This is the first blog post via my snazzy new MacBook Pro. The hard drive on my previous Mac sadly bit the dust after four years of service, and as I’m in the middle of doing a lot of design work for our new house at the moment, hubby and I decided to get a new laptop entirely instead of waiting more than a week to get the drive replaced. I’m happy to be using Lion finally :)
I thought I’d mention this since I was actually very much on track with this month’s Daring Bakers challenge but my drive died on the posting day. I didn’t have time to get to my office to use a machine there to upload photos at least so alas I am about two days late. I have been much later of course but I was looking forward to posting on time! Anyway, this month’s challenge was hosted by Erica and Sara from Baking JDs and the task was to bake a ‘Tiger’ bread, or as they are properly known, Dutch Crunch Bread.
I must say while Tiger Bread is pretty common, I’ve never put much thought into how it gets its crackly pattern. It was therefore interesting to learn the process involved to get the fun effect. It’s a similar process to Melon Buns (Meron Pan) in which fluffy bread dough is wrapped up in a harder pastry dough. As the inner bread rises, the pastry layer starts bursting to form interesting patterns (though more deliberate in Meron Buns through the cutting of lines and shapes before baking). For tiger bread, a rice flour topping is prepared to create that delicious crunchy coating.
For my base rolls I used half wholewheat and half plain flour, and followed the topping instructions as provided. I couldn’t get hold of rice flour too readily so I decided to mill my own in the Thermomix. The TMX does a great job at milling but it doesn’t pulverise every grain of rice completely. As such, tiny grits of rice remained in my flour but I chose not to sift it. If anything, the tiny grits made the topping even more crunchy :)
Freshly baked bread is hard to beat but when it comes with a super crunchy topping? Win! The topping isn’t at all hard to prepare so I see myself going the way of the tiger more often, especially for rolls. So happy to have learnt how to make this bread so many thanks to the hosts!
Dutch Crunch Topping
2 tablespoons (2 packets) (30 ml) (15 gm/1?2 oz) active dry yeast 1 cup (240 ml) warm water (105-115o F) (41-46°C)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
1?2 teaspoon (21?2 ml) (3 gm) salt
11?2 cups (360 ml) (240 gm/81?2 oz) rice flour (white or brown; NOT sweet or glutinous rice flour) (increase by 1 cup or more for home-made rice flour)
Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a whisk; beat hard to combine. The consistency should be like stiff royal icing – spreadable, but not too runny. If you pull some up with your whisk, it should drip off slowly. Add more water or rice flour as necessary. Let stand 15 minutes. Spread topping thickly over prepared bread rolls that have had their last prove. The topping should also ideally prove for 20 minutes but the hosts have suggested that putting the topped rolls straight in the oven works too.