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San Francisco Style Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe

This Dutch crunch bread recipe makes the best sandwich rolls with the perfect balance of softness and crunch!

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. 

Be sure to check out my other popular sandwich bread recipes:

Copycat Dave’s Killer Bread Recip

Subway Style Italian Herb and Cheese Bread

9 Grain Honey Oat Bread


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.

Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe

San Francisco bakery shares their Dutch crunch bread recipe

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 answer some questions and share their recipe for this best-selling sandwich loaf recipe.

How is Dutch crunch bread made?

Dutch crunch bread is made by applying a sweet rice flour paste to the top of the bread dough. When it’s baked, the topping cracks and creates a crunchy texture. 

💡Pro Tip-  Phil at Mity Nice Bakery recommends mixing the rice paste mixture when you mix the bread dough, and applying it to the loaves immediately after shaping them. This helps get the best crackle!

What is Dutch crunch paste made from?

The sweet, crispy crunch of Dutch crunch bread begins with a paste made of rice flour, brown sugar, vegetable oil, yeast, water, and salt. The recipe for Dutch crunch paste can be found at the bottom of this post in the recipe card. 

Is Dutch Crunch better on rolls or bread?

When it comes to Dutch Crunch, rolls are the way to go for maximum crunch. The magic of the crunchy topping really shines when you bite into a roll. But when it’s spread on bread, the crunch-to-bread ratio just doesn’t quite stack up.

Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe

Preparing to make Dutch crunch rolls

Heads up! This recipe needs a bit of planning – you’ll need to get things started a day ahead of your baking schedule. But trust me, the wait will be worth it when you taste the incredible flavor and texture of the final product!

Here’s what you’ll need to make Dutch crunch rolls

  •  Stand mixer with a dough hook attachment (since this dough can get sticky, it’s tough to knead by hand)
  •  Large mixing bowl for proofing the dough
  •  Silicone bread mold (optional, but it helps to get the perfect loaf shape)
  • Baking sheet for baking the bread
  • Plastic wrap or a tea towel to cover the dough while it rises

With these tools in hand, you’ll be all set to bake up some San Francisco-style Dutch crunch bread!

 Dutch crunch bread recipe: step-by-step

Step 1: Make a poolish starter the night before 

A poolish starter is a type of pre-ferment used in bread making. It’s made by combining equal parts flour and water with a small amount of yeast and allowing it to ferment for a certain period of time, usually overnight or up to 16 hours. This starter adds flavor, improves texture, and enhances the rise of the bread.

For this recipe, we’re going to mix a starter by combining flour, water, and yeast in a bowl. Let this mixture sit at room temperature overnight. 

Step 2:Start the bread dough in the morning

When you’re ready to bake, just add the poolish starter and the remaining bread dough ingredients to your stand mixer. To achieve the desired smooth and elastic consistency of the dough, I suggest using a stand mixer instead of attempting to knead it by hand.

Step 3: Combine the ingredients for the rice paste mixture 

Stir the paste ingredients together thoroughly until they form a smooth, thick batter. This mixture will be the key to achieving that signature crunchy crust on your Dutch crunch bread. Make sure there are no lumps, as a smooth consistency will ensure an even coating on the bread. 

Step 4: Shape and top your Dutch crunch rolls

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a baguette shape. Next, take a brush and apply a generous layer of the rice paste mixture onto the top surface of each roll. Ensure the paste covers the entire top surface evenly, as this will result in that characteristic crunchy crust once baked.

Cut the baguette into 3rds to create 9 sandwich rolls. 

Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving some space between each one to allow for rising. Once all the rolls are coated and arranged, cover them lightly with plastic wrap and let them rise until they double in size.

Step 5: Proof and bake the rolls

Once the rolls have doubled in size, it’s time to proof and bake them. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. While the oven heats up, carefully uncover the risen rolls. They should now appear puffy and expanded. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the rolls until they develop a golden-brown crust and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped, around 15-20 minutes.

Keep an eye on them to prevent over-browning. Once baked, remove the rolls from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy your freshly baked Dutch crunch rolls with their irresistible crunchy exterior and soft, fluffy interior!

Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe

Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe

Dutch Crunch Sandwich Bread Recipe

A Crunchy crusted, sweet and crackly bread roll perfect for sandwiches.
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Prep Time: 3 hours
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 9 rolls


Poolish Starter

  • 1/3 cup Water, lukewarm 66g
  • 1/2 cup Bread Flour 66g
  • 1/8 Tsp Yeast, active dry or instant

Bread Dough

  • 3 cups Bread Flour 360g
  • 1 cup Water,lukewarm 234g
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar, divided 36g
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt 10g
  • 2 1/4 tsp Yeast, 1 pack active dry or instant 7g
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable oil 18g

Dutch Crunch Paste Topping

  • 1 Tbsp Warm water
  • 2 Tbsp Rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp Instant yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vegetable oil


Starter Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, combine 1/3 cup of water (or weigh out 66 grams) with 1/2 cup of bread flour (or weigh out 66 grams). Sprinkle in 1/8 teaspoon of yeast.
  • Stir the mixture until well combined and there are no lumps. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the starter rest at room temperature overnight or for at least 8-12 hours.

Bread Dough Instructions

  • The following day: In a small bowl, combine a cup of warm water with the active dry yeast and 1 Tbsp. of sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy. While you are waiting, measure the flour, salt, and oil and set aside.
  • Combine the dry ingredients and the yeast mixture along with the poolish starter, remaining sugar, and oil, in the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix with the dough hook attachment until they come together into a rough dough. 3 minutes on low speed. There should be no dry ingredients remaining on the bottom of the bowl. Continue to knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. About 8 minutes. (the dough may still be a little sticky at this point, but resist the urge to add more flour)
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours
  • Next mix the Dutch crunch paste. In a medium bowl, combine the water, rice flour, yeast, brown sugar, salt, and oil to form a paste. Cover the bowl and allow the paste to proof along with the dough.
  •  Punch down the risen dough and divide it.  To do this, lightly flour your work surface and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces of dough. If you are using a food scale each piece should weigh about 10 ounces.
  • Shape the dough into baguette shapes. Use a pastry brush to top each baguette with the Dutch crunch topping.
  • After the topping has been added, cut each baguette into 3 equal size pieces. place them in the Silicone Bread Mold, or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the shaped dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise again until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.
  •  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190°C). Once the dough has risen, bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.


This delicious bread is best enjoyed the same day it's baked for optimal freshness. However, if you find yourself with extras, store them in an airtight container or a sealed ziplock bag to maintain moisture and prevent staling.

Just check out this beautiful Sandwich made on the Mity Nice Bakery’s Dutch Crunch Sandwich Roll!