Tuesday, March 27, 2012

March Daring Bakers Challenge - 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!

Dutch Crunch Topping 
Yield: approximately 3/4 cup (enough for 6 dinner rolls)

1 tablespoons (1 packet) (7.5 gm/0.25 oz) active dry yeast
1/2 cup (120 ml) warm water (105-115º F) (41-46°C)
1 tablespoons (15 gm/0.5 oz) sugar
1 tablespoons (15 ml) vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon (1.5 gm) salt
3/4 cups (120 gm/4.25 oz) rice flour (white or brown)

1. Note: Do not begin making until your bread or rolls are on their final rise, within 15 minutes of using.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and beat with a whisk; beat hard to combine. The consistency should be stiff – spreadable, but not too runny. If you pull some up with your whisk, 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, using your fingers or a spoon. Err on the side of applying too much topping – a thin layer will not crack properly.
3. Place the rolls 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 Dutch Crunch topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown color.

Soft White Sandwich Rolls

Servings: Six sandwich rolls

1 tablespoon (1 packet) (7 gm/ ¼ oz) active dry yeast
¼ cup (60 ml) warm water (105-110º F) (41-43°C) (warm to the touch)
1 cup (240 ml) warm milk (105-110º F) (41-43°C)
1½ tablespoons (20 gm/ ⅔ oz) sugar
2 tablespoons (30 ml) vegetable oil
1½ teaspoons (9 gm/⅓ oz) salt
Up to 4 cups (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 may 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.  (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 (see photo comparison).

6. 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 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 and put 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.

These rolls were fantastic.  First of all, the smell coming from the oven while they were baking was OUT.OF.THIS.WORLD.  Seriously.  It was slightly sweet, yeasty and robust.  I loved watching them get golden in the oven and crackle up. 

We tried them immediately out of the oven while they were still slightly warm and let me tell you, these rolls embody everything a sandwich roll should be and more.  The crunchy topping was an extra bonus that was really easy to make.  This is a recipe I'll definitely be keeping for a *special sandwich* occasion.  You know what might be cute.  Minis.... With ham and melted cheese and a spicy dijon honey spread.  Ooooooh yeah. 

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