Today we have another bread from the Love Baking Bread magazine. I’d meant to do this one first but I didn’t have any rice flour. On a trip to London I made a detour to a branch of Waitrose and finally managed to get some.
Depending on which supermarket you use this is known as either tiger or giraffe bread. Essentially it’s a white loaf with a crackle glaze over it. This effect is caused by brushing the loaf with a rice flour and yeast paste during the proving process. I think what happens is that whilst the dough expands and stretches, the rice paste doesn’t expand as much and instead shatters creating an animal print effect. Well that’s the theory….
Mine didn’t quite work out that way. The recipe is from The Bread Revolution by the people behind the Thoughtful Bread Company so I had high hopes. The white bread dough itself used less water then I’m used to, but it was the rice flour paste that was the strangest.
For starters the recipe made a lot of paste – it seemed like far too much for one loaf of bread and I ended up throwing a lot out. And it was very thick. The recipe describes it as being the consistency of wallpaper paste. I’m not a wallpaper paste expert (I leave that to Long Suffering Husband…) but this seemed much thicker than that – more dough than paste. So I added more water to try and thin it a bit.
I shaped the loaf, gave it a good coating of the paste and left to prove before baking.
The final result was not what I expected. It’s more of a scorched earth effect than tiger bread, with a very dark crust and jagged fissures across the surface. That’s not to say its unattractive – it is quite striking with its dramatic gashes. But it’s not the crackle pattern of tiger bread. More a dark brooding older cousin version.
Taste wise it was just like a normal white bread. I can’t say I got any interesting taste from the crust either which made me wonder if I’d been too stingy with the topping. I suspect that the consistency of the paste was the issue. Clearly I need to pay closer attention to wallpapering in future…