Thursday, March 29, 2012

Dutchie Crust: Daring Baker Challenge March 2012

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!

Dutchie crust

Our San Franciscan hosts call this crispy, crunchy bread Dutch Crunch, but in Milwaukee we call it Dutchie Crust. I actually never had any rolls of this type until I met my Husband and his family, and was introduced to Canfora Bakery just down the road from our house. Canfora is a "European" style bakery, and I do confess that I feel no guilt in the occasional purchase of hard rolls from them. They are fluffy and soft inside with a thin, brittle crackling crust - and I couldn't help but want to compare this month's challenge to them.

I followed the provided recipes for both the rolls and the topping, although I'd like to experiment more with this topping, perhaps even on a sourdough roll. It is made primarily of rice flour, which I ground from white rice in my VitaMix. I haven't ever purchased any rice flour, but homemade rice flour never quite loses the trace of grit you would expect from a hard, brown or white rice kernel.

The rice flour is mixed with yeast and water, a little sugar, oil and salt and left to sit for about 15 minutes before "painting" the tops of the risen rolls. It is thick, and I used my hands to almost mold it to the tops of rising bread. The bread dough recipe itself was a pretty standard roll recipe, and the heavy rice topping seemed to make them flatten out a bit, even though they were rising fine. Not a bad thing, and they would probably make a good torta or sandwich roll (I dug through my frozen leftovers and found some pork and cabbage from December that I heated and thickened with a little flour. It wasn't picturesque, but it was tasty.)

rice flour topping

The topping made the rolls a bit gritty to eat, though the interiors were soft and pleasant enough. (My Husband picked out the filling and ate it alongside his meal...) I found them ok, in part because I was comparing them to the Dutchie crust rolls from down the street, and in part because the topping literally left a bad taste in my mouth.

I consulted Fany Gerson's recipe for conchas, and noticed that the topping uses flour and baking powder - the same type of topping I believe my Rhode Islander father-in-law said they used on top of the Dutch Crust rolls he made when he worked in a Portuguese bakery when he was young. Gerson's recipe has quite a lot of sugar, presumably because conchas are really a pan dulce, or sweet bread. But I may be on to something if I begin to experiment with it.

doughDutchie crust roll interior

I'll be sure to write an update when I try again to master the mysteries of the Dutchie Crust roll, Meanwhile, be sure to check out the Daring Baker blogroll to find other variations on the challenge this month.

Dutchie crust roll


  1. I have to thank you so much! I caught your Daring Bakers post last month and decided to sign up for the challenge this month. It was a great challenge and I really appreciate your comments. I found the topping a little on the sweet side and while our son loved the topping I found it a little crumbly. Never having had such a topping I certainly had nothing to compare it to. Love your post ... and your blog!

    1. Thanks, Cynthia! Daring Baker's is fun, isn't it?

  2. As I started to read this post, I thought of conchas--and lo and behold you mention Fany Gerson! I would love to try these someday. I even regularly have rice flour on hand as I use it when proofing my loaves. I hope the daring bakers is around for a while because someday I hope to (dare to, haha) join.

    1. DO IT, Sara! I didn't dream that I'd do it for as long as I have, or that I'd learn as much as I have. At more than 2 years and more than 25 challenges, I can say it's been worth it every month!

  3. Huh. You know, I quite nearly forgot about this type of roll. I haven't had a good one since I was a kid... and now I'm wondering where I would even find one here in Milwaukee. Looks like making them could be easier :)

    1. 1100 east Oklahoma on Sunday morning, also try the hot ham


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