Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Dutch Crunch Rolls

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! You can read the full challenge here.

I wasn't entirely successful I fear. The Dutch Crunch adhered to the rolls and browned, but it seems to have granules present that others don't appear to have in theirs. Perhaps I didn't beat it vigorously enough? Or I didn't grind the homemade brown rice flour enough? Either way the topping still contributed an interesting texture to the rolls and its flavor was reminiscent of beer bread.

Sadly, I didn't heed the storage instructions and, by the time I remembered I needed a photo of a sandwich,  mold struck rendering the remaining rolls inedible. Heed the storage advice, y'all, and refrigerate the bread if you don't devour it all within a day or two.

I ate my rolls with tuna salad prepared with tuna, mayo, hard boiled eggs, finely chopped celery and Arby's Horsey Sauce; it wasn't photogenic but it tasted good. For my second sandwich, I inverted the buns so the dutch crunch faced the tuna salad. The crunch disappeared but so did the tiny crumbles that made me fret making this change worthwhile. 

While I doubt I'll make Dutch Crunch Rolls or Bread again at home I'll definitely seek out the real thing whenever I make it to San Francisco. I need to experience an expert version to form a real opinion on it.

Soft White Rolls
Yields: approximately 6 rolls

1 tablespoon (1 packet) Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup Warm Water (105-110º F)
1 cup Warm Milk (105-110º F) (I used skim.)
1 1/2 tablespoons Sugar
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil (plus additional oil for greasing bowl)
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
Up to 4 cups 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 to ensure the yeast proofs (the mixture should bubble or foam and smell yeasty).
2. Add the 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.
4. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes, until smooth and elastic. (I let the dough hook knead it for another 2 minutes.)
5. Place in a lightly greased bowl, flip once and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, or until it has at least doubled in size.
6. Then turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 6 equal portions to make rolls. Shape each portion, handling it as little as possible, and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
7. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes while you prepare the topping. (or much longer if you're slow like me!) Turn on the oven to preheat to 380 degrees Fahrenheit.
8. Coat the top of each roll with the topping as described above.
9. Place the rolls in the oven on the middle rack for for 25-30 minutes, until well browned. Cool completely on a wire rack, then eat.

Dutch Crunch Topping 
Yield: sufficient for 6-8 rolls

1 tablespoons (2 packets) Active Dry Yeast
.5 cup Warm Water (105-115º F)
1 tablespoons Sugar
1 tablespoons Canola Oil
1/4 teaspoon Salt
3/4 cup Rice Flour (I used brown rice flour made my whirring up brown rice in the Vitamix. Since my flour was home-made I actually used approximately 1 1/2 cups of Rice Flour)

1. Once your bread has almost finished rising, combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat vigorously with a whisk to combine. The consistency should be like stiff and spreadable, not runny. Add more water or rice flour as needed. Let stand 15 minutes.
2. Coat the top of each loaf or roll with a thick layer of topping. (I patted it out in my hand then placed it on the buns. It was that thick and rumor has it that this is necessary or you won't get the cracked effect.)
3. Let stand, uncovered, for any additional time your recipe recommends. With the Soft White Roll I chose to use we were advised that the rolls could go directly into the oven after applying the topping.
4. When baking, place pans on a rack in the center of the oven and bake your bread as you ordinarily would. The topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown color.

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