Louisville Hot Browns on a Dutch Crunch Roll

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!

This month’s hosts live in San Francisco and Dutch Crunch bread is the quintessential white sandwich roll found throughout the Bay Area. I had my first Dutch Crunch bread when I was in San Francisco for Blogher Food two years ago.  It was fun to recreate it at home for this month’s Daring Bakers challenge: Lions, Tigers, and Bears, Oh My!.

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.

The recipe is simple, and comes together quickly. The topping is made with rice flour, which is easy to make at home. (At least it was a snap in my new Blendtec mixer. Only 50 seconds to grind rice in to flour!) This recipe for the Dutch Crunch topping came from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Biblean adaptation of a recipe found on Baking Bites

The second half of the challenge was to create a unique sandwich, so I turned to Alison’s, Ingredients, Inc., 400 Best Sandwich Recipes cookbook for inspiration. I had already picked up my favorite peppered turkey from the deli, and knew I wanted to also included bacon. After a quickly scroll through the turkey recipes in the index I found the perfect recipe.

The Louisville Hot Browns sandwich starts with layers of turkey, topped with bacon and tomato, then drizzled with a creamy cheese sauce and broiled to a golden brown. The sandwich originated at The Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky and is traditionally served opened faced. It was the perfect compliment to my Dutch Crunch rolls and definitely the best sandwich I’ve had in a long time.

Louisville Hot Browns on a Dutch Crunch Roll


Soft White Roll

  • 2 1/4 teaspons (1 packet) active dry yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup warm lowfat milk (105-110º F)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • Up to 4 cups all purpose flour (I used 3 1/4 cups bread flour)

Dutch Crunch Topping

  • 4 1/2 teasppons (2 packets) active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (105-115º F)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rice flour (I used 2 cups home-made rice flour)

Louisville Hot Browns

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 3/4 cup shredded Cheddar Cheese (I used a Mexican blend)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 Dutch Crunch Rolls, sliced in half
  • 12 turkey slices (I used peppered turkey)
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup quartered grape tomatoes, seasoned with salt and pepper


Soft White Roll

In the bowl of an electric mixer or large mixing bowl, combine yeast, 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).

Add in vegetable oil, salt and 2 cups of flour. Mix at low speed until the dough comes together.

Switch to the dough hook attachment and add remaining flour a quarter cup at time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. (For me this was 1 1/4 cups flour.)

Knead for about 4 minutes, until smooth and elastic. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead it a few time more and shape it in to a ball.

Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled (or more) in size.

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).

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes while you prepare the topping.

Coat the top of each roll or loaf with the topping (recipe below). Let stand for 20 minutes after applying the topping.

Bake in a preheated 380º for 25-30 minutes, until well browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack before eating.

Dutch Crunch Topping

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.

Coat the top of each loaf or roll with a thick layer of topping. (I used a scoop to gentle put it on top and then smoothed it with the back of the scoop.) You should err on the side of applying too much topping—a thin layer will not crack properly.

Let stand, uncovered, for 15 minutes and bake your bread as you ordinarily would. The Dutch Cruch topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown color. *

Louisville Hot Browns

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until a thick paste forms. Continue whisking for 2 to 3 minutes until the flour is bubbling. Slowly whisk in the milk. When the sauce is smooth and thickened, add cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and cook for 2 minutes more until cheese is melted. Set aside.

Place bottom half of rolls on a boiler pan. Top with turkey, bacon, tomatoes and cheese sauce. Broil 3 inches from heat for 4 minutes or until cheese sauce is golden. Serve immediately.

*The Dutch Crunch Rolls were best eaten on the day they were made.

Thanks Sara and Erica, the Baking JDs, for a delicious challenge! Please visit the Daring Kitchen to see a slideshow of the fabulous Dutch Crunch bread and sandwiches the Daring Bakers created for this challenge, as well as additional tips and challenge recipes.