This month’s Daring Bakers Challenge was Dutch Crunch Rolls, and it was the first challenge that made me feel like a real baker. I’d never made sandwich rolls before, and they turned out perfectly. The dough didn’t give me any trouble; they rose just as advertised; and their interiors were bakery-quality.
Dutch Crunch Rolls are variety of bread most frequently found in the San Francisco area, from what I gather. The unbaked rolls are coated with kind of a paste made with yeast and rice flour, which hardens and cracks as the bread bakes and gives the rolls a distinctive look. The Dutch call it Tijgerbrood, or tiger bread, although mine looked more giraffe-spotted than tiger-striped.
Whatever you’d like to call them, these rolls were wonderful and really pretty simple. I’ll make them again.
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 recipe for the Dutch Crunch topping came from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s “The Bread Bible.” The recipes for the breads we’ve suggested came from “The Bread Bible” and an adaptation of a recipe found on Baking Bites.
Soft White Roll
Makes six sandwich rolls
1 tablespoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (No need to use a thermometer; it should feel between lukewarm and hot to the touch).
1 cup warm milk
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (plus additional olive or vegetable oil for greasing bowl during rising)
1 1/2 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 (I needed an extra 1 1/2 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. Shape each into a ball 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
1 tablespoons (1 packet) active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup 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, as shown below, 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. You should err on the side of applying too much topping; a thin layer will not crack properly. Once you’ve applied the topping, bake in a preheated 380-degree oven for 25-30 minutes, until well browned. The topping should crack and turn golden brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack before eating.
The second part of the challenge was to make a delicious sandwich, which meant sandwich night at the Butterscotch Sundae house! The kids had peanut butter and honey on their Dutch Crunch Rolls, and Rockford had leftover Alice Springs chicken on his.
Chicken, cheese and bacon is hard to beat on a sandwich, but I did my very best. I had bacon, lettuce and avocado on mine.
I think this was my favorite Daring Bakers Challenge so far. And this was definitely our tastiest sandwich night in a long time!