Daring Bakers – Dutch Crunch Bread

 Sara and Erica of Baking JDs were our March 2012 Daring Baker hostesses! Sara & Erica challenged us to make Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. Sara and Erica also challenged us to create a one of a kind sandwich with our bread!

Dutch Crunch Bread – I love the sound of that! Anything that has “crunch” in the title draws me to it. The Daring Bakers challenge this month was to make this type of bread which I had never heard of before. The pictures absolutely fascinated me!

Dutch Crunch Bread, also known as Tiger Bread (although in my case I think it looks more like a giraffe or a cheetah with all of those spots instead of stripes) is made from a regular white bread recipe and then coated with the Dutch Crunch topping.

You’ll have to excuse my first photo up there. I usually like to take a nice photo that showcases the recipe but I just didn’t have a lot of time and was planning to showcase the sandwiches that I constructed using the Dutch Crunch Bread. Anyway, I digress.

I didn’t have any trouble with the bread dough. It came together as it should and rose to the desired size in the expected time frame. I slathered it with the Dutch Crunch topping, which I have to admit reminded me a bit of the paper-mache days as a kid. I was curious as to whether the dough would “deflate” some with the topping on it, but it seems to hold its shape just fine.

At this point I wasn’t really sure what to expect. So many different varieties of the bread had been posted on the forum, some beautifully crackled and darkened, others pale with no cracks. There seemed to be uncertainty as to what was going to come out of the oven. I was pleasantly surprised when I cracked open the door and saw that there was crackling and browning on the outside of the crust. Since they came out of the oven pretty late in the evening we saved the sandwich rolls for lunch the next day.

Hot ham and Swiss sounded like a great combination on the day that I made sandwiches. Gooey, tangy Swiss cheese melted into Black Forest Ham. Yum! I’ll take one now, please. The bread reminded me a bit of a kaiser roll or a ciabatta bun. Not quite chewy like a kaiser and it crumbled a bit more than a ciabatta. It wasn’t sweet like it sounded like Dutch Crunch Bread is but it was a nice sandwich roll.

Since we only used 3 of the 6 rolls we put the leftovers in a ziploc bag for the next day. I didn’t want them drying out and becoming hard as rocks, but I’m not sure if having them in a somewhat air-tight package made their taste a little more blah. Kind of hard to describe, but I didn’t feel like the sandwiches the next day were as tasty. It could have also been that I didn’t warm up my roll like I did the day before. It seemed to crumble a lot more and was just a ho-hum kind of bread. Pretty, but not spectacular tasting.

Either way you slice it, these sandwich rolls were fun to make and pretty fun to eat! I’m thinking I’ll try them again to see if there is another bread recipe I like better with the Dutch Crunch topping. Enjoy!

Dutch Crunch Topping
(layer on any white bread recipe you’d like to)

2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115º F)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or sesame oil)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups rice flour (white or brown; NOT sweet or glutinous rice flour)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a whisk; beat hard to combine. The consistency should be like stiff royal icing – spreadable, but not too runny. If you pull some up with your whisk it should drip off slowly. Add more water or rice flour as necessary. Let stand 15 minutes.

Using a brush, spoon, or your fingers, coat the top of each loaf or roll with a thick layer of topping and spread it around. (Error on the side of applying too much topping – a thin layer will not crack properly.)

Let stand, uncovered, for any additional time your recipe recommends.

When baking, place pans on a rack in the center of the oven and bake your bread as you ordinarily would. The Dutch Crunch topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown color.


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