San Francisco Style Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe - Better Baker Club (2024)

This Dutch crunch bread recipe makes the best sandwich rolls with the perfect balance of softness and crunch!

San Francisco Style Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe - Better Baker Club (1)

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When you think of San Francisco and bread, sourdough probably comes to mind. But did you know they are also known for a crunchy crusted, sweet, and crackly sandwich roll called Dutch Crunch Bread? Today I’m sharing an easy homemade recipe for this wonderful treat for your rolls or sandwich bread.

Be sure to check out my other popular sandwich bread recipes:

Copycat Dave’s Killer Bread Recip

Subway Style Italian Herb and Cheese Bread

9 Grain Honey Oat Bread

Dutch Crunch Bread has many names

You may know this bread as Tiger Bread/Dutch Tiger Bread/Marco Polo Bread/ Giraffe Bread.

The name originates from a bread made in The Netherlands. It is often referred to as Tiger Bread because of the spotty striped appearance the bread has when it is baked.

The crunch comes from a mixture of rice flour paste that is applied to the bread just before the bread bakes. When it cooks it crackles and creates a wonderfully crunchy crust.

San Francisco’s other favorite bread

San Francisco is famous for its sourdough bread. People say that the city’s foggy weather creates the special bacteria that give sourdough its unique taste. In most San Francisco Bay Area sandwich shops, you’ll see sourdough on the menu. You will often find another popular bread called the Dutch Crunch roll, as well.

Dutch Crunch rolls are great for sandwiches because they have a unique texture and flavor. The bread’s crunchy and slightly sweet crust, adds a delightful contrast to the soft interior. This combination of textures and flavors enhances the overall sandwich experience, making it a popular choice for sandwiches in the San Francisco Bay area and beyond.

San Francisco Style Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe - Better Baker Club (2)

San Francisco bakery shares their Dutch crunch bread recipe

This Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe comes from a popular bakery in Northern California. This little bread shop is tucked away between the Giant Redwoods and the Pacific Coast Shoreline in Eureka, CA. They make the most delicious Dutch Crunch bread rolls that are delivered daily to dozens of sandwich shops in the area.

I got the privilege of consulting with this bakeshop a while back and they agreed to answer some questions and share their recipe for this best-selling sandwich loaf recipe.

How is Dutch crunch bread made?

Dutch crunch bread is made by applying a sweet rice flour paste to the top of the bread dough. When it’s baked, the topping cracks and creates a crunchy texture.

💡Pro Tip- Phil at Mity Nice Bakery recommends mixing the rice paste mixture when you mix the bread dough, and applying it to the loaves immediately after shaping them. This helps get the best crackle!

What is Dutch crunch paste made from?

The sweet, crispy crunch of Dutch crunch bread begins with a paste made of rice flour, brown sugar, vegetable oil, yeast, water, and salt. The recipe for Dutch crunch paste can be found at the bottom of this post in the recipe card.

Is Dutch Crunch better on rolls or bread?

When it comes to Dutch Crunch, rolls are the way to go for maximum crunch. The magic of the crunchy topping really shines when you bite into a roll. But when it’s spread on bread, the crunch-to-bread ratio just doesn’t quite stack up.

San Francisco Style Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe - Better Baker Club (3)

Preparing to make Dutch crunch rolls

Heads up! This recipe needs a bit of planning – you’ll need to get things started a day ahead of your baking schedule. But trust me, the wait will be worth it when you taste the incredible flavor and texture of the final product!

Here’s what you’ll need to make Dutch crunch rolls

  • Stand mixer with a dough hook attachment (since this dough can get sticky, it’s tough to knead by hand)
  • Large mixing bowl for proofing the dough
  • Silicone bread mold (optional, but it helps to get the perfect loaf shape)
  • Baking sheet for baking the bread
  • Plastic wrap or a tea towel to cover the dough while it rises

With these tools in hand, you’ll be all set to bake up some San Francisco-style Dutch crunch bread!

Dutch crunch bread recipe: step-by-step

Step 1: Make a poolish starter the night before

A poolish starter is a type of pre-ferment used in bread making. It’s made by combining equal parts flour and water with a small amount of yeast and allowing it to ferment for a certain period of time, usually overnight or up to 16 hours. This starter adds flavor, improves texture, and enhances the rise of the bread.

For this recipe, we’re going to mix a starter by combining flour, water, and yeast in a bowl. Let this mixture sit at room temperature overnight.

Step 2:Start the bread dough in the morning

When you’re ready to bake, just add the poolish starter and the remaining bread dough ingredients to your stand mixer. To achieve the desired smooth and elastic consistency of the dough, I suggest using a stand mixer instead of attempting to knead it by hand.

Step 3: Combine the ingredients for the rice paste mixture

Stir the paste ingredients together thoroughly until they form a smooth, thick batter. This mixture will be the key to achieving that signature crunchy crust on your Dutch crunch bread. Make sure there are no lumps, as a smooth consistency will ensure an even coating on the bread.

Step 4: Shape and top your Dutch crunch rolls

Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a baguette shape. Next, take a brush and apply a generous layer of the rice paste mixture onto the top surface of each roll. Ensure the paste covers the entire top surface evenly, as this will result in that characteristic crunchy crust once baked.

Cut the baguette into 3rds to create 9 sandwich rolls.

Place the rolls on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving some space between each one to allow for rising. Once all the rolls are coated and arranged, cover them lightly with plastic wrap and let them rise until they double in size.

Step 5: Proof and bake the rolls

Once the rolls have doubled in size, it’s time to proof and bake them. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. While the oven heats up, carefully uncover the risen rolls. They should now appear puffy and expanded. Place the baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake the rolls until they develop a golden-brown crust and the bottoms sound hollow when tapped, around 15-20 minutes.

Keep an eye on them to prevent over-browning. Once baked, remove the rolls from the oven and let them cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before serving.

Enjoy your freshly baked Dutch crunch rolls with their irresistible crunchy exterior and soft, fluffy interior!

San Francisco Style Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe - Better Baker Club (4)

Dutch Crunch Sandwich Bread Recipe

A Crunchy crusted, sweet and crackly bread roll perfect for sandwiches.

Print Recipe Pin Recipe

Prep Time 3 hours hrs

Cook Time 25 minutes mins

Servings 9 rolls



Poolish Starter

  • 1/3 cup Water, lukewarm 66g
  • 1/2 cup Bread Flour 66g
  • 1/8 Tsp Yeast, active dry or instant

Bread Dough

  • 3 cups Bread Flour 360g
  • 1 cup Water,lukewarm 234g
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. Sugar, divided 36g
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Salt 10g
  • 2 1/4 tsp Yeast, 1 pack active dry or instant 7g
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable oil 18g

Dutch Crunch Paste Topping

  • 1 Tbsp Warm water
  • 2 Tbsp Rice flour
  • 1/2 tsp Instant yeast
  • 1 Tbsp Brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Vegetable oil


Starter Instructions

  • In a mixing bowl, combine 1/3 cup of water (or weigh out 66 grams) with 1/2 cup of bread flour (or weigh out 66 grams). Sprinkle in 1/8 teaspoon of yeast.

  • Stir the mixture until well combined and there are no lumps. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the starter rest at room temperature overnight or for at least 8-12 hours.

Bread Dough Instructions

  • The following day: In a small bowl, combine a cup of warm water with the active dry yeast and 1 Tbsp. of sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes until it becomes frothy. While you are waiting, measure the flour, salt, and oil and set aside.

  • Combine the dry ingredients and the yeast mixture along with the poolish starter, remaining sugar, and oil, in the bowl of your stand mixer. Mix with the dough hook attachment until they come together into a rough dough. 3 minutes on low speed. There should be no dry ingredients remaining on the bottom of the bowl. Continue to knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. About 8 minutes. (the dough may still be a little sticky at this point, but resist the urge to add more flour)

  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a kitchen towel or plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours

  • Next mix the Dutch crunch paste. In a medium bowl, combine the water, rice flour, yeast, brown sugar, salt, and oil to form a paste. Cover the bowl and allow the paste to proof along with the dough.

  • Punch down the risen dough and divide it. To do this, lightly flour your work surface and divide the dough into 3 equal pieces of dough. If you are using a food scale each piece should weigh about 10 ounces.

  • Shape the dough into baguette shapes. Use a pastry brush to top each baguette with the Dutch crunch topping.

  • After the topping has been added, cut each baguette into 3 equal size pieces. place them in the Silicone Bread Mold, or a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover the shaped dough with a kitchen towel and let it rise again until doubled in size, about 30-45 minutes.

  • Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F (190°C). Once the dough has risen, bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack before slicing and serving.


This delicious bread is best enjoyed the same day it's baked for optimal freshness. However, if you find yourself with extras, store them in an airtight container or a sealed ziplock bag to maintain moisture and prevent staling.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Just check out this beautiful Sandwich made on the Mity Nice Bakery’s Dutch Crunch Sandwich Roll!

San Francisco Style Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe - Better Baker Club (6)
San Francisco Style Dutch Crunch Bread Recipe - Better Baker Club (2024)


What makes Dutch crunch crunchy? ›

As local sandwich fans already know, Dutch crunch is an otherwise unremarkable white roll, but it has a mixture of rice flour and sugar brushed over, creating that magical crackle or crinkle topping.

What is the famous Dutch crunch? ›

Dutch Crunch is a dense soft bread with a crackled top. This crunchy topping is formed when the rice-yeast paste on top of the bread crackles during the baking process. Dutch Crunch has been described as a sweeter chewy white bread with a moist crackle crust. Dutch Crunch is available for any sandwich.

What bread is similar to Dutch crunch? ›

Tiger Bread, a similar bread in taste and appearance, is found in the Netherlands, hence the “Dutch” in the name. The “crunch” comes from the thin, crackled topping that coats the top of the bread.

What is the difference between sourdough and Dutch crunch bread? ›

Besides the crunchy exterior, Dutch Crunch Bread is described by many as having a soft interior crumb that's slightly sweet. Yeast, and an addition of sugar, will likely help achieve this. My sourdough version has a more robust crumb and is slightly chewy. But it's not dense like a bagel or pretzel.

Why is Dutch Crunch bread so good? ›

For Chau, "the appeal of Dutch crunch is not only visual, but also textural. Textural differences between the crispy top of the rice flour coating and the softer bread is what makes this so special, as multiple textures excite the sensory experience."

Is Dutch Crunch Bread a California thing? ›

Instead of the rice flour topping giving Dutch Crunch its crunch, local bakers use sesame seeds, possibly in an effort to differentiate the California recipe from the Oregon version. However, by the 1970s the rice topping recipe becomes the dominant form in the Bay Area, and it really takes off from there.

Is Dutch crunch the same as Tiger Bread? ›

Tiger bread, known as Dutch Crunch in the U.S., is a Bay Area sandwich staple and a San Fransisco food you need to try. To make it, the top of a white bread roll gets thinly coated with rice flour dough to give the bread a unique, crackly top when baked.

Is Dutch Crunch bread from the Netherlands? ›

Dutch crunch bread originated in the Netherlands as the name suggests. There are various versions of this bread. It can be a super soft white loaf or individual little buns, or even long shaped sub rolls.

Is Dutch crunch Old Dutch? ›

Old Dutch Foods, Inc. is a manufacturer of potato chips and other snack foods in the Midwestern United States, New England and Canada. Their product line includes brands such as Old Dutch Potato Chips, Dutch Crunch, Ripples, Cheese Pleesers and Restaurante Style Tortilla Chips.

What are the ingredients in Safeway Dutch Crunch bread? ›

Enriched Unbleached Wheat Flour (Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Water, Rice Flour, Palm Oil, Sugar, Salt, Dried Whey, Dried Egg Yolk, Soy Flour, 2% or Less of Each of the Following: Soybean Oil, Enzymes, Ascorbic Acid, Sea Salt, Yeast.

Is Dutch Crunch bread good? ›

The bread Its virtues as a sandwich bread are undeniable. It's dense and doughy with just a hint of sweet, and it has a squishy crumb that can support a hefty pile of sliced meat. Just like the cinnamon streusel is the best part of a coffee cake, the crust is the best part of Dutch Crunch.

Does Dutch Crunch bread have sugar? ›


Is Dutch Crunch bread hard? ›

Revolutionize your bread game with Dutch Crunch Bread. Its irresistible crunchy surface hides a soft, pillowy interior, making it ideal for soups, stews, and sandwiches.

Which is better multigrain or sourdough bread? ›

Which is better, sourdough vs. multigrain bread? When made entirely from whole grains, multigrain bread is usually healthier than sourdough bread. However, sourdough bread may be more nutritious than multigrain bread if the multigrain bread contains refined grains.

What is the difference between French sourdough and San Francisco sourdough? ›

What's the difference between the French and San Francisco sourdoughs? The San Francisco Sourdough is all white flour and utilizes a 122-year old starter from Northern California and the French is half whole grain utilizing a yogurt culture made popular by Poilane, the famous bakery in France.

What are the ingredients in Dutch crunch chips? ›


What is Dutch Crunch bread made of? ›

To make them, you paint a mixture of water, rice flour, sugar, and yeast over the rolls partway through rising. As the rolls grow in the oven, the topping sets and cracks and its sugars and starches brown and develop flavor.

How to make a crunchy crust? ›

Use a pizza stone or cloche

So heat and steam are a key part of getting that crust of dreams. To help even more, pre-heat a pizza stone in the oven before starting to bake. Place the baking tray or tin directly onto the baking stone. This brings a hot surface into (almost) direct contact with the bread you're baking.

Is The Dutch crunch hard? ›

"Dutch Crunch rolls have a sweet flavor reminiscent of the white bread you always wanted as a kid, but maybe didn't get if you had whole-wheat parents, as so many of us Californians did," says San Francisco–based food writer Lauren Sloss. "And Dutch Crunch rolls should be soft--really soft.


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