Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Tiger Bread - our version

Le pain a la biere - our version of tiger bread

Tiger bread - a supermarket name for bread made with a rice flour topping that gives a stripey, crunchy finish once baked (Remarkably, Sainsbury's can seemingly sell an 800g for 77p!). 

We came across this bread during our Monday night super club evening at the local youth club in Creswell. Out of interest, we asked the kids what their favourite bread was - the answer for most was tiger bread. They liked the crunchy patterned top and soft white center.

There is a great book called Le Pain l'envers du decor that has the most amazing breads and flavour combinations using a country dough recipe as the basis for chorizo, fig, walnut, apricots, Stilton and many others.

The best 'tiger' toppings we came up with were the beer and rice flour. The key to getting a perfect crunchy topping is to make a thick 'overnight' paste and apply once proved and just before baking. 

For the dough, we made up a white bread (overnight and stored at ambient temperature):
Strong white flour 5000g
Yeast (fresh) 20g
Water +/-2500g
Salt 90g

As long as you use the same ratios as above you can scale down the flour to as little as you like.

For the tiger topping:

Light Rye flour 450g
Beer ('Roaring Meg') 600g
Yeast 15g dried
Salt 15g
Make up to a thick paste - you may require adding more rye flour.

Rice flour 60g
Sesame Oil 1.5 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Warm water +/- 65g
Yeast 1.5 tsp dried

If you make your tiger topping overnight then use 1/2 the amount of yeast shown above as it will have longer to ferment. Keep the mixture in the fridge.
paste on thick or dab on to create different patterns

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