The Daring Bakers March Challenge - Dutch Crunch Bread Sandwiches

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!

Sara grew up in the Bay Area, but was dismayed when she moved away for college that Dutch Crunch bread is not usually available outside of Northern California. For many folks from the Bay Area, a sandwich just isn’t complete without Dutch Crunch bread. Technically, Dutch Crunch doesn’t refer to the type of bread, but rather the topping that is spread over the bread before baking. In Dutch it’s called Tijgerbrood or “tiger bread” after the tiger-like shell on the bread when it comes out of the oven. The final product has a delightful sweet crunch to it that makes it perfect for a sandwich roll. It’s a common option at sandwich shops all over the Bay Area and is often one of the first breads to run out.

As I am in my 'bread-baking-mode' the last weeks, this was a great challenge for me. I used the opportunity and made a braided loaf with the dough - which you can't unfortunately see because of the topping (but it was a good exercise nevertheless). The bread was very versatile - I used it for sweet and savoury dishes and it stayed fresh for a very long time - even after 5 days it tasted like day one with the little help from a toaster. Just keep an eye on the topping when it's resting - because of the large amount of yeast it rises really quick and much, so you should use a large bowl to prevent dough disasters - just catched mine in time before it could ran over ...
The bigger slices were used to make the sanwiches and the smaller ones were used in a bread and butter pudding with raspberries like this one, I served it with vanilla sauce. Yummy! For the sandwich 'construction' I decided for warm ingredients. I love warm stuff for breakfast, especially fried eggs and goat cream cheese wrapped in bacon or ham. So why don't put that onto this crunchy bread? A fabulous treat I took to work for lunch (and which saved the day).

Sandwich of Dutch Crunch Bread with goat cream cheese in smoked ham, lamb's lettuce and blueberry-dressing
Sandwich of Dutch Crunch Bread with fried egg & shrimps, tomatoes and iceberg lettuce

Dutch Crunch Bread
Servings: Six sandwich rolls or one large loaf


This recipe approximates the quintessential white sandwich roll found throughout the Bay Area. The recipe is simple, quick, and addictive.
  • 1 tablespoon (1 packet) (15 ml) (7 gm/ ¼ oz) active dry yeast 
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water 
  • 1 cup (240 ml) warm milk (
  • 1½ tablespoons (20 gm) sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil (plus additional olive or vegetable oil for greasing bowl during rising) 
  • 1½ teaspoons (9 gm) salt 
  • Up to 4 cups (600 gm/21oz) all purpose flour *
* I used 300g of all-purpose and 300g of wholemeal flour

In the bowl of an electric mixer or large mixing bowl, combine yeast, water, milk and sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit for about 5 minutes (The mixture should start to bubble or foam a bit and smell yeasty). Add in vegetable oil, salt and 2 cups of flour. Using the dough hook attachment or a wooden spoon, mix at medium speed until the dough comes together. 
Add remaining flour a quarter cup at time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled (or more) in size.
Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 6 equal portions (if you’d like to make rolls) or 5 equal portions (if you’d like to make a braided loaf) (using a sharp knife or a dough scraper works well). Shape each into a ball or loaf and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet (try not to handle the dough too much at this point). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes while you prepare the topping.

 Dutch Crunch Topping
Servings: This recipe should make sufficient topping for two 9x5 loaves (23cmx13cm) or 12 rolls. If you make only 6 rolls in the first soft white roll recipe, you can cut the topping recipe in half
  • 2 tablespoons (2 packets) active dry yeast 
  • 1 cup (240 ml) warm water 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 gm) sugar 
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil 
  • ½ teaspoon (3 gm) salt 
  • 1½ cups (240 gm) 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.

Coat the top of each roll or loaf with the topping as described above. While the original recipe recommends letting them stand for 20 minutes after applying the topping, I got better results by putting them directly into the oven. Once you’ve applied the topping, bake in a preheated moderately hot 380ºF/190°C/gas mark 5 for 25-30 minutes (or about 45 minutes for one loaf), until well browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack before eating.

 Sandwich with goat cream cheese in smoked ham, lamb's lettuce and blueberry-dressing

Blueberry dressing
  • 125 g blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard with honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamico vinegar (best it berry-flavoured)
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • sugar, pepper and salt to taste  
  • 45 goat cream cheese
  • 2-3 thin slices of bacon or smoked ham
  • a handful of lamb' lettuce
For the dressing, puree al ingredients in your kitchen machine. Add more olice oil if necessary and season with salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Press your goat cheese into a round shape, about 2 cm (one inch) high and wrapp it into the bacon/ham, there should be no more cheese visible when ready, or it will leak out when frying. Fry into a pan about 2-3 minutes each side, the bacon should be slightly brown and the cheese warm and soft. Put onto your bread slice, spred some dressing, add the lettuce and cover with the top slice. Eat when still warm.
Sandwich with fried egg & shrimps, tomatoes and iceberg lettuce
  • two eggs
  • 60 g cooked shrimps
  • salt and pepper
  • large tomato, thinly sliced
  • an iceberg lettuce leaf
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard with honey
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
Fry your eggs sunny-side up with the shrimps on top, season with salt and pepper. Mix the mustard with the mayonnaise and spread onto your bread slice. Put the tomato slices and the lettuce leaf on top and add another spread of mayonnaise and mustard before adding the top slice.


Melissa hat gesagt…

Your photography is faaaaabulous - and that blueberry dressing is a fantastic idea. I can't wait to try it!!

Sara Clark hat gesagt…

What unique and beautiful sandwiches! Your bread also looks divine. Thanks for joining us this month!