Tiger Bread

2014-09-07 17.16.19

So, after baking the No-knead Peasant Loaf, I had some dough left over and since it was Onam, I had this urge to do something festive. I was reminded of the Puli Kali or the Play of the Tigers, that happen during the Onam festivities.

Pulikali in Kerala

This bread originated from Netherlands where it is called tijgerbrood or tijgerbol. That’s the genesis of the name. And, all it calls for is a layer of rice paste to be painted onto the crust before the bread is baked. In the oven, the crust dries and cracks as the bread rises, resulting in a delightfully crisp crust and a moist crumb. So, here’s how you can make your Tiger Bread.

Ingredients for Rice Paste
25 g* rice flour
1 t* caster sugar
1/4 t instant yeast
1 pinch of salt
1 t vegetable oil (anything that has a neutral flavor – nothing strong. I used sunflower oil.)
25 ml warm water

While the oven is being pre-heated, mix the powders. Mix the oil and warm water and pour onto the powder and mix till it forms a paste. The consistency of the paste should be such that it is easy to ‘apint’ onto the crust of the shaped dough. Cover and set aside in a warm area until ready to use. Just before you pop the dough into the oven, use a pastry brush and ‘paint’ the surface of the dough evenly with the rice paste.

Ingredients and Method for Bread
Use the recipe from No-knead Rustic Boule or No-knead Peasant Loaf

I was playing and was keen on doing something festive as so I used up the left-over No-knead Peasant Loaf dough to make this. While I was happy with what emerged, I think the delicate flavor of the rice paste topping got lost in this full flavor loaf. It’s always tempting to add to something simple with the intent of making it richer or more inviting and to create more impact. And all is perfectly all right, but I’ve always found more people reaching out for more helpings when the flavors are kept simple. What do you think?

As always, look forward to hearing from you. Ta.

* g = grams, t = teaspoon.

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