Tiger / giraffe buns – Dutch crunch bread

A gorgeous crunchy, crackling top with a soft and fluffy interior is what makes this bun so special!

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Writing the name for this recipe was a challenge cause its known with so many different names – dutch crunch bread due to its origin in Netherlands, tijgerbrood ( if sold as a loaf) or tiigerbolletjes (if sold as buns), tiger buns though later corrected as giraffe buns as the spots on the bread resemble the skin pattern found on a giraffe than on a tiger after it was pointed out by a 3 year old girl!!

So, what is this bread? Its basically a soft white bread covered with a paste of rice flour, oil, sugar and yeast which gives it a unique flavour, taste and that incredible pattern. As rice flour lacks gluten, during the second proofing when the bread/buns rises, the paste stretches and then on baking, its crisps and crackles.

In my opinion, it’s a perfect carrier for a burger or as I did with dabeli – to add another layer of crunch besides masala peanuts and pomegranates seeds. The satisfying crunch makes it such a drool worthy bread, you will be tempted to pick off the skin and relish the crunch on its own, just as my 8-year-old did 🙂

The bun recipe itself is fairly simple one, it’s the usual white bun, soft and fluffy. The trickier part however is the paste part. I made these buns several times, every time learning something new until I had the one, I was most satisfied with. So, sharing here with you some of the lessons I learnt while baking these buns:

  1. I have tried this technique on a whole wheat as well as on a multigrain bun. Though it tasted crunchy and delicious, it just didn’t have that beautiful pattern I was looking for. However, the crackles were more pronounced with the gorgeous giraffe pattern on a white bun as it expanded more with better volume due to higher presence of gluten.
  2. Use an enriched dough (I have used butter + cream) while baking these buns as the contrast is absolutely to die for. Just imagine a crispy, crunchy bite giving way to a soft, pillowy goodness!
  3. I preferred this technique on a bun rather than a loaf as it was easier to spread and it held the structure well.
  4. Be supremely gentle while spreading the paste as we do not want to deflate the puffy and delicate bun and thereby ending up with a dense bread.
  5. Take the ingredients listed under paste as a guidance. Depending on the rice flour, you may need to adjust the consistency of the paste. If it’s too thick, add water; if too runny, add flour. What you are looking for is a consistency similar to that of a glue. It should be thick but spreadable and not runny. Do check the consistency of the paste given in the picture below.
  6. Timing is also of an essence in baking these buns. Preparing the paste, applying it and putting in the oven for baking at a right time is critical. The time of 30 minutes for second proofing is an approximate here as the factors like heat, humidity, flour impact the ultimate product.
  7. Lastly, to get that dark brown effect on the crackled pattern, broil the buns for 1-4 minutes. Again, take this time as a guidance as each oven is different. Mine were ready in just few seconds over 3 minutes. You may need to check the buns at an interval of 30 seconds after the first minute to ensure it is stunning coffee brown and not burnt. I would also recommend turning your tray in the oven for the uniformity of colour and crackle.

I hope you are now excitedly looking forward to making this recipe as I am to share with you and do check the video to hear the crackle!!

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Let me know how this recipe turned out for you by writing to me in the comments below. And if you take a picture, please tag me on my instagram handle @acookwithin to share your creation😊 It would make my day!

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6 thoughts on “Tiger / giraffe buns – Dutch crunch bread”

  1. hi hema, u have used instant dry yeast which can be put in the drought directly however u have let it bloom like normal dry yeast and then used it …any particular reason for the same.

    1. Hi Megha, a good question! I have learnt from a lot of ‘waste’ from the past to always proof any commercial yeast before using. This way you are sure to know the potency of the yeast and not ending up throwing a whole lot of ingredients in a dustbin later.

    1. Hello Sonal, I did not check in grams while baking this bread so cant give you precise measurement in that. I used a standard US cup size if that helps.

  2. Beautiful bun!
    Thanks for sharing recipe. May I know where to get Malai orcif it could be replaced with cream cheese, whipping cream etc?

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