Daring Bakers Challenge – Crackled Loaves with Dutch Crunch Topping

This month’s challenge was to make bread with the Dutch Crunch Topping. The highlight of the challenge is the topping which gives bread its signature ‘crackled’ look when baked.

“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!”

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.

Recipe Source: 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 bakingbites.com

The main ingredient in the Dutch Crunch Topping is Rice Flour. This flour is a staple in Indian households, more so in South Indian households. So diving into this challenge made it a snap with all the ingredients on hand. 

NOTE: I followed the recipes as they were provided except I added 1/2 tbsp of Hot Sesame Oil to the Dutch Crunch Topping which helped the tops brown up nicely to give the tiger/giraffe effect. 

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
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.

We’ve provided this recipe first because it is the mandatory aspect of the challenge. Note, however, that 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)

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.

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 difference)
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 below 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. 

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.

I used the rolls to make one of our favourite sandwiches, its light and refreshing. Cut the rolls in half, slather with home-made Basil Walnut Pesto, top with sliced cucumbers and tomatoes, season with a little salt and pepper. Top with a light dusting of parmesan and place top half of roll. Nothing fancy or one-of-a-kind, but we are not big on sandwiches and stick to the simple stuff. The Dutch Crunch was super delicious and the roll had a slight chew to it.

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.

Spicy Avocado & Carrot Chapatis

Spring seems to be finally here; hiccupping on its way here since it’s been warm, cold, rainy and freezing all in one week. I enjoy watching the squirrels chase after one another in my back yard and birds chirping and flying into my patio. I do pity my plants this time though because some of them budded prematurely thinking Spring is here a few weeks ago when we had very warm weather and all of a sudden temps dipped putting the plants in a state of well, confusion! To bud or not to bud..! I think nature has its own way of setting things right, plants included. 

A friend had us over for dinner last weekend and she made these wonderful silky smooth Avocado and Paneer chapatis. They were mildly spiced, melt in the mouth kind and boy was I delighted! When she told me there was an avocado in there, I couldn’t believe it. I kept thinking why I hadn’t thought of trying this before. Very simple ingredients but a whole lot of flavor and not to forget all the nutrition packed in these chapatis. 

I tweaked it a bit to suit our taste and to keep it healthy. You can add grated Paneer too. I left it out so I wouldn’t feel guilty about indulging in an extra chapati. 

You will need:
1½ cups Whole-wheat flour
1 large ripe Avocado
1 Carrot, peeled and grated
1 Serrano pepper, finely chopped
1 clove of Garlic, minced
1 tsp Chili powder
1 ½ tsp Cumin powder
3 tbsp chopped Cilantro
1 tsp Salt
Water as required

Cut the avocado in half and remove the seed. Scoop out the ripened flesh and mash with a fork. Combine all the ingredients except water in a medium bowl. Add water only as required, about a tablespoon at a time till the dough comes together. This chapati dough will be much softer and smoother than your regular chapati dough. Avocados have no taste of their own except for a silky smooth mouth feel. So you can choose to spice up this dough any way you like.You if you don't want any flavors, you can leave out all the seasonings and add only the mashed Avocado.

Allow dough to rest for 10 minutes. Knead for a minute and then divide dough into equal sized balls. Roll into chapatis and roast on a non-stick or cast iron pan, on both sides until done. I used a cast iron pan, which gave the chapatis a distinct color and taste.

I made mom’s Channa curry to go with these, but the chapatis are tasty enough on their own too. Serve it up with some yoghurt and you have a lip smacking healthy meal. Thanks to friend S for a scrumptious variation on the humble chapati.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin