Tiger (or should that be Giraffe??) Bread

image Making bread is my new favourite thing. I LOVE it. It’s possible I love it even more than making cakes. I am fascinated by the science and magic behind making your own bread – I never get tired of watching the dough rise! Maybe I need to get out more. This tiger bread is just divine fresh from the oven spread with butter, but it also keeps very well for a good few days. It toasts beautifully. Make this and I promise you, you’ll never buy supermaket tiger bread again!

Tiger Bread
500g strong white flour 7g sachet fast action yeast 8g salt 8g sugar 200ml water 100ml milk (not skimmed) 25g butter

For the sesame paste: you will have more sesame paste than you actually need here, but in my experience I find it is not really worth halving the recipe because it keeps very well in an airtight container for up to one week. Once you make this bread you’ll no doubt have requests to make it again so it shouldn’t be too much of a problem!

7g sachet fast action yeast About 100ml warm water 2 1/2 tsp sugar 1/4 tsp salt 2 tsp sesame oil 60g rice flour Mix the above ingredients together until you have a smooth, thickish but pourable paste. Add the water slowly, but if you think you’ve added too much just add a little more flour. Tip all of the ingredients into a large bowl or stand mixer fitted with a dough hook (keep the salt and yeast at separate sides of the bowl.) Gently heat the milk, water and butter in a small pan. Keep the heat low and don’t let the mixture get hot. Once the butter starts to melt, take it off the heat and stir until the butter is completely melted. The liquid should be no warmer than a baby’s bath water temperature. Pour this into the dry ingredients and mix to form a rough dough. Knead by hand for at least 10 minutes until the dough is very bouncy and elastic or knead in a stand mixer for 5-7 minutes. Turn the dough into an lightly oiled bowl and leave to prove for one-two hours or until doubled in size. Tip out onto a lightly floured work surface and lightly knead for a minute. Using one hand, stretch the dough out away from you. Fold the part you just stretched back into the middle. Turn the dough a little and repeat the stretching.This is giving your loaf stability and support so it will rise rather than spread out into a flat shape. Once the dough feels tight, cradle the dough in your hands and smooth and shape into a neat, tight ball. image Pop on a lightly floured baking tray and using a palette knife, evenly smooth the sesame paste on the top and sides of the loaf, taking care not to deflate the dough. The paste needs to be thick enough that it doesn’t trickle off the dough. Leave to prove uncovered for about 45 minutes or until doubled in size and springs back immediately when pressed lightly. Bake at 220C for ten minutes, then turn down temperature to 200C and bake for a further 20-30 minutes or until golden brown and the loaf sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Leave to cool slightly on a wire rack before devouring! image

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