This month’s Daring Bakers challenge was to make bread dough, topped with the dutch crunch paste, and then to bake it and devise a creative sandwich. Having never heard of this so called “tiger bread” I was intrigued. Hailing from Holland (where it’s known as tijgerbrood) but currently popular in the San Francisco Bay Area this bread is unique in that before baking, the rolls are painted with a rice flour paste-like substance which creates the cracks and crunchy slightly yeasty texture in the final product. Since my last attempt at making rice flour ended in epic failure (apparently grinding the rice in a blender produces more of a grainy sandy texture than the required powdered sugar texture) I decided to buy some this time. The most convenient aspect of working in the center of the city is the ability to pop out during lunch and run all your errands. After discovering that my local Giant does not carry rice flour and with Whole Foods just a few blocks away I was able to painlessly find some.
I rarely make bread – a) because I don’t really eat it and b) because it requires yeast which I consider to be a pretty high maintenance ingredient – if the liquid is too hot you kill the yeast and if it’s too cold you don’t activate it. Frankly without a kitchen thermometer it’s almost impossible for me to accurately measure a 41-43 degree C temperature on my hand (anyone else with me on this?). Sometimes I feel more confident about the temperature – not this time though. My neurotic self got all worked up and paranoid that the water/milk combination was too cool for the yeast, so I dumped it out and started over. The second batch seemed slightly warmer but I still contemplated starting over – until I realized I didn’t have any more yeast packets to spare and simply had to hope for the best. As luck would have it within the hour my bread had doubled in size indicating the yeast had in fact been successfully activated (insert sigh of relief).
On to the baking. After reading in the Daring Bakers forumn that several bloggers weren’t able to produce cracks in their bread I was worried that as a newbie to the bread making process I would have the same problem. Alas, as I peeked through the oven door 20 minutes into the cooking process I let out a yelp of excitement – I had achieved the crackly top pattern!
The bread was a success. For sandwich filling I went with prosciutto, oil packed sun-dried tomatoes, spring mix, mayonnaise, and fresh mozzarella. D went as far as saying that this was the best sandwich he’s ever had (which he quickly followed up with – “for as long as I can remember”). Either way the bread was truly delicious – the contrasting textures of the soft roll with the crispy crunchy topping paired perfectly with the delicious sandwich filling.
- 1 tablespoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
- ¼ cup warm water (41-43 degrees C/105-110 degrees F)
- 1 cup warm milk (41-43 degrees C/105-110 degrees F) (I used whole milk)
- 1½ tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons sunflower oil
- 1½ teaspoon salt
- up to 4 cups all purpose flour
- For the topping:
- 1 tablespoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
- ½ cup warm water (41-43 degrees C/105-110 degrees F)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup rice flour
- For the sandwich:
- prosciutto (go for the good quality stuff)
- oil packed sundried tomatoes
- spring mix with arugula
- mozzarella balls, thinly sliced
- basil pesto (optional)
- In a large mixing bowl combine, water, milk, sugar, and yeast. Stir to combine and let sit for 5 minutes (should start to form a little bit).
- Add sunflower oil, salt and 2 cups flour. Using a wooden spoon mix until combined and slowly add flour ¼ cup at a time until dough pulls away from the sides (and isn’t as sticky).
- Knead dough for 4 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Lightly grease a large bowl and place dough in it, covering with plastic wrap. Keep in a warm place and let rise until doubled in size – should take around 1 hour.
- Once dough has risen divide into 6 portions and form into rolls (try not to handle the dough too much). Place dough on parchment paper lined baking sheet, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 380 degrees F.
- Start topping right before bread has finished rising. Combine ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine, until smooth. Add more water or flour if necessary – mixture should have a slow dripping consistency. Let stand 15 minutes.
- Using a spoon generously top the bread rolls with the mixture. Make sure to use all of it — a thicker layer of the topping will allow for more cracks in the bread.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes at 380 degrees F on the middle or top rack (I used the top oven rack) until browned. Let cool before slicing and eating.
- Slice the bread in half and toast the bottom half. Spread mayonnaise and pesto (optional) on both sides of the bread. Add remaining toppings and enjoy!