Tiger Buns

Tiger Buns


One of my favorite breakfast buns, the tiger bun, the one that owes its name to the crunchy crust with the pattern of a tiger skin.

Not that long ago, every Sunday morning we went to a Belgian bakery (Belgium is just around the corner and this bakery is known for its wonderful bread and pastries) and bought all kinds of breads and buns too consume at breakfast the same morning. The Belgian buns are mainly known for their fluffy texture and are therefore popular with both young and old. Especially the children, we could therefore not make them happier than present them a basket full of fresh Belgian buns that still were warm and which made every Sunday morning a party for them. This wasn’t a celebration (as we call it) only for the children, but also for us every Sunday morning itself was clearly a delight and I can assure you that at that time, a vast amount of buns were consumed.

The weekly trip to the Belgian bakery is well and truly over already for a while now, after all, since a few years I always prepare my breakfast bread and buns myself. For me, the Sunday morning breakfast is even more special like this, thanks to the super fresh, straight from the oven served bread, apart from the visit to the bakery of which we’re set free since then. The soft bread will never lack our breakfast table however, and I that’s why I always try to match this fine taste of Belgian footing as much as possible. In addition, I always seek to variate as much as I can with the type of bread that I prepare. After all, the breakfast party should remain as varied and inviting as can be.

Today I kept my myself busy with preparing tiger buns. This bun was and still is one of my most favorite bun beneath the buns. This bun is named after the tiger pattern on the top that is created by greasing it with a ‘tiger paste’ (which is no more and no less a paste of water, flour, yeast and very little sugar) before baking it and then, after rising, is initially baked with the use of steam. Besides the creation of the famous tiger pattern, the crust will also become pleasantly crunchy by following this procedure. In addition (Belgian) tenderness should not lack of course. First this is achieved by the long rising time of the dough and secondly, by baking the bun a little bit longer after the steaming process has finished. By using this technique, it will get its explicit and specific taste that clearly invites you to go ahead and enjoy.

By itself, the cooking time of the bun is relatively quite short, it just needs some time to prepare (approx. 1 hour) and rise (approx. 2½ hours). Maybe this will be an obligation to get up early on a Sunday morning, but don’t let this hold you back to prepare the buns yourself, after all, little to nothing is more pleasant than the smell of fresh bread that spreads throughout your house once it sits in the oven. In addition, you also save yourself a trip to the bakery. Do you prefer to stay in your bed another hour or so? Tiger buns are also too good to be missed at brunch or lunch, so all the more reason not to restrain yourself either.




Recipe Tiger Buns

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 12 Pcs

Recipe Tiger Buns


  • 500 gr white bread flour
  • 12 gr instant yeast
  • 25 gr flour improver
  • 300 ml luke warm water
  • 8 gr salt
  • Tiger topping
  • 125 ml water
  • 20 gr semolina (durum flour)
  • 4 gr sugar
  • 3 gr instant yeast
  • 3 ml luke warm water (½ tsp)


  1. Mix all the dough ingredients, EXCEPT THE SALT, in the bowl of your standmixer and mix with the dough hook on low speed for approx. 3 minutes.
  2. Add salt en mix for 5 minutes until an elastic dough.
  3. Grease a bowl with some oil and transfer the dough to it, cover with plastic wrap and leave to rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
  4. In the meantime, prepare your tiger topping.
  5. Heat water (125 ml) and the semolina in a saucepan and stir until a thick paste.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and add the yeast, sugar and ½ teaspoon of luke warm water and stir well. Set aside and leave to cool until room temperature.
  7. Remove the dough from the bowl and devide it into 12 equal parts of 70-75 gr each.
  8. Turn each part into a smooth ball by putting it on a wooden cutting board, covering it with the palm of your hand and then shuffle it around carefully until smooth (this needs a little practice).
  9. Cover the balls with a damp towel and leave to rest for 25-30 minutes (leave them on the cutting board).
  10. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  11. Again smoothen the balls with the same technique and transfer them to the baking sheet.
  12. Grease the upper side of each ball with a thick layer of tiger topping.
  13. Grease some plastic wrap with a a little bit of sunflower oil and then cover the baking sheet with it (greasing the plastic wrap will prevent the tiger topping sticking to it, for that's not what it's supposed to do).
  14. Leave to rise for 1 hour at room temperature.
  15. Preheat your oven to 230°C or 445°F
  16. Poor some water into a baking dish, put it on the bottom of your oven so it will start bubbling/steaming (this will cause a steamy effect which provides the buns with the typical crunchy crust and pattern).
  17. As soon as the water bubbles, lower the oven temperature to 200°C or 390°F and bake the buns for 12 minutes.
  18. After 12 minutes, remove the baking dish with water from your oven.
  19. Bake the buns for another 8 minutes (so without steam).
  20. Allow them to cool and then serve immediately.


Note!! The preparation time is without 2½ hrs of rising time


2 Comments on “Tiger Buns

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *