Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Daring to do it: Dutch Crunch Bread

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!

I love bread. And sandwiches are a pretty regular meal in our house - egg salad, grilled cheese, veggie burgers... Lots of sandwiches. So when I saw this challenge I was kind of excited. Add to that the fact that Dutch Crunch bread seems to be a regional delicacy - that region being northern California. As in San Francisco. Where Hubby and I had our honeymoon. Where one of my closest friends from college lives. Where my Sparkling new work opportunity is based... A place, as you can see, that is near and dear to my heart...!
The recipe for this challenge is really the topping. We were free to use any bread recipe we wanted. I decided to make this recipe for hoagie rolls and to make Hubby's birthday dinner extra special.
Here is the topping, before mixing and rising - yes, the topping rises - there is a lot of yeast in there!Here are the rolls, ready to be topped:

And here is the topping, rested, risen, and ready to go:And then my camera battery died. But if it hadn't, there would have been a picture here of the rolls slathered with a very thick layer of the yeasty, rice-y topping.

One of the concerns expressed my some of my fellow Daring Bakers was that their crunch topping was not getting the golden color they had hoped for. So I cheated. Sort of. For the last couple of minutes of baking time, I turned on the broiler. So the rolls took on a beautiful color and crumble.

The second part of this challenge was to make a sandwich with out cracked and crunched breads. As I mentioned earlier, I was making this bread for Hubby's birthday. He had requested that I make chik'n cheese steaks as his birthday dinner. (Yes, vegetarian - fake chicken strips work wonders here...!) But remember also that I said my camera battery had died? Well, yeah. So no pictures of the sandwiches. Except for this one:

The last bite...

While the sandwiches were yummy, and the bread beautiful, I wasn't 100% sold on the taste. Don't get me wrong, it definitely added something, I just wasn't sure it was something I would seek out again. That being said, I think I might give this one more chance, just to see if maybe I did something "wrong." Also, I would like to try the "real deal" Dutch Crunch bread next time I am in San Francisco. Which will be....? Not soon enough...!

Thank you, Sara and Erica, for introducing me to something new. I love learning about new foods, new cultures (even within the US) and new flavors in life! Check out what the rest of the Daring Bakers created with their beautiful breads!



  1. I was surprised at how much the topping rose - I wasn't sure what to expect with that.
    Great job - I am sure the sandwiches were very good :-)

  2. Your topping looks great! Too bad the camera died, I would have loved to see how the fake chicken sandwich looks like :)

  3. I'm glad we could introduce you to Dutch crunch bread and yours turned out beautifully! I hope you'll be able to taste some in San Francisco before too long.

  4. Your tigers look awesome and seems like the sandwiches were delicious too, they flew fast! Unlike you, I thought the flavor of the topping was outstanding... go figure! Oh, I wish I had a chance to go to SF and try the real deal, but I don't think this is going to happen, hope it doesn't take long for you!

  5. I too wish I had a chance to try the real thing.
    I personally enjoed eating the bread as is with a cup of tea and so did my kids
    Great job on this challenge Ruth

  6. Beautiful bread! I kind of know what you mean about the flavour. At first, there was something ever so slightly jarring about it, but then the more I ate the more I decided I liked it after all!

    Anyway, great job! Your sandwiches sound delicious. :)

  7. That's pretty awesome. I've never heard of Dutch Crunch Bread before. So it would definitely be a challenge for me. :)

    Great job though. It looks pretty good to me.