I’ve always assumed that “how to make tiger bread” goes something like this:
- make bread dough
- put something very addictive on top
But this is the first time that I’ve had a go.
I’ve also incorporated some techniques that I learned while visiting Bread Ahead in Borough Market, but I haven’t fully followed their recipe (not even close) so if this doesn’t work out then it’s not their fault.
Ye, I’m writing this while the bread is in the oven. I don’t know if it has worked yet. That picture that you see at the top of the post – I have not yet seen it. Fingers crossed?
- 500g bread flour, 1 sachet yeast, some salt. How much salt? I don’t know. A pinch? Half a teaspoon? Just SOME, OK?
- Mix it up and add 400ml warm water. This is a lot of water. Things will be gooey. Don’t worry, this is the plan.
- Go phone your mum for 20 minutes. This is not compulsory, but it’s what I did.
- Remember that you are supposed to knead the bloody stuff.
- Feel pleased that the mixture is expanding already – at least that confirms that the yeast is alive.
- Knead – sort of. Grab a big handful of the mixture and lift your hand high above the bowl, stretching out the dough. Release your hand a bit to let it drop back down, stretching different bits
- Keep doing this for a while – say 100 stretches
- Cover the bowl with clingfilm and leave it for a few hours – at room temperature – til it’s at least doubled in size
- Grease two baking trays
- (note from afterwards – best use greasproof paper as well)
- Grab handfuls of the dough and put them onto the trays – you will lose a lot of the air but that’s OK – leave plenty of room for expansion
- Now put your oven onto the highest it’ll go and wait for the light to go out – you really want the oven as hot as it can be
- Mix together in a little bowl some paprika, celery salt, and salt with olive oil – again I don’t know what quantities I used and even if I did I might not recommend them to you
- Once the oven has heated up your blobs should have gotten bigger than they were – paint them with your paprika mix using a pastry brush (or just blob some on if you don’t possess such an implement)
- Put into oven, set timer
- (note from afterwards – I set mine for 15 mins and this was a bit too much)
- Take out of oven, remove from tray and leave to cool for as long as you can manage
- Now you have homemade tiger ciabatta
I sort of made this up, and it sort of worked.
The texture is more like ciabatta than your standard tiger loaf, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The topping is not “right”, but it is “nice”. Further experimentation needed.