If you like to bake bread, then I know you’re going to love this Dutch Crunch bread recipe!
When you think of San Francisco and bread, sourdough probably comes to mind. But did you know they are also known for a crunchy crusted, sweet, and crackly sandwich roll called Dutch Crunch Bread? Today I’m sharing an easy homemade recipe for this wonderful treat for your rolls or sandwich bread.
If you like baking bread then be sure to check out my other popular bread recipes:
Dutch Crunch Bread has many names
You may know this bread as Tiger Bread/Dutch Tiger Bread/Marco Polo Bread/ Giraffe Bread.
The name originates from a bread made in The Netherlands. It is often referred to as Tiger Bread because of the spotty striped appearance the bread has when it is baked. The crunch comes from a mixture of rice flour paste that is applied to the bread just before the bread bakes. When it cooks it crackles and creates a wonderfully crunchy crust.
San Francisco’s other favorite bread
San Francisco is famous for its sourdough bread. People say that the city’s foggy weather creates the special bacteria that give sourdough its unique taste. In most San Francisco Bay Area sandwich shops, you’ll see sourdough on the menu. You will often find another popular bread called the Dutch Crunch roll, as well.
Dutch Crunch rolls are great for sandwiches because they have a unique texture and flavor. The bread’s crunchy and slightly sweet crust, adds a delightful contrast to the soft interior. This combination of textures and flavors enhances the overall sandwich experience, making it a popular choice for sandwiches in the San Francisco Bay area and beyond.
A well-tested recipe from the area’s best!
This Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe comes from a popular bakery in Northern California. This little bread shop is tucked away between the Giant Redwoods and the Pacific Coast Shoreline in Eureka, CA. They make the most delicious Dutch Crunch bread rolls that are delivered daily to dozens of sandwich shops in the area.
I got the privilege of consulting with this bakeshop a while back and they agreed to share their recipe for this best-selling sandwich loaf recipe.
Here is the owner and head baker, Phil Burns, showing off some of his daily creations.
Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe
Here are the ingredients for making Dutch Crunch bread courtesy of The Mity Nice Bakery in Eureka, CA.
- Vegetable oil– Any unflavored oil will do. It adds moisture and helps create a crispy crust.
- Warm water– Make sure it is not hotter than 105° F- which is ideal for activating the active dry yeast.
- Unbleached bread flour- 25 oz. (or about 5 1/2 cups of flour)
- Active dry yeast– Used in both the bread dough and the rice paste to leaven the bread and create the characteristic Dutch Crunch topping.
- Warm milk– Whole milk is used to improve the flavor and texture of bread.
Here’s what you’ll need to make the rice paste for the crunchy topping
- Bread flour– Adds structure to the topping.
- Rice flour– The secret ingredient for creating the distinct crunchy texture on top of the bread.
- Active dry yeast– Helps create the crackle in the Dutch Crunch topping.
- Sugar-adds a touch of sweetness to the rice paste, balancing the flavors and contributing to the unique taste of Dutch Crunch bread.
- Salt– Provides the perfect contrast to the sweetness of this topping.
- Vegetable oil– Contributes to the signature crunch!
Step-by-Step Instructions to make this Dutch Crunch Bread recipe
Step 1. Making the Dough
The entire process takes about 2-3 hours, so start early in the day for best results.
In a small bowl, combine active dry yeast with warm water. Let it sit until frothy (about 5-10 minutes).
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook attachment, add all-purpose flour, bread flour, yeast mixture, and warm milk. Mix at medium speed until a soft, slightly sticky dough forms.
Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 hour).
Step 2. Preparing the Crunchy Topping
The signature crackle from the rice paste is achieved by mixing rice flour with yeast and letting it rest. Since rice flour has no gluten, the paste “breaks” instead of “stretches” over the surface of the bread.
I like to mix the rice paste while the bread dough is proofing. It allows the paste time to rest and proof before applying it to the loaves.
Here’s how to make the rice paste topping:
In a small bowl combine the oil and water. Set that mixture aside. In a medium bowl. Combine the bread flour, rice flour, yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the liquid to the dry and whisk until it becomes a smooth, thick paste. Allow the Dutch Crunch Paste to rest for about one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.
Step 3. Shaping and Baking
Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Punch down the risen dough and divide it into equal portions for your desired bread size. Shape each portion into a round or oval loaf and place them on the prepared baking tray.
Using a pastry brush, apply a thick generous layer of the rice paste on top of each loaf for the crunchy topping. Let the loaves rest for about 15 minutes.
Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the bread turns golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove the Dutch Crunch bread from the oven and transfer it to a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, slice and enjoy your homemade Dutch Crunch bread as a delicious base for sandwiches or on its own.
Dutch crunch also tastes great on any sourdough type of bread. Click here to learn to Make Your Own Sourdough Starter from Scratch
Dutch Crunch Bread
- 1 cup Warm water
- 1 cup Whole milk heated and cooled to 90 degrees
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 Tbsp Granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup Vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 Tbsp Active dry yeast
- 5 1/2 cups Unbleached bread flour
Dutch Crunch Paste
- 1/4 cup Bread flour
- 1/2 cup Rice flour
- 2 tsp Active dry yeast 1 packet
- 1 Tbsp Granulated sugar
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1/3 cup Water
- 2 Tbsp Vegetable oil
To make the bread dough
- Activate the yeast by dissolving it with warm milk and water. Add the sugar and stir until well dissolved. Let this sit for about 5 minutes until the yeast is bubbly.
- Mix the dough by adding the yeast mixture to the bowl of your mixer along with the salt, oil, and flour. Hold one cup of flour back- you'll add this later if needed. With your mixer on low begin mixing. When all of the flour is incorporated, turn the mixer up to medium speed. Knead for about three minutes. Watch for the dough to come together as one mass and stop sticking to the sides of the bowl. Add a little extra flour if it still looks sticky after 5 minutes of mixing.
- The dough is done when it is smooth and elastic. It should not be sticking to the sides.
- Let the dough rest by placing it in an oiled bowl and covering it with either plastic wrap or a towel.
To make the rice paste
- In a small bowl combine oil and water. Set aside.
- Combine bread flour, rice flour, yeast, sugar, and salt in a medium size bowl.
- Add the liquid to the dry and whisk until smooth.
- Allow the Dutch Crunch Paste to rest for at least one hour.
- To time this with your bread, Mix the paste just after you mix your bread dough.
- Apply Dutch Crunch paste to the loaf of bread when it is 2/3 proofed.
- To apply the paste, use a pastry bag or a spatula and generously spread a layer over the top of the loaf.
- Smooth paste so that it is evenly applied.
- Continue to bake as usual according to bread directions.
Shape and bake the rolls
- Preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C) and line a baking tray with parchment paper.Punch down the risen dough and divide it into 12 equal portions. Shape each portion into a round or oval loaf and place them on the prepared baking tray.
- Using a pastry brush, apply a thick generous layer of the rice paste on top of each loaf for the crunchy topping. Let the loaves rest for about 15 minutes.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until the bread turns golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove the Dutch Crunch bread from the oven and transfer it to a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, slice and enjoy your homemade Dutch Crunch bread as a delicious base for sandwiches or on its own.
Just check out this beautiful Sandwich made on the Mity Nice Bakery’s Dutch Crunch Sandwich Roll!