What makes food interesting? For me a big part of it is contrast. Sweet vs. sour, creamy vs. bitter, crunchy vs. soft, The last one is the one that defines these rolls. This is my recipe for sourdough tiger bread rolls.
The tiger bread rolls are the softest, fluffiest buns you’ve ever had, with an extremely crunchy and dark caramelized topping made from yeast, rice flour and toasted sesame oil, which gives it an incredible aroma.
This dough can absolutely be used for larger sandwich rolls or an entire bread. It’s all up to you.
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The history of tiger bread
Tiger bread originates from the Netherlands where it’s know as tijgerbrood (tiger bread) or tijgerbol (tiger bun).
I haven’t really been able to find many actual sources of the history, but a lot of conjecture. According to Johnathan Law on Quora, it may have been inspired by or originated from an asian bun called “Bo Lua Bao”, which is a pineapple bun.
The look of them are quite similar, but not the taste though. His hypothesis is that an asian baker tried to imitate a streusel topping found in dutch breads (found in asia because of Dutch colonization) but didn’t have the right ingredients, hence invented the tiger bread.
This tiger bread has been know commercially in the Netherlands since the early 1900’s, but made its way to the Bay Area of San Francisco. It probably came with Dutch immigrants which also gave it its name ‘Dutch Crunch’.
Hyperbowler on Chow Hound looked at when the term ‘Dutch Crunch’ was used in national newspapers in the United States. It seems it was first mentioned around 1940, but it seems that the Dutch Crunch came from sesame seeds and not the rice flour topping used later on. Possibly around 1950 the rice flour topping was used.
The bread was described as “A traditional, round, unsliced, Sweet French Load (loaf?) to which, after rising and before baking, the old dutch master bakers of the Netherlands, started the custom of polishing the top of the dough with a glaze which pops into a Golden Dutch Crunch up baking.”
No matter the origins, it’s very delicious.
The formula in this sourdough tiger bread rolls recipe
The levain in this sourdough tiger bread rolls recipe is basically just an off shoot of your regular 100% hydration starter. You can omit the levain and just use 150g of mature starter.
If you don’t already have a sourdough starter, you can follow my guide here.
|30g||starter (100% hydration)||50.0%|
The dough recipe itself is an enriched dough with milk and egg. The hydration sits at a comfortable 66%, which means that the dough is tacky, but not sticky, making it easy to handle and to shape.
For a bit of more delicious taste I’ve added whole grain spelt flour. If you want a totally classic tiger bread roll, you can substitute for bread flour, or you can use another whole grain if you can’t find spelt where you live.
|95g||whole grain spelt flour||13.0%|
If you want to play around with the formula, change hydration or scale the recipe, you can find the formula in my bread calculator here.
The baking of this sourdough tiger bread rolls recipe
As most of my baking, these rolls are baked with steam, for great oven spring. The temperature is a lot lower than what I use for my sourdough bread. I bake it at 200°C/400°F.
I am not interested in creating a crunchy crust, like I normally will do with a sourdough bread. I want the bun to be very soft, both inside and out, so that’s why I am using the lower temperature. The topping will take care of the crunch.
If you were to bake these buns without the topping, they’d make an excellent soft bun.
Alternate divisions of the dough
If you want, you can bake both rolls, burger buns, sandwich rolls, small breads or large breads using this dough. Here are my suggested divisions and baking times:
|Burger buns||8||150g||25 minutes|
|Sandwich rolls||4||300g||30 minutes|
|Small bread||2||600g||40 minutes|
|Large bread||1||1200g||50 minutes|
The larger the bread you make, the bigger the chance of scorching the top. My suggestion is that you cover it with a piece of aluminum foil once the desired caramelization has been reached. That should prevent the top from scorching.
Conclusion on this sourdough tiger bread rolls recipe
These rolls are a delight. They are great on their own as a snack. The savory topping works with many meats and cheeses.
The bun itself is the softest and fluffiest bun that I’ve ever tried with an airy texture with a lots of holes. The topping is super crunchy and has a delicious aroma from the toasted sesame seed oil.
When you bite into the bun, the topping shatters and the crunch is so satisfying.
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This is my recipe for sourdough tiger bread rolls recipe. I hope you will try to make it. If you make this recipe and post it to Instagram, please tag med as @foodgeek.dk so I can see it. That will make me very happy.
Tiger Bread Rolls
- 40 g starter (100% hydration)
- 80 g bread flour
- 80 g water
- 560 g bread flour
- 95 g whole grain spelt flour can be substituted with another whole grain or freshly milled flour
- 410 g milk
- 1 egg
- 150 g levain
- 15 g salt
- 7 g active dry yeast 1 packet
- 100 g lukewarm water
- 105 g white rice flour
- 15 g brown sugar
- 14 g neutral oil
- 14 g toasted sesame oil
- 4 g salt
Build the levain – about 10:00/10 a.m.
- In the morning build the levain by combining 40g starter at 100% hydration, 80g bread flour and 80g water. Combine well and store somewhere warm.
Prepare the milk – about 15:00/3 p.m.
- Heat the 450g milk in a pot over medium low heat until over 82°C/180°F. The reason we use 450g is because some will evaporate during this process and we need 410g for the right hydration.
- Pour 410g of milk into a heat proof container and let it cool until needed. The rest can be discarded, drunk or used in another recipe.
Mix the dough – about 16:00/4 p.m.
- Mix 1 egg into 410g milk using a whisk.
- Add 560g bread flour, 95g spelt flour and 15g salt. Give it a mix with your hand, so that it's good and well mixed.
- Pour in the milk mixture and add 150g levain on top.
- Mix the dough so that all flour is completely hydrated and let the dough rest for 30 minutes.
Bulk fermentation – about 16:45/4.45 p.m.
- Perform four sets of stretch and folds. If the dough doesn't pass the windowpane test after the last set add another one.
- Let the dough rise until it's risen to about 150%, then place the dough in the fridge until the next morning. It took about 5 hours for me from the first stretch and fold.
Dividing and shaping the dough – next morning about 8:00/8 a.m.
- Remove the dough from the fridge and divide it into twelve equally sized pieces at around 100 grams of dough.
- Shape each dough piece to a round by pushing the dough up into the middle of the ball, then turn the ball about 20° and repeat until you have a taut surface.
- Place the dough balls on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let them rest for fifteen minutes.
- Then do a final shape of each roll by putting onto your unfloured counter, putting your hand over the top of the ball like a claw and moving it in circles so it becomes perfectly round.
- Place back on the cookie sheet and let them rise for about one and a half hours covered with a damp tea towel.
Make the topping – about 10:00/10 a.m.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6 (use fan assist if you have it) with an empty pan on the bottom.
- Make the topping by placing 7g active dry yeast, 100g lukewarm water, 105g rice flour, 15g brown sugar, 14g neutral oil, 14g toasted sesame oil and 4g salt in a bowl. Mix with a whisk to combine.
- It's important the the mixture is spreadable, so adjust using small amount of water or rice flour to make it a thick spreadable consistency, if it's not already at that stage.
- Put an equal amount of topping on top of each bun and spread it using a pastry brush.
Bake the rolls – about 10:15/10.15 a.m.
- When the oven is hot, boil a kettle of water and pouring into the pan, and put the baking sheet in the oven in the middle rack. Close the oven and let it bake for 20 minutes.
- Check the rolls after 20 minutes, if you think they need more time then bake for longer.
- If you like to check the internal temperature they should be about 98°C/208°F.
I am crazy about food, cakes, snacks and everything in between. I love to do tons of experiments to find the best recipe, so that you don’t have to.