I bought a new cookbook back at the start of December called Bread Revolution, which has a recipe in it for TIger Bread, so I thought I’d give it a go. The loaf is a standard white bread dough and the tiger-y-ness comes from a paste that you make and spread over the surface before cooking. The paste coating cracks as the loaf cooks, thus creating the tiger effect.
I’ve made the bread twice now – the first time just before New Year’s Eve, resulted in a loaf with only one single crack along the top, like the crack in Amelia Pond’s bedroom wall. I made it again yesterday with slightly better results. Still not the full tiger but more like crazy paving. I wonder if the consistency of the paste is wrong. Part of the problem is that the recipe book tells you to mix the paste to the consistency of wallpaper paste. Trouble is I’ve not had any real contact with wallpaper paste since I was about 10! Does my paste need to be thicker? Or thinner? Ah well, the bread’s tasty so I’ll keep on experimenting…
For the loaf:
340g of strong white bread flour
1 teaspoon of salt
5g of fast acting dried yeast
200ml of warm water
1 tablespoon of olive oil
For the Tiger paste: (this probably gives you enough paste for two loaves, however as I’ve already halved it I didn’t want to try and halve it again. More experimentation needed. Maybe I shouldn’t have enough for two loaves – maybe that’s a sign that I’m not making it thick enough!?)
80g of rice flour
20g of plain white flour
4g of fine sea salt
10g of golden caster sugar
200ml of water
6g of dried, fast acting yeast
(NB: no tigers were harmed in the making of this paste!)
Sift the dry ingredients for the loaf into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and add a tablespoon of olive oil and the warm water.
Mix to form a firm dough.
Turn out onto a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or so until smooth and elastic.
Place in an oiled bowl, cover with cling film and leave to rise in a warm place for an hour.
Just before the hour is up start making the paste.
Mix together the dry ingredients in a bowl. Then add the water, mixing continuously until the paste has the consistency of wallpaper paste. (!)
Turn the rise dough out of the bowl, punch down and knead lightly for 2 minutes.
Line a baking tray with baking paper, form the dough into an oval loaf shape and place on the prepared tray.
Paint the tiger paste thickly onto the loaf and leave to prove for about 40 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 230.
Place the loaf into the oven and cook for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes turn the oven down to 200 and cook for a further 20 minutes until cooked and golden. With luck the crust of your loaf will looked cracked and tigery.
Here’s mine. I’ll try again next weekend…