TIGER BREAD - Daring Bakers' Challenge - March / 2012


Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

Another really cool challenge this month! I had a blast making this bread, not only because I love making bread, but also because it was totally new to me, not to mention super delicious, as this topping is magically  beautiful, it adds a wonderful yeasty flavor and an unforgettable crunch to your bread.. yes... you can add it to just about any bread recipe you like! Just perfect!!

A.k.a. Dutch Crunch, but Tijgerbrood (Tiger Bread) in Dutch (it is known to have originated in the Netherlands), it has also recently had its name changed to "Giraffe Bread" in a grocery chain in the UK after a child's letter suggested that the pattern looked much more like a giraffe than a tiger, which I agree :o)

The crackled effect is obtained by spreading a rice flour based paste on the top of the bread. Since rice flour has no gluten, it cracks while the bread is baking.

I have to confess that my first experience with this topping wasn't exactly successful. I could never imagine that in the land of rice (Korea) it would be so difficult finding plain rice flour! The recipe called for rice flour (white or brown) but it couldn't be the glutinous kind of rice (the sticky one), but it seems like they only sell this one here. I went to all grocery stores in my area to no avail.

I tried rye flour and soy flour which I had available in my pantry and are gluten-free as well.

They resulted in totally different crusts, the rye flour created "shy" cracks, and the soy flour resulted in a smooth and glossy topping. Neither got even close to the Dutch Crunch, but they were both delicious!

I finally decided that I would have to make my own rice flour which, for me, would not be a problem at all since I love challenging myself, but I wasn't expecting to get the same results. I used the method from Sharmis Passions, suggested by our hostesses.

I used common white rice (bottom left), here comparing to Basmati (top) and Korean (bottom right).

I washed the rice and soaked it in water for 1 hour. Then I drained it very well and spread it on a clean cotton towel and left it there until completely dry.

To make sure there was no moisture left, I dried the raw rice in a pan over low heat, stirring often (it should not brown!).

I let it cool completely before grinding.

Now, let me tell you... a few months back I got this powerful grinder/food processor as a gift. I thought it was cool as almost every kitchen gadget that I see, but more often than not, I end up not buying.

There is a lot of advertising on TV here in Korea showing the ladies using this processor for grinding raw beans that turn into very fine flour, and this was my "test drive" to see if it really worked. And boy, it did! I was able to obtain very fine flour and even after passing the flour through my finest mesh sieve, I had almost no coarse flour left! Look at that...

...now compare the sifted flour with what was left in the sieve...

Don't worry if you don't have a powerful processor like this one. You can use your normal food processor. The most important step here will be to use a fine sieve. You will probably end up with a larger amount of coarser flour that can be processed again or used in other recipes.

I began to get very optimistic about my topping.

Time to make a batch of my favorite bread recipe. Mixed ingredients, let it rise until doubled, about an hour, than punched it down, shaped my buns. 

While my buns were rising, I started preparing the topping. It looked like this:

It should be a paste thick enough to be able to hold on the top of the buns and not ooze down, but not so thick that you have difficulty spreading. Our hostesses suggested to use a very thick layer of the paste, but I found that my best results were the thinner ones. They will crack one way or another.

I also tested spreading the paste at different stages: right after shaping the buns, halfway through rising and when it was almost good for baking. I knew that if spreading the paste on a fully risen bread it would most likely deflate, at least partially, so I didn't even try that. It didn't make any noticeable difference.

 And, the second and most delicious part of the challenge, make a sandwich with your Tiger Bread!
I used mayonnaise, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, onions, Korean pickled cucumber (slightly sweet), ham, fried egg, gouda cheese with cumin, and L'ancienne Mustard.

These buns froze very well and recovered their crunchiness after thawed and warmed up for a few minutes in the oven.

If you want to see all the other 'Tiger Breads that the Daring Bakers made and the fantastic sandwiches they created, please visit THE DARING KITCHEN where you will also find the original recipes and guidelines for this challenge.
Many thanks to Sara and Erica for the unforgettable challenge!

(Adapted from  Rose Levy Beranbaum’s "The Bread Bible")

  • You can use any bread recipe of your choice.
  • I made a batch of one of my favorite bread recipes which yields 4 large buns (110g each).
  • In my first experience with soy flour and rye flour toppings, I used  THIS recipe.
  • In my second experience using rice flour topping, I used the same recipe, but used all white flour and sugar, just to make it as authentic as the commercial Tiger Bread/ Dutch Crunch.
  • I made 1/4 of the original recipe below for each batch and still had a bit leftover. It all depends on how thick or thin you will spread your topping, mine was more on the thin side.

Ingredients for the topping:
(Depending on how thick you choose to apply your topping, this recipe is enough for 12 to 16 large buns or 2 to 3 loaves)

2 tbsp (15g) active dry yeast
2 tbsp (30g) sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
1½ cups plain rice flour (white or brown; NOT sweet or glutinous rice flour)
1 cup (240 ml) approx. warm water (105-115º F) (41-46°C) 


1. Prepare the bread of your preference. When you finish shaping the bread for its final rise in their baking pans, start making the topping.  Combine all ingredients except water, which should be added gradually until you reach the correct consistency which should be spreadable, but not too runny. If you pull some up with your whisk it should drip off slowly.  (I used homemade rice flour but did not have to increase the amount as suggested by our hostesses; maybe this will depend on how thin you are able to grind it. Mine was quite thin so I guess it worked like store bought flour) Let stand 15 minutes. (I tried applying the topping right after mixing, then after 15 minutes rest, and also experimented spreading at different stages of the final rise of the buns, but no noticeable difference was observed.

2. Coat the top of each roll with the mixture. I used a butter spatula for that.

3. Let stand, uncovered, for any additional time your recipe recommends before baking. Ideally, your bread should  be able to rise at least a little further while baking, so be careful to not over-proof it!

4. When baking, place pans on a rack in the center of the oven and bake your bread as you ordinarily would. The Dutch Crunch topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown color.


  1. Wow, so thorough and lovely photos too! I'm just off to put my post up too (though it wont be quite as in depth as yours!) :-)

  2. Renata, you are always an inspiration, but this month, you were the definition of persistence, and the shining example for persistence paying off. It is so interesting to see the different results that you achieved with the different kinds of flour, and your final tiger rolls are picture perfect. Wonderful job on the challenge!

  3. Tiger bread looks awesome. I spoiled the bread with crust I made, so not posting it .

  4. Your Dutch Crunch looks almost exactly like the commercial bread that I had in California. Great job! And further kudos for going to the trouble of making your own rice flour. I don't know if I would have done that if the flour wasn't so easily available in Malaysia. Now I have to go try this again to get "less shy" cracks on my bread...
    Delicious looking sandwich too!

  5. Love it. your photos are SO good. Sandwich looks delicious.

  6. Wow, that's one powerful grinder! The end product looks perfect and the sandwich looks delicious. Excellent job and beautiful pictures!

  7. What a fantastic post! Great job with this challenge Renata - I applaud your perseverance, those rolls look perfect!

  8. Love it Renata! Nice clicks and great that the recipe worked out fine :). Great job on the challenge and keep us inspiring :)

  9. PERFECT Tiger rolls, Renata!! I love that you made your own rice flour! The sandwich is right up my alley because my new thing the past few months iis adding a poached or fried egg to almost every sandwich outside of peanut butter and jelly!! Beautifully done!

  10. Renata, your tiger bread looks perfect!

  11. your bread looks perfect and your sandwich looks delicious!

  12. Awesome rice flour substitution tutorial! I'm surprised you couldn't find rice flour in Korea!!

  13. What a fantastic method of bread baking. Looks fantastic.

  14. Thank you Renata for being my inspiration this month, you and Audax were role models in not giving up
    I love the color and texture on your bread and I too look forward to exploring combining this topping with other bread recipes and additives

  15. Beautiful results Renata! That's an amazingly powerful mixer you have (glad you put it to use!) - you got your rice flour so fine, no wonder you didn't need to add more to the recipe. Thanks for joining us this month!!


  16. Wonderful looking and well done on the challenge :) Absolutely beautiful and nice to see the variations and different results. Wish to have a big bite on that sandwich.

  17. They look beautiful - love the look of the soy flour as well. It is amazing how using a different grain affect the result so much. Seeing yours makes me want to go back and try again.

  18. your buns look incredible! too bad you had such a hard time finding the main ingredient for the topping!

  19. Marvelous work!!!!, I love the idea that you used fresh rice flour, I imagine it gave your bread a unique flavour, as always, wonderful job

  20. Your photos are crazy beautiful this month!!!!After reading how you couldn't find rice flour and made your own I decided to do the same. I didn't soak it first though,just grinded it, but loved it over store bought rice flour! Great work!!
    Best, Sandie

  21. Renata! You were so determined with this challenge! I mean you always produce such outstanding results but this time you went to the extreme by processing your own rice flour and such great rice flour at that! What a stunning result! I didn't realise how difficult it is to find rice flour in some parts of the world. Here in Australia it is a common ingredient in shortbread.
    Anyway, take care and I hope you have a lovely weekend!

  22. I'm so impressed that you made your own flour! It looks fantastic, as do the finished rolls. Now, THAT'S a sandwich.

  23. i have tiger bread on my to-do list for so long! i always end up buying it from the local bakery. yours turned out so beautiful.

  24. These tiger breads are so outstanding, they are jumping out of the screen! Very sharp and well taken photographs and I believe they are delicious too :-)

  25. Conheci o blog através dessa receita maravilhosa, por recomendação da Chubby Vegan, desde então virei fã, e acompanho o blog quase que diariamente, aprendendo, fazendo as receitas, mesmo que nem sempre comente.
    É admirável a sua dedicação, o carinho que transparece através das receitas!


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