool slightly on the baking sheet then transfer to a rack until ready to serve.

    Tiger Bread on a cooling rack

    The Spruce Eats / Julia Hartbeck

How to Store

Store in an airtight container or zip-top bag on the countertop for up to five days.

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