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Tiger bread in a bowl

Tiger Bread

  • Author: caroline
  • Total Time: 32 minute
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Ever wondered how to make that soft & fluffy bread with that crunchy patterned topping? Learn how to make Tiger Bread at home – it’s easier than you think!

The default recipe makes 6 bread rolls.


  • 250ml / 1 cup water, warm (see note 1)
  • 1 tbsp white sugar
  • 1.5 tsp active dry yeast
  • 400g / 14oz plain/all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 15g / 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

For the rice paste:

  • 4 tbsp rice flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
  • 4 tbsp water, warm (see note 1)
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (see note 2)


  1. Mix together the water, sugar, salt and yeast until everything is dissolved. Set aside for 5-10 minutes, until the top of the liquid turns frothy. (see note 3)
  2. In a large bowl mix the flour, salt and melted butter. Add the water and yeast mixture a little at a time, until fully combined into a solid dough.
  3. Transfer the dough to a clean work surface and knead until it is smooth and the surface springs back when pressed. This will take around 10 minutes. If you are using a stand mixture it will take around half this time. 
  4. Lightly grease a large bowl with some oil and then place the dough inside. Brush the top of the dough with a little oil and cover with clingfilm. Leave the dough to proof in a warm place for around 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  5. Transfer the dough to a floured work surface and knead a couple of times to deflate. Cut it into 6 pieces and shape each piece into a bread roll shape. (see note 4)
  6. Place the bread rolls onto a baking tray lined with baking/parchment paper making sure you have around a 2cm/1in gap between them. Brush the top of each roll with oil and then cover with clingfilm. Leave for a further 30 minutes until doubled in size again. 
  7. While the dough is proofing make the rice paste by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl. The consistency should be thick but spreadable. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  8. Remove the film from the bread rolls and brush the rice paste across the top of each.
  9. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes until golden on top. (see note 5)


  1. The water needs to be around 60C/110F. In practical terms, this means warm, but not hot. Definitely a lot cooler than you would use to shower or wash up.
  2. While sesame oil adds some extra flavour to the topping, you can alternatively use any kind of cooking oil.
  3. If the yeast doesn’t turn frothy (and you definitely added the sugar to the water) then it may be because the yeast is past its best which will stop the bread from rising. I recommend using a different packet.
  4. You can alternatively cut the dough into two pieces and shape into two medium-sized loaves. The baking time will need to be extended by around 10 minutes. 
  5. The bread is done when it sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. If it doesn’t seem done then return to the oven for a few minutes at a time until ready.
  6. Baked tiger bread will keep fresh for 3-4 days when stored in a sealed container or bread bin. If you want to keep the bread for longer then you can wrap it really well in clingfilm and freeze it for up to 3 months. Defrost thoroughly before use. 
  • Prep Time: 2.5 hours
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Side
  • Method: Bake
  • Cuisine: Bread


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 350
  • Fat: 12g
  • Carbohydrates: 21g
  • Protein: 34g

Keywords: bread, side dish, snack