I’ve always been intrigued how you get the top of this bread to crack and look so stunning – now I know!
If you fancy giving this a go, pop over to Tiger Bread on Baking Mad’s website for their step by step recipe.
- 500g Allinson Strong white bread flour
- 1 Sachet of Allinson easy bake yeast (7g)
- 1.5tsp Golden caster sugar
- 1.5tsp Salt
- 1tbsp Butter (softened)
- 300ml Water
- 3.5g (1/2 sachet) Allinson easy bake yeast
- 0.5tbsp Golden caster sugar
- 0.5 tbsp Vegetable oil
- 75g Ground Rice
- 6tbsp Water
I decided with that I would make this recipe using my KitchenAid Mixer, as I made the focaccia by hand.
The first thing was to weigh out the flour, yeast, sugar and salt in the mixing bowl and add the butter. Once the butter was thoroughly mixed through making the mixture look like fine breadcrumbs it was time to add the water. With the mixer set on a low-speed and using the dough hook, it was left to run for 10 minutes, after which time the dough was lovely and soft and smooth. It’s very easy to make bread in a mixer, but if I’m honest, I like the hands on approach as you get to feel the texture of the bread and you begin to know when you’ve kneaded it enough.
The dough was removed from the bowl and the bowl lightly oiled, so that the dough could be put back into it, covered and allowed to rise for around an hour (or until doubled in size). If there’s one thing I like about Allinson Easy Yeast is that it works so well. I don’t think I’ve ever had a failure when I use it, although I tend to buy the small tin of Easy Yeast, rather than the sachets as I make quite a lot of bread.
Once the bread had doubled in size, I lightly floured a baking tray (so not to make too much washing up) and gently tipped the dough out onto the tray. Very gently knock back the bread and shape it into a smooth oval shape. Cover the baking tray with a clean tea towel and leave to prove again until it’s doubled in size.
I think my kitchen must have been warm because after 30 minutes the loaf had already doubled in size. The oven was preheated to 200C, 180C fan, Gas Mark 6.
It was time to make the topping (the bit that cracks). In a bowl mix together the yeast, vegetable oil, ground rice, sugar, salt and warm water until smooth. Using a palette knife smooth the mixture over the top and the sides of the loaf. Pop into the oven for 35 minutes until golden brown and the top is cracked and the base of the bread sounds hollow when you tap it.
Allow to cool on a baking tray, then eat…
My loaf was enormous, I couldn’t believe just how big it was and the topping was very quirky. A loaf I’ll definitely be making again, it’s a lot easier than it looks. We had huge slices of this with cheese and tomatoes bought from the local farm shop, delicious!
Disclaimer: No money exchanged hands, I treated the hamper as a gift and was delighted to accept the baking challenge.