A Healthy Beast: Wholemeal Tiger Bread

“Oh, the tiger will love you. There is no sincerer love than the love of food.” George Bernard Shaw


Tiger bread, also cold Dutch crunch and giraffe bread is the commercial name for a loaf of bread which has a unique mottled crust. Tiger bread originates from the Netherlands, where it is known as ‘tijgerbrood’. Its name comes from the special appearance of the top of the loaf, which is achieved by applying a rice flour and sesame paste on the loaf prior to baking. The paste has a different gluten content from the bread dough, therefore as the tiger bread bakes and expands the paste is unable to stretch and cracks. The top of the loaf appears to have tiger markings from this cracking. Although the country of origin of tiger bread is known, its first appearance in markets and bakeries is questionable. Some people believe that it sprang up in the 1970s, but others think that it dates back to the time when the Netherlands and Southeast Asia traded with each other. The bread is generally found in concentrated areas outside of the Netherlands. A distinct nutty flavour, crunchy topping and white, soft inside caused by the use of sesame oil, the contract rice and wheat flour makes this bread very popular. Usually it is not prepared with wholemeal flour, as the limited ability of wholemeal bread to expand can affect the ever so distinctive pattern on the top and can alter the flavour, however – even though different – it is unique and delicious.

“You know, tigers are very unpredictable.” Suraj Sharma


350 g bread flour
150 g wholemeal flour
25 g fresh yeast
1 tsp salt
3 tbsp sesame oil
320 ml warm water
Tiger Paste
100 g rice flour
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp yeast
1 tbsp sesame oil
120-150 ml warm water

Mix well together and knead well if mixed by hand. Allow to rise, covered in oiled cling film for about an hour until doubled in size. In the meantime mix the paste ingredients and allow it to rest.
Once the dough has risen knock back and shape two long loaves then spread the paste thickly over them. Allow the loaves to rise again for half an hour then bake as normal at 220 degrees C.


“The one sure way to conciliate a tiger is to allow oneself to be devoured.” Konrad Adenauer

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