The Daring Bakers' March Challenge - Dutch Crunch

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!

The Baking JD's included a recipe for a soft white roll and it was fabulous.  
Soft and dense...just how I like my bread. 

I can't say the topping added anything for flavor to the bread, but it did provide a fun look for the top of the rolls.  Both parts of the recipes were easy to make and certainly something I would do again.

  Now for the sandwich....

I took inspiration from one of my favorite sandwiches at coffee shop down the street from my office.  
Cream cheese - sunflowers - roasted red pepper - red onion - 
cheddar cheese - cucumbers - turkey breast - avocado

To die for...really...I could eat this thing every day
I don't...because I'd end up soft and dense just like the bread...but you don't want to hear about that.  

Soft White Roll
     Makes six sandwich rolls

This recipe approximates the quintessential white sandwich roll found throughout the Bay Area. The recipe is simple, quick, and addictive.


1 packet (¼ oz) active dry yeast
¼ cup warm water (105-110º F) 
1 cup warm milk (105-110º F) 
1½ tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (plus additional oil for greasing bowl during rising)
1½ teaspoons salt
Up to 4 cups all purpose 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, as shown in the photo below (For us, this usually required an additional 1½ to 2 cups of flour).

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 2 equal portions (if you’d like to make a 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.

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 380º F for 25-30 minutes, until well browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack before eating.

Dutch Crunch Topping
     This recipe should make sufficient topping for two 9x5 loaves or 12 rolls.

2 packets (1/4 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105-115º F)
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
½ teaspoon salt
1½ 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.

Coat the top of each loaf or roll with a thick layer of topping. We tried coating it with a brush but it worked better just to use fingers or a spoon and kind of spread it around. You should err 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. With the Soft White Roll, you can place the rolls directly into the oven after applying the topping.

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