Dutch Tiger Bread Rolls

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I have been meaning, for quite some time, to make Dutch Tiger Bread Rolls. The bread has a yeasted rice flour slurry placed on the top. Then, when it is baked, the top cracks as the bread rises.

Also known as Crunch Bread or Giraffe Bread, it is very good indeed.

What prompted me to make it was that my sister Margaret, who lives in Canada also suggested it.

I checked various recipes and watched some videos, then I did a test run for the bread. My first attempt looked good, but the top was slightly harder than I intended.

So I reworked the recipe slightly to vary the ratio of ingredients in the slurry. I wanted it to be crunchy, but not rock hard.

That worked well, so this recipe makes very good rolls.

I also decided to make rolls, rather than a loaf. But a free form loaf, or even one in a loaf tin is very common. But most of the recipes I read were for making rolls.

I encourage anyone to make this bread. It does take time. But it is not daunting if you follow the recipe. Although I do include cup measurements in the recipe I think weighing the ingredients gives a more accurate result.

In fact I suggest that everyone should buy a cheap digital scale. It makes baking much more accurate. That will, necessarily give better results. And, of course, we all want better results.


This is not a difficult recipe. I would rate it 5 out of 10 for difficulty. But the time required is quite long, since the dough has to be proofed twice before creating the shaped rolls. Then it has to rest and proof again.

It will take about 4 hours. But that includes waiting time of 3 hours and then the baking time too.

Using a stand mixer is a good idea, since it makes the process easy.

That process is to make a lovely smooth dough and then proof it. Then knock out the air and shape before a 2nd proof. As the dough is proofed again the slurry is made and set aside to become active.

After the 2nd proof the dough is divided and shaped, and topped with the slurry. It is important to knock out all of the gas before you shape the rolls. That is because they will rise again before going in the oven.

Then, after the shaped rolls have rested for an hour they can go into the oven. Of course you have to preheat the oven. The rolls will bake in 25 to 35 minutes. For a loaf you should allow more time.

The oven also has a pan of water to create steam. The dough will rise very well and the cracks will appear all over the top.

The top will be hard when tapped but the rolls will be very soft inside.

For mine I used a slightly enriched dough to make the rolls wonderfully soft.

My Bake

The Dutch Tiger Bread Rolls baked in 32 minutes. It took that amount of time for the crunchy top to turn a lovely golden brown colour. They rose very well too. The slurry cracked, giving that wonderful appearance, which I think is more akin to a leopard than a tiger.

The top of the rolls was baked to be hard, but still crunchy and crumbly when pressing the rolls.

I allowed mine to cool before cutting into one for a taste. It had a perfectly baked interior. That was soft and springy when pressed.

When I sampled the roll I found the top had a similar crunch to a crisp(potato chip). That gave a wonderful additional texture to the roll.

Of course I had to butter the roll. Then I also filled it with ham and salad.

Since I made 6 rolls each was more than 5 inches in diameter. That made a great size for my lunch.

My sister made a version in loaf form and she tells me that it was great for slicing.

I can easily see why this bread is popular in Holland. I can buy it at any of my local supermarkets. But home made bread is always better, in my opinion.

Dutch Tiger Bread Rolls

Another very good bread roll recipe is Soft Morning Rolls.

Dutch Tiger Bread Rolls

Recipe by geoffcooCourse: BreadCuisine: DutchDifficulty: Medium


Prep time


Waiting Time




  • Dough
  • 500g(3 1/3 cups, based on scooping packed flour into a 250ml cup) Bread flour

  • 7g(1 packet) instant yeast

  • 240ml(1 cup) lukewarm water, at 42C/108F

  • 42g(3 tbsp) unsalted butter at room temperature

  • 8g(1 1/3 tsp) salt

  • 1 medium egg(large in USA)

  • 20g( 1 1/2 tbsp) caster sugar

  • Topping
  • 105g(2/3 cup) rice flour

  • 105g(1/2 cup minus 1 tbsp) water

  • 6g(just under 2 tsp) instant yeast

  • 20g(1 1/2 tbsp) caster sugar

  • 30ml (2 tbsp) oil, I used sesame oil which is fairly common in this bread


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer place the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and butter.
  • Beat with the whisk to mix everything together with the butter breaking down into the flour.
  • Whisk the water and egg together.
  • Start to knead the dough, with the dough hook, slowly adding the liquid until it is a shaggy dough
  • Knead for 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic and has come cleanly away from the side of the bowl.
  • Take the dough out of the bowl and divide into two pieces.
  • Flatten each piece into a trapezoid (flat topped triangle) shape.
  • From the top roll the dough up, pushing back with each roll to create tension in the dough.
  • Then form each log shaped piece of dough into a ball by folding it up from both ends and rotating in the hands to create the ball.
  • Seal the seams and cover the balls with lightly greased plastic wrap, or place in bowls and cover them.
  • Leave the dough to proof, in a warm place, for an hour, until the balls have at least doubled in size.
  • With each ball of dough flatten it out, knocking out the gas.
  • Form into the trapezoid shape again and roll up as before. But don’t then form into balls.
  • Place each log of dough onto a parchment line baking tray and cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap.
  • Leave in a warm place for an hour, until the dough has at least doubled in size.
  • In a bowl mix all the ingredients for the slurry until it is completely. Then cover and set aside for an hour.
  • Divide each log of dough into 3 equal pieces, after knocking out all the gas, and form rough balls, then leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Flatten each piece of dough and then pull the sides up into the middle to make a ball.
  • Roll the balls in your hand, against the work surface to create tension.
  • Place the balls on a parchment lined baking tray(or two), leaving a large gap between each.
  • Stir the slurry, which should have activated by now.
  • Brush a thick layer of slurry over the top and most of the sides of each ball of dough.
  • If any slurry runs right down to the parchment paper clean it off, leaving a small area at the base of the balls which is not covered.
  • Leave the slurried balls for an hour.
  • Preheat the oven to 180C/160C Fan/350 F.
  • Place a pan in the bottom of the oven and have some water, or ice cubes, ready to add before baking.
  • After an hour the top of the slurry will look as though it is aerating.
  • Place the trays in the oven and pour water or ice into the pan on the bottom of the oven.
  • Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until the rolls have risen well and the top has cracked and turned a lovely golden brown colour.
  • Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

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