Dutch Crunch Bread

Dutch Crunch Bread | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

How is it that I’d never tried Dutch Crunch bread, never even heard of it? It’s a loaf that seems to be ubiquitous in the San Francisco area, and it would seem that they have been keeping it all for themselves. Now that I’ve had it I can’t blame them. Dutch Crunch gets its name from a similar bread found in the Netherlands, which is called Tiger Bread (tijgerbrood or tijgerbol). It’s easy to see how it got that name. The tiger spots are created by covering the dough with a slurry of rice flour, sugar, yeast and toasted sesame oil. The fragrance of the sesame is fantastic and the slightly sweet crispy bits on the loaf are hard to resist picking off and snacking on before you ever cut into the bread. 

Dutch Crunch Bread

1 pound dough from any of our books – I actually made the loaf in the photo from our Brioche recipe in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but I’ve also made them with our Master recipe, Peasant bread and Challah dough, pretty much any dough will work. 


1/2 cup warm water

1 tablespoon yeast – I used Red Star Platinum, but Quick Rise or Active Dry work too

2/3 cup rice flour

2 tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Bread Dough | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Shape the dough into a ball. Place the ball on a piece of Parchment Paper and cover loosely with plastic. If you are using brioche dough I recommend baking it on parchment placed on a baking sheet. If you using a dough that recommends baking on a stone, you will still want to use the parchment, since the sesame topping may drip down and make it difficult to get off the pizza peel if you don’t have the parchment. Otherwise bake as directed.

How to Make Dutch Crunch Bread | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

To make the topping:

Dutch Crunch Bread Dough | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

While the dough ball is resting mix all the topping ingredients in a large bowl and cover with plastic. The yeast will make the topping double in volume, so make sure it has enough room to grow.

Active dough | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Once the topping has doubled, which conveniently takes the same amount of time as it takes for the dough to rise. It will have double in size, but will collapse when you go to spread it on the loaf.

Dutch Crunch Bread Topping | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Put about a 1/2 cup of the mixture on the dough. You can store the remaining topping for a week, covered well (but vented to prevent pressure-buildup) and in the refrigerator.

Dutch Crunch Bread Dough | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

With a Spatula, spread it to completely coat the loaf.

Dutch Crunch Bread | Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Bake as directed for the type of dough you have used. The crust should be golden brown on the brioche, but may be a darker caramel brown on the Master recipe or any baked at a higher temperature.

Red Star Yeast (Lesaffre Yeast Corp.) provided samples of Red Star PLATINUM Yeast for recipe testing, and sponsors BreadIn5’s website and other promotional activities. 

36 thoughts to “Dutch Crunch Bread”

  1. Why does my freshly made pizza dough have spots of green mould on the bottom of the base from the tin I cleaned the tins wipe them put the dough in leave it 1 day next when I turn to look at the bottom it’s got small grey spots on it when I cook it it goes green mould it’s got me confused why does it happen does anyone else have the same problem

    1. Have you looked at our FAQ (frequently asked questions) page, and clicked on the item called: “Gray color on my dough: Is there something wrong?”

      But that talks about gray spotting, not green, which I’ve never seen.

  2. What kind of rice flour do you use? I have never purchased this flour before, but I will be now! However, I am finding that there is brown rice flour, white rice flour, sweet white rice flour…Which do you use/recommend? Thank you!

  3. I love tijgerbrood (tijgerbol is the individual bread roll). I am currently living in the Netherlands and when I first came here I fell in love with this bread. It is so delicious and that crunchy top is the best. Thanks for a wonderful recipe Zoe!

  4. My husband and mother in law both love Dutch crunch loaves, which I hadn’t heard of until I moved to Sacramento. I never realized they were basically loaves with a frosting! I’ll have to try these out soon, they love the fresh bread I’ve made with your method, so I’m sure they will be elated to try this!

  5. What do you do with the extra topping mixture? How long will it last and how do you store it? Also, what kind of sesame oil are you using – toasted or untoasted?

    1. See above, we added a paragraph– basically, use 1/2 cup on the loaf, and store the remainder in the fridge, well-covered (but vented to prevent pressure-buildup) for up to one week. It’s toasted sesame oil, but I bet it’ll work with either kind.

  6. I lived on Holland for more than 20 years and love this crust. Can’t wait to try this recipe out on your fantastic breads. 1 question: is the sugar really necessary?

    1. It’s a matter of taste, really, but it’s going to be very, very different without the sugar. May also need to adjust the water? Will take some experimentation.

  7. I just got my copy of your new Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes A Day Cookbook. I see above that someone asked about using this topping on the Gluten Free bread recipes. Do you have a recommendation as to which of the Gluten Free bread recipes that this would work best with?

    P.S. Thank you so much for the book. I got to eat Pizza this weekend for the first time in a year. THANK YOU!

  8. I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we would take the 1/2 hour drive to a deli just to get sandwiches with this bread.

    I have made it before, although the recipe I used did not have sesame oil. I am glad to see a recipe here, can’t wait to try yours.

    I only have brown rice flour at the moment, will have to pick up some regular rice flour on my next shopping trip.

    I wonder if this might work with some other flours, such as barley flour, oat flour, or tapioca flour.

    1. Well… it might, but I have a feeling that this effect depends on the starchy, superfine nature of rice flour. Worth a try though. Maybe especially the tapioca?

      1. I will try that. I got some rice flour and made some rolls for sandwiches. They were delicious.

    1. Hi Cucee,

      Are you talking about the topping? You have to use rice flour or perhaps another gluten-free flour to make the topping. The lack of gluten (which causes the dough to stretch) is what causes it to crackle in the way this loaf does. I’ve never tried other flours, but you will likely have to change the hydration.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. My wife and I had this for the first time as Marco Polo Bread from Wegmans in upstate NY. The bread which that particular store put out was very dense and soft with a great crunchy crust. It did not keep well so we were eating entire loaves in a day or 2.
    When we moved back to the NJ/PA area we found that the Marco Polo loaves at the local Wegmans were much lighter in texture and the taste was very bland. 🙁
    So….does this particular recipe make a tasty soft/dense bread or a lighter/fluffy loaf. Also, have you found a difference in flavor between using a chlorinated city water and well/spring water? I know that can actually make a difference with pizza crust flavor so I wanted to see what the bakers out there thought.

    1. Hi John,

      Our bread is on the denser side.

      We’ve never seen a difference in the water we’ve used. We’ve baked all over the country. If you drink the tap water, that is what we suggest.

      Enjoy, Zoë

  10. Zoe & Jeff,
    Thanks so much for this recipe. We just got back from the Netherlands last week after the holidays with my husbands family. This time our oldest daughter got hooked on tijgerbrood. She had it almost every morning! Of course it always had a generous helping of hagel and butter on top ;-). I went out to the store today for the rice flour and we are looking forward to making a loaf in the morning. Thanks again! And a special thanks from my daughter too!

  11. Thank you very much for the recipe. A couple of bakeries in Western NY used to carry this roll but no longer. These rolls make killer Ham sandwiches.

    Now that we live in Holland [well Holland, NY, USA] it only seems fitting to try this.

    I bake a lot of bread but have not gotten into the GF scheme of things but may just try some.

  12. I made this today using brioche but the yeast mixture was too runny. I finally realized that I probably didn’t let it set l9ng enough. Still, it was delicious. I also made cinnamon rolls using brioche. I forgot to knead so they kind of liiked messy when I cut and put them in the pan to rise but they were soooo good. My husband ate cinnamon rolls for dinner. I love your book and have been baking almost daily. It’s very odd, but for some reason I have gained weight since your book has been in my house. I have no idea why. 😉

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