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Dutch Crunch Bread

I mentioned Dutch Crunch Bread on my list of five things to eat before you die. The name comes from the distinct and unusual topping on the bread, which is made with rice flour, yeast and a little bit of oil, salt and sugar. On its own, the topping is pleasant, but when paired with some good bread, the contrast is amazing.

Thanks to some of my commenters, we know that this bread is called Tijgerbrood, or “tigerbread” in Holland, named after its striped and textured appearence. I didn’t stripe mine, which I suppose you could do by running a fork through the mixture before baking, but appearace doesn’t take anything away from the fantastically crunchy texture and the ever so slightly yeasty taste that complements so many sandwich fillings. It also makes excellent toast.

Sandwiches are my favorite things to make with this type of bread and if I’m at a deli (only in the SF Bay area, the only places I’ve seen them) that sells them, I will always get it. So, when I make the rolls at home, I like to make them big so that they make hearty, filling sandwiches. The size also provides enough bread to not make the topping overwhelming. The topping can be used on other types of bread, including as a topping for regular sandwich loaves, if you only want a little bit of the “crunch” per serving.

By the way, if you have leftover rice flour at the end of this, just go ahead and make another batch. I usually do. Alternatively, you could use it to make some gluten-free crepes instead.

Dutch Crunch Bread
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (1 packet or 1/4 ounce)
1/4 cup warm water (105-110F)
1 cup warm milk (105-110F) (nonfat is fine)
1 tbsp sugar
2 tsp vegetable oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 – 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

(from The Bread Bible)
1 tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water (105-110F)
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup white rice flour (not sweet rice flour)

In the bowl of an electric mixer*, combine yeast, water, milk and sugar. Stir to dissolve and let sit for about 5 minutes. Add in vegetable oil, salt and about 2 cups of flour. Using the dough hook attachment, mix at medium speed unti the dough comes together. Add remainging flour a tablespoon or two t a time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Place in a lightly greased by and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled 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 (demonstrated here) and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Let rise for 15 minutes while you prepare the topping.
Combine all topping ingredients in a medium bowl and mix very well. Let stand for 15 minutes.

Once the rolls have risen a bit and the topping is ready, spread a generous layer on the rolls, trying to use all the topping in a thick coat on the top and sides. Let rise for another 20 minutes.
Bake at 375F for 25-30 minutes, until well browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack before eating. Store in an airtight container, if necessary.

*You can mix this by hand, too.

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  • Corianne
    September 28, 2006

    It is actually not that crunchy in Holland. I mean, all our bread crust are kind of crunchy, it is not really different from that. But they look amazing!

  • hannah
    September 28, 2006

    What amazingly beautiful bread.
    Sound like a perfect weekend baking project. Thankyou!

  • Julie
    September 29, 2006

    I have never seen this type of bread before. Do you think I could just as easily make one large loaf? Any suggestions about altering the baking time or temperature? These look so good!

  • matt
    September 29, 2006

    looks great, can’t wait to try it, thanks!

  • nosheteria
    September 29, 2006

    That looks so delicious. I love Dutch Crunch, thanks for the recipe.

  • Claudia
    September 29, 2006

    They really look crunchy and delicious. With that rice-flour topping the crust looks irresistible.

  • jenjen
    September 29, 2006

    Thanks for the recipe, I am very fascinated to try these. Looks amazing!

  • Duane
    September 29, 2006

    Thanks for the recipe!

  • Anonymous
    September 29, 2006

    The major UK supermarkets bake tigerbread but the crusts are somewhat more delicate (TESCO use sesame oil in the crust) than that of the bread in your photo. Nonetheless your bread still looks delicious.
    Also I would be grateful if you could clarify the difference between sweet rice flour and normal rice flour.

  • Sarah in Brooklyn
    September 29, 2006

    Theirs may be tiger bread, but you seem to have made leopard bread. Looks great.

  • peabody
    September 29, 2006

    Very interesting, I really want to try this.

  • Cathy
    September 29, 2006

    Hi Nic – I’d not heard of this kind of bread before – looks wonderful and sounds really interesting.

  • Lucy
    September 30, 2006

    made this and it turned out perfectly- the only changes i made were to replace about 1/3 cup of the flour in the dough with whole wheat pastry flour, and i also made my dough into a large, rectangular 2 inch thick foccacia shape instead of making individual rolls. delicious with fresh basil, mozzarella, and sweet balsamic reduction. THANKS!

  • shammi
    October 1, 2006

    I’ve seen (and bought) tiger bread here in the UK, from supermarkets like Asda or Tesco, but the top was never crunchy. The kids like it because it looks different, but that was all that was different. I havent seen this bread in proper bakeries. Gonna try this recipe one of these days. Thanks, Nic!

  • Susie
    October 2, 2006

    OH MY GOD, I think I may be in love with you. This bread is my favorite and I am getting up to make it RIGHT NOW. THANKS.

  • Rosemary
    October 2, 2006

    I tried this last night,it worked just beautifully–I know I’ll make it many many times. Thank you!

  • Baking Soda
    October 3, 2006

    That looks absolutely amazing Nic! I love the leopardspots. I promised earlier to bake a Dutch crunch and post. I did (even bought some store-tigerbreads to show you all the difference) and ended up with pictures of the supermarket bread and forgot to take photos of my own home-made….tsssk! Guess it’s back to the baking board for me!

  • Anonymous
    October 3, 2006

    This bread looks soooo good! I actually have The Bread Bible but I never noticed this recipe in it. See what I’ve been missing?

    Thanks for the fantastic photo!

    Ari (Baking and Books)

  • Riana
    October 4, 2006

    Oh, the fact that you list it on 5-things-to-eat-before-you-die meme makes me want to try it..

  • Lori
    October 5, 2006

    INCREDIBLE bread, Nic! You must be so proud of yourself. I know I’d be. 🙂

  • Ria
    October 5, 2006

    This bread really intrigues me Nic. I wonder if the topping will still be crunchy using Splenda. Commonly, bread here in Manila is the sweet dough type. I’d like to make this with whole wheat and Splenda for my dad who has some sugar issues.

    Will let you know how that turns out!

  • Millo
    January 16, 2007

    Nic, the bread looks incredibly delicious. I tried this bread in sacramento Ca. at my daughter’s house and I loved it. It looked just like yours so inviting and delicious. I m ready to make it!
    Thank you for the recipe.

  • Teri ww
    April 4, 2008

    This is an outstanding recipe! Good idea not to cover the rolls after putting on the topping. I double the recipe,bake,cool,wrap, put in freezer and take out as needed. Thaw and crisp in a 400 oven. Yum!

  • Ginny
    August 14, 2008

    I am in the process of making this and I think I must have erred somewhere along the way. My dough is super sticky and I probably added 4 cups of flour. I’m giving a rest while I write this hoping it will relax a bit.

    Overmixed, perhaps? I’m dubious about going on since I put so much flour. It’s very humid here so maybe it needs more because of that.

    I appreciate any suggestions you might have.

  • Aparna
    October 1, 2008

    I had bookmarked this recipe a long time ago, before the updates. Thanks for the recipe.
    I made it three times till I got the texture I was looking for in the Pao Tigre, I’d tasted in Portugal.

    You can find my post at

  • Beth
    December 26, 2008

    I remember having this as a kid. My father would come home with them on a Saturday. But as the old time bakers started to disappear from my city in NY, so did these rolls. I can’t wait to get some rice flour and give these a try.

  • Donna
    May 25, 2009

    Did I do something wrong? When I made the topping with white rice flour there’s no way I could “spread” it on top. More like drop clumps all over. Rolls are getting ready to go in oven, hope they turn out okay. I grew up on rolls and long bread called Holland Dutch Bread. Looked so foward to Sundays and the trip to the bakery, ate half on the way home. Hope these are half as good.

  • Shar
    November 1, 2009

    I like Donna was wondering if I did something wrong. I got this dough that I could not actually spread however I did kind of wrap it around the roll and it worked. It tasted great.
    This is not exactly what I was looking for though. I had rolls in NY that had a crackle like glaze on the top. The roll was like this roll but not a thick crackle like this one. It was more like a glaze that cracked while baking or possibly while rising. They were called Alligator Rolls and I thought this may be what I was getting here. Anyone know what I am talking about?

  • Melissa P
    January 6, 2011

    Just made these and they turned out great! Even my picky toddler loves them. They look amazing too! Thanks!

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