Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Baking JDs' Challenge: Dutch Crunch Bread

We were very excited to host the Daring Bakers challenge this month! For our challenge, we chose a San Francisco Bay Area classic: Dutch crunch bread. 

Sara and I each spent a fair amount of time reading and testing bread recipes, and picking two to suggest to the Daring Bakers. Ultimately, however, the focus of our challenge was the Dutch crunch topping on any bread and a creative sandwich made out of the finished product.

To celebrate hosting the challenge, we decided to throw a party at Sara's apartment -- incidentally on St. Patrick's Day. Everyone dutifully wore at least a little green.

We both baked 12 Dutch crunch rolls, using the simple white bread recipe we'd provided to the group and, of course, the Dutch crunch topping. I also baked some special treats for dessert: Irish carbomb cupcakes from smitten kitchen.

When our guests arrived, we laid out our sandwich spread -- meats, cheeses, vegetables, pickles, and more -- which Sara and Will had kindly picked up earlier in the day.

We took pictures of as many sandwiches as we could. Plus Sara's delicious chickpea side salad. Quite a lot of variety in the group!

 Silence settled in the room as everyone chowed down, enjoying their sandwiches and some out-of-season Christmas Ale courtesy of TJ. And after that, a cupcake.

It was a lot of fun to host a challenge after participating in the Daring Bakers for almost 4 years. We hope everyone else enjoyed it as much as we did. This month, we decided to share our recipes with you. Happy baking!

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!

Preparation time:
Dutch Crunch Topping: 15 minutes active time, 15 minutes passive time
Soft White Roll: 20 minutes active time, 2 hours passive time
Brown Rice Bread: less than 1 hour active time; 2-3 hours passive time

Equipment required:
Small bowl
2 large bowls, or a large bowl and a stand-mixer bowl
Stand mixer with paddle (or whisk) and dough-hook attachments (optional)
Wooden and regular spoon(s)
Knife or dough cutter/scraper (optional, depending on your recipe)
Bread pan(s) or baking tray(s)
Plastic wrap or something else to cover the dough while it rises

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.

You should not prepare the topping until the bread you’ve selected to bake is almost finished rising (~15 minutes from baking).

2 tablespoons (2 packets) (30 ml) (15 gm/½ oz) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) warm water (105-115º F) (41-46°C)
2 tablespoons (30 ml) (30 gm/1 oz) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
½ teaspoon (2½ ml) (3 gm) salt
1½ cups (360 ml) (240 gm/8½ oz) rice flour (white or brown; NOT sweet or glutinous rice flour)
(increase by 1 cup or more for home-made rice flour)

1. 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.

2. 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.
3. 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. With the Brown Rice Bread, the loaves should stand for 20 minutes with the topping before baking.
4. When baking, place pans on a rack in the center of the oven and bake your bread as you ordinarily would.  The Dutch crunch topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown color.

Soft White Roll
Servings:  Six sandwich rolls

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 (105-110º F) (41-43°C) (No need to use a thermometer – it should feel between
lukewarm and hot to the touch).
1 cup (240 ml) warm milk (105-110º F) (41-43°C) (We’ve tried both nonfat and 2%, with no noticeable
1½ tablespoons (22½ ml) (20 gm/ ⅔ oz) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil (plus additional olive or vegetable oil for greasing bowl during rising)
1½ teaspoons (7½ ml) (9 gm/⅓ oz) salt
Up to 4 cups (960 ml) (600 gm/21oz) all purpose flour

1. 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).
2. 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. (The photo to the right is with the first 2 cups of flour added).

3. 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).

4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
5. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled (or more) in size (see photo comparison).

6. 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).
7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes while you prepare the topping.
8. 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.
9. Once you’ve applied the topping, bake in a preheated moderately hot 380ºF/190°C/gas mark 5 for 25-30 minutes, until well browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack before eating.7

Brown Rice Bread
Servings:  Two 9x5 inch (23cmx13cm) loaves

If you’re up for more of a challenge, this recipe creates an interesting bread that incorporates cooked brown
rice—something that was new to us. The resulting loaf has, as Hensperger describes, a “nubbly” texture and a
very light almost-sweetness to it. Great for toasting.

1 cup (240 ml) warm water (105-115ºF) (41-46°C)
2 tablespoons (2 packets) (30 ml) (15 gm/½ oz) active dry yeast
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm) sugar or honey (we used sugar, which worked great)
1 cup (240 ml) warm buttermilk  (105-115 ºF) (41-46°C)
½ cup (120 ml) honey
¼ cup (60 ml) vegetable oil (plus additional olive or vegetable oil for greasing bowl during rising)
1 tablespoon (15 ml) (20 gm/⅔ oz) salt
2 cups (480 ml) (200 gm/7 oz) cooked and cooled short-grain brown rice
5½ -6 cups (1440 ml) (840 gm/30 oz) unbleached all-purpose flour or bread flour

1. Pour the warm water in a small bowl. Sprinkle yeast and sugar over surface. Stir to dissolve and let stand at room temperature until foamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl using a whisk or in the work bowl of a heavy-duty mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the buttermilk, honey, oil, and salt. Add the rice and beat until smooth.

3. Add the yeast mixture and 2 cups flour. Beat hard until smooth for 3 minutes.
4. Add the flour, ½ cup at a time, until a soft, bulky dough that just clears the side of the bowl is formed.
5. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth and springy, about 5 minutes, dusting with flour 1 Tbsp. at a time as needed to prevent sticking. This dough will be slightly sticky. If kneading by machine, switch from the paddle to the dough hook and knead for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the dough is smooth and springy and springs back when pressed.  If desired, transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead briefly by hand.
6. Place the dough in a greased deep bowl. Turn the dough once to coat the top and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, 1½ to 2 hours.

7. Gently deflate the dough. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.  Grease two 9-by-5-inch (23-by-13 cm) loaf pans. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions. Form the portions into loaves. Let rest 15 minutes.
8. Coat the top of each loaf with the topping as described above, including letting them stand, uncovered, 20 minutes, until dough rises level with the tops of the pans.

9. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat the oven to moderately hot 380ºF/190°C/gas mark 5. Place the pans on a rack in the center of the oven and bake 45 to 50 minutes or until brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped with your finger. Transfer the loaves to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing

Storage & Freezing Instructions/Tips: Store as you would any bread – in a bread box, a paper bag, or loose plastic wrap. Both varieties suggested are best in the first couple of days. The loaves or rolls can also be frozen in plastic – simply toast to reheat.

Recipe Sources: 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.


Deeba PAB said...

LOVED IT! I have never made a prettier bread, and tasty as well! Thank you for hosting the challenge! It was inspirational!

Bryt said...

What an awesome challenge! I had a blast making the bread, and to find the recipe for that crackle top made my day :) Thanks!!

Sarah said...

Your party looks so fun! Thank you for hosting this month's challenge!

Susie Bee on Maui said...

Looks like a fun time! Great challenge, thanks for hosting.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for a fun challenge!

Jeanne said...

Thanks for hosting a fun and delicious challenge! This is my new favorite sandwich bread, and I can't wait to try a few more variations of the recipe. Oh, and those car bomb cupcakes sound wonderful too!

shelley c. said...

Thank you so much for his fun challenge! I had never heard of Dutch Crunch bread before, and I am so glad to have tried it! And, can I just say, that sandwich party, with the rolls and the whole array of sandwich options looks like SO much fun - what a great idea!! Thanks again for being great hosts!

Pavithra Elangovan said...

Loved this challenge a lot. Absolutely loved this new technique and thanks for introducing this to us. I really enjoyed making and offcourse eating my sandwich:)

Renata said...

Sara and Erica, definitely one of the best challenges so far. I absolutely loved it! Totally new to me! I didn't mind having to make my own rice flour, I do enjoy making everything from scratch! I was very surprised at the deliciousness of this topping and how beautiful it turned out! Thanks for the fun challenge!

Rajani said...

Thanks for hosting this month's challenge. Your party looks so fun :-)

Marcellina said...

Thank you for hosting and commenting on my post! It must have been such fun preparing to host by having a party! What a great idea. BTW thank you for introducing us to this great bread - my family LOVED it!

Todd M said...

Wonderful challenge - Can't say mine looked that great but it was a lot of fun and tasted great. Love the sandwich party.

Korena said...

Such a fun challenge, thanks for introducing Dutch crunch to the masses! A sandwich party - what a fun idea!!

chef_d said...

Thank you for hosting this challenge! It was both fun and delicious. I love the idea of a sandwich spread, great job! And the cupcakes look yummy too :)

liana said...

Thank you for the fun and interesting challenge, I will make this recipe again for sure!

Melanie A. said...

Thank you very much for this challenge, it was very fun to do!

Karoleenah said...

Thank you so much for a great challenge, it was a lot of fun! :)

Lucie said...

Thank you for such a great challenge :-)

zazacook said...

Thank you so much for this fun and marvellous challenge :) Your Dutch Crunch rolls looks delicious! A sandwich party is really a great idea!!!!!
Bravo et merci :)

Hannah Grunzke said...

I love the sandwich bar- looks great! This challenge was really fun since I'd never heard of the bread before. It's been an easy way to amaze my friends-apparently this bread was completely foreign to us Minnesotans. Not anymore! I've made it four times!

Bourbonnatrix said...

thank you so much for hosting this month's challenge! i had a blast, and i'm sure i'll be making the tiger rolls again, as they were a huge hit here! (PS, that sandwich table looks terrific!)

Lacy @ NYCityEats said...

Your rolls look incredible! This was such a great challenge, I had never heard of dutch crunch before this! That is quite a spread, I'd have a hard time not putting it all on one sandwich! :)

mireia badia said...

Thanks so much for hosting this month!!! Your result looks perfect and so do the sandwiches!

Melissa said...

Thank you again for hosting and giving me a push to get into learning about bread... and it's always a good sign when silence falls on the room^ yours look great! :)

kouky said...

Merci Erica et Sara pour ce superbe défi! ça été merveilleux de découvrir ce délicieux pain avec vous!! ton français est vraiment parfait!!
bonne soirée!

Vicky said...

Thanks for a great challenge! Really loved it -- and I had never tried bread like it before!

Jo said...

Thank you for this challenge (my third ever challenge!) loved the fact the recipe was so versatile and could be used on many types of bread...will definitely be experimenting more!

Cynthia said...

Lisa and Sara you rock! It was a great challenge...and seriously tasty! The Dutch Crunch was so cool; thank you so much for introducing me to something completely new. Your sandwich party looks amazing - yum!

Sharyn DImmick said...

That Irish car bomb recipe -- both for the drink and the cupcake -- is truly frightening. Thanks for hosting the challenge and for your cheering me on.

Neha said...

Thnx Sara and Erica...This is probably the best bread i've ever baked or rather seen before...

Sihi said...

Thank you for hosting the challenge. It was my first and I enjoyed every moment of it. Thanks again!!

sandie said...

Thanks for a great challenge. This was a big hit at our house! Best, Sandie

Carol Anne @ Rock Salt said...

Thanks so much for a great challenge, I learned loads AND had two good results. A winner all round!

Jane said...

Thanks Sara and Erica for this challenge. I have been looking for a successful Dutch Crunch recipe for a while and yours was, as Tony the Tiger would say, grrrrreat!

JM said...

Man, what a spread! *stomach rumbles* Thank you so much for this challenge. I really loved it. I never would have thought making a true Dutch Crunch at home would be possible!

simple baking said...

LOVE your challenge! such a gorgeous bread. We've never heard of it in India. But now at my place evryone raves abt it :)

El Pasticcio said...

This challenge was great fun!! I loved the bread and the nice topping...I never tried this before, so i'm very happy to had the opportunity to learn something new...and delicious!!!

Esther said...

Sara & Erica,

Thank you for the challenge! The dutch crunch bread was on my list of recipes to find and try. They turned out great.

I also joined DB when I started my first year of law school! I'm currently a 2L. :)

Cakelaw said...

Thanks for this interesting challenge - I had always wondered how they made tiger bread. I am in San Fran for 2 days in June - I will have to look out for the Dutch crunch bread!

Stitch1Peta said...

Thanks for a great challenge

Cher Rockwell said...

Great challenge! Thanks for coming up with this one.
(I think I left another comment on the wrong post - duh, me)

Michelle K said...

Thanks again for hosting this fun challenge!

Suz said...

So many sandwich fillings! That looks like the best party in the world.

Thanks so much for hosting this month! I really, really enjoyed the Dutch crunch rolls. Such a great recipe.

Irina said...

Thank you for this challenge- I love Tiger bread and even though mine wasn't quite like the one I buy, finding out how it comes out this way and making it myself was so much fun!

Jana said...

Thanks for this challenge. I loved it and am sure, I'll be making it in the future more often. :-)

Audax said...

Thank you so much for the intriguing challenge I love it so much. I finally worked out how to brown the topping and the taste is outstanding. Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

TugsGirl said...

Thank you for such a successful first challenge (for me)! Your party looks awesome - what a great idea!

Sawsan said...

Thank you so much for an amazing challenge, it was fun and the result simply amazing

Shilpa Shinde said...

An amazing challenge... Loved the taste and look of the bread... It's just brilliant!

Anonymous said...
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Eileen said...

it was a fun challenge that turned out well for me. thanks and have a great day