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|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!|
Another really cool challenge this month! I had a blast making this bread, not only because I love making bread, but also because it was totally new to me, not to mention super delicious, as this topping is magically beautiful, it adds a wonderful yeasty flavor and an unforgettable crunch to your bread.. yes... you can add it to just about any bread recipe you like! Just perfect!!
A.k.a. Dutch Crunch, but Tijgerbrood (Tiger Bread) in Dutch (it is known to have originated in the Netherlands), it has also recently had its name changed to "Giraffe Bread" in a grocery chain in the UK after a child's letter suggested that the pattern looked much more like a giraffe than a tiger, which I agree :o)
The crackled effect is obtained by spreading a rice flour based paste on the top of the bread. Since rice flour has no gluten, it cracks while the bread is baking.
I have to confess that my first experience with this topping wasn't exactly successful. I could never imagine that in the land of rice (Korea) it would be so difficult finding plain rice flour! The recipe called for rice flour (white or brown) but it couldn't be the glutinous kind of rice (the sticky one), but it seems like they only sell this one here. I went to all grocery stores in my area to no avail.
I tried rye flour and soy flour which I had available in my pantry and are gluten-free as well.
They resulted in totally different crusts, the rye flour created "shy" cracks, and the soy flour resulted in a smooth and glossy topping. Neither got even close to the Dutch Crunch, but they were both delicious!
I finally decided that I would have to make my own rice flour which, for me, would not be a problem at all since I love challenging myself, but I wasn't expecting to get the same results. I used the method from Sharmis Passions, suggested by our hostesses.
I used common white rice (bottom left), here comparing to Basmati (top) and Korean (bottom right).
I washed the rice and soaked it in water for 1 hour. Then I drained it very well and spread it on a clean cotton towel and left it there until completely dry.
To make sure there was no moisture left, I dried the raw rice in a pan over low heat, stirring often (it should not brown!).
I let it cool completely before grinding.
Now, let me tell you... a few months back I got this powerful grinder/food processor as a gift. I thought it was cool as almost every kitchen gadget that I see, but more often than not, I end up not buying.
There is a lot of advertising on TV here in Korea showing the ladies using this processor for grinding raw beans that turn into very fine flour, and this was my "test drive" to see if it really worked. And boy, it did! I was able to obtain very fine flour and even after passing the flour through my finest mesh sieve, I had almost no coarse flour left! Look at that...
...now compare the sifted flour with what was left in the sieve...
Don't worry if you don't have a powerful processor like this one. You can use your normal food processor. The most important step here will be to use a fine sieve. You will probably end up with a larger amount of coarser flour that can be processed again or used in other recipes.
I began to get very optimistic about my topping.
Time to make a batch of my favorite bread recipe. Mixed ingredients, let it rise until doubled, about an hour, than punched it down, shaped my buns.
While my buns were rising, I started preparing the topping. It looked like this:
It should be a paste thick enough to be able to hold on the top of the buns and not ooze down, but not so thick that you have difficulty spreading. Our hostesses suggested to use a very thick layer of the paste, but I found that my best results were the thinner ones. They will crack one way or another.
I also tested spreading the paste at different stages: right after shaping the buns, halfway through rising and when it was almost good for baking. I knew that if spreading the paste on a fully risen bread it would most likely deflate, at least partially, so I didn't even try that. It didn't make any noticeable difference.
And, the second and most delicious part of the challenge, make a sandwich with your Tiger Bread!
I used mayonnaise, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, onions, Korean pickled cucumber (slightly sweet), ham, fried egg, gouda cheese with cumin, and L'ancienne Mustard.
These buns froze very well and recovered their crunchiness after thawed and warmed up for a few minutes in the oven.
If you want to see all the other 'Tiger Breads that the Daring Bakers made and the fantastic sandwiches they created, please visit THE DARING KITCHEN where you will also find the original recipes and guidelines for this challenge.
Many thanks to Sara and Erica for the unforgettable challenge!
(Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s "The Bread Bible")
- You can use any bread recipe of your choice.
- I made a batch of one of my favorite bread recipes which yields 4 large buns (110g each).
- In my first experience with soy flour and rye flour toppings, I used THIS recipe.
- In my second experience using rice flour topping, I used the same recipe, but used all white flour and sugar, just to make it as authentic as the commercial Tiger Bread/ Dutch Crunch.
- I made 1/4 of the original recipe below for each batch and still had a bit leftover. It all depends on how thick or thin you will spread your topping, mine was more on the thin side.
Ingredients for the topping:
(Depending on how thick you choose to apply your topping, this recipe is enough for 12 to 16 large buns or 2 to 3 loaves)
2 tbsp (15g) active dry yeast
2 tbsp (30g) sugar
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ tsp salt
1½ cups plain rice flour (white or brown; NOT sweet or glutinous rice flour)
1 cup (240 ml) approx. warm water (105-115º F) (41-46°C)
1. Prepare the bread of your preference. When you finish shaping the bread for its final rise in their baking pans, start making the topping. Combine all ingredients except water, which should be added gradually until you reach the correct consistency which should be spreadable, but not too runny. If you pull some up with your whisk it should drip off slowly. (I used homemade rice flour but did not have to increase the amount as suggested by our hostesses; maybe this will depend on how thin you are able to grind it. Mine was quite thin so I guess it worked like store bought flour) Let stand 15 minutes. (I tried applying the topping right after mixing, then after 15 minutes rest, and also experimented spreading at different stages of the final rise of the buns, but no noticeable difference was observed.
2. Coat the top of each roll with the mixture. I used a butter spatula for that.
3. Let stand, uncovered, for any additional time your recipe recommends before baking. Ideally, your bread should be able to rise at least a little further while baking, so be careful to not over-proof it!
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.