Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Tiger Bread - Daring Kitchen Challenge

I love to bake bread.  I think I might have mentioned that before.  I love the smell of the yeast, the feel of the dough when you work with it, the smell of baking bread, it all is very comforting.  I was very excited about this month's Daring Kitchen challenge because it involves baking bread!  This was a wonderful thing to do this weekend.  We took the three big dogs for their annual trip to the vet, ran errands it seemed like all over town and then I warmed up in the kitchen by baking bread and we had hot, crusty bread with dinner.

Here is the introduction for this month's hosts and instructions from the Daring Kitchen:

First, let us introduce ourselves. We are Sara and Erica from Baking JDs. During our first year of law school, we discovered Daring Bakers and decided that monthly baking was just the thing to get us to take a break from our studies and do something that we both already loved. Since we graduated in May 2010, we’ve continued the tradition. As busy attorneys, it hasn’t gotten any easier to find the time, but it’s always worth it.
Both of us live in San Francisco, which is home to all kinds of culinary traditions. Of course, sourdough bread is one of the first things that springs to people’s minds. For our challenge, however, we’ve decided to make Dutch Crunch bread. Sara grew up in the Bay Area, but was dismayed when she moved away for college that Dutch Crunch bread is not usually available outside of Northern California. For many folks from the Bay Area, a sandwich just isn’t complete without Dutch Crunch 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.
Learn more about the history of Dutch Crunch bread, particularly in the Bay Area, here, here, and here.
Therefore, the heart of this challenge is the topping. While we’ve provided a few bread recipes that worked great for us, it is up to you what rolls or loaves you want to turn into Dutch Crunch, which should leave room for vegan and gluten-free options. We’d recommend a nice, soft sandwich-appropriate roll with not too much crust, so the topping can really stand out. Once you have your final loaves, you’re required to use your bread to construct a sandwich of your choice!

So, I started with the bread recipe they suggested:

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.
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.

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.

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)
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.

Thanks to Sara and Erica for the great challenge.  I already have requests from my husband for more rolls.

One very large meatball sandwich we shared for dinner.  This held 20 meatballs!

I made 6 rolls, and they were huge (about 5 oz each roll)!  I made a bar-b-que meatball sandwich and we shared the sandwich and had some left-over.  Next time I'll make them 3 oz. each and I think that will be a better size.  I'll try them with hamburgers this weekend.

March 28, 2012     Daylight  13 hours,  11 minutes,  20 seconds     Current Temp. 26ºF


  1. Beautiful Tiger Rolls! The meatball sandwich looks so good!
    Fantastic job on this challenge :)

  2. So glad you enjoyed this challenge. Your bread turned out great! Nice work! I'm amazed by your 20-meatball sandwich.


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