Baking| Lions,Tigers … oh my! Going Dutch Crunch Bread or Tijgerbrood with Daring Bakers

“Bread is the king of the table and all else is merely the court that surrounds the king. The countries are the soup, the meat, the vegetables, the salad… but bread is king.”
Louis Bromfield

Dutch Crunch Bread | TijgerbroodI have never seen a bread prettier than this one and I have never been so elated baking bread, something I do quite often. This month Daring Bakers led us straight into the wild, ,or rather the wild side of bread baking. The challenge was to bake Dutch Crunch Bread or Tijgerbrood. I was exhilarated when mine began to crackle, roar and ‘tiger up’ in the oven.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 Bread or TijgerbroodTechnically, 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. Dutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodThis recipe for the Dutch Crunch topping came from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible; an adaptation of a recipe found on Baking Bites. The bread is a common option at sandwich shops all over the Bay Area and is often one of the first breads to run out. Dutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodThis has to be the prettiest bread I have ever made; one of the most satisfying too. Quite a show stopper. If ‘we first eat with our eyes‘ holds meaning for you, make this bread. You can taste it before you even bite into it! Something that looks this pretty and exciting MUST taste good!Dutch Crunch Bread or Tijgerbrood

Tiger bread (also sold as Dutch crunch in the USA, tijgerbrood or tijgerbol in Netherlands) is the commercial name for a loaf of bread which has a unique mottled crust. The bread is generally made with sesame oil and with a pattern baked into the top made by painting rice paste onto the surface prior to baking. The paste dries and cracks during the baking process. The rice paste crust also gives the bread a distinctive flavour. It has a crusty exterior, but is soft inside.Dutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodOn 31 January 2012, the UK grocery chain Sainsbury’s renamed the product “giraffe bread” after a letter written by a three-year-old named Lily Robinson, suggesting the alternative name, went viral. Sainsbury’s stated that “In response to overwhelming customer feedback that our tiger bread has more resemblance to a giraffe, from today we will be changing our tiger bread to giraffe bread”.

 Dutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodIt was certainly a charming end result. I waited with baited breath to see if I managed to get animal prints on my bread; lady luck was with me. The characteristic cracks showed up soon, and then the crust got coloured to perfection. Things like this define the joy of being a Daring Baker. Each month throws up a promising challenge, one that I await with eagerness, almost an impatience.Dutch Crunch Bread or Tijgerbrood The challenge really had me intrigued, unsure and a bit rattled too after reading much discussion on the forum. I made a meal of it pretty early in the month, around Holi, the Indian festival of colour. That might explain why the ‘now threatening to be quite terrible teen‘ looks so colourful, and the pooch happy as always! {The colours’ off now … }HoliThe second part of the challenge was to use it in a sandwich. For the filling I did chicken paillards marinated in a chimichurri sauce, a sauce which is believed to have originated in Argentina. My sis from Houston recently got me a bag of dried chimichurri which I used. Its a great tasting marinade. Dutch Crunch Bread or TijgerbroodIn the sandwich also went some quick pickled cucumbers that I made the night before, and some fresh iceberg from my little garden. On the side was a colourful fresh salad – cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, ground cherries, white grapes, lettuce and spring onions {whatever I found in the fridge basically}, tossed in a light fruity vinaigrette.

Thank you Sara and Erica of Baking JDs for a breathtaking challenge. Thank you and Ivonne of Cream Puffs in Venice for hosting this fab kitchen!! Do stop by here to see the other bakers prowl the jungle!



Recipe: Dutch Crunch Bread / Tiger Bread / Tijgerbrood

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Summary: Dutch Crunch bread, a delicious sandwich bread with a unique, crunchy topping. A visually delightful bread which is a common option at sandwich shops all over the Bay Area and is often one of the first breads to run out.

Servings: 10-20 sandwich rolls / buns
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes {plus resting time}

  • Dutch Crunch Topping
  • 2 tbsp  active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp  sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1½ cups rice flour
  • Soft White Roll
  • This recipe approximates the quintessential white sandwich roll found throughout the Bay Area. The recipe is simple, quick, and addictive. Should make 10-12 rolls.
  • 1½ tablespoon active dry yeast
  • ¼ + 1/8 cup warm water {it should feel between lukewarm and hot to the touch}
  • 1 ½ cup warm milk {low fat}
  • 2 ¼ tbsp sugar
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil {plus additional for greasing bowl during rising}
  • 2¼ tsp salt
  • 5 ½ cups {750gm} all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp vital gluten


  1. Dutch Crunch Topping
  2. 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.
  3. Coat the top of each loaf or roll with a thick layer of topping. We tried coating it with a brush but it worked better just to use fingers or a spoon and kind of spread it around. You should err on the side of applying too much topping – a thin layer will not crack properly.
  4. You can place the rolls directly into the oven after applying the topping, or let them stand for 20 minutes. 
  5. When baking, place pans on a rack in the center of the oven and bake your bread as you ordinarily would. The Dutch Cruch topping should crack and turn a nice golden-brown color.
  6. Soft White Rolls
  7. 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 should start to bubble or foam a bit and smell yeasty}.
  8.  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. 
  9. Add remaining flour a quarter cup at time until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 4 minutes, until smooth and elastic. {Thermomix:Place all ingredients in TM bowl. Mix at speed 6 for 7-8 seconds, and then knead for 2-3 minutes}
  10. Place in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour, or until doubled.
  11. Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 10-12 equal portions {or 2 equal portions if you’d like to make a loaf}.
  12. 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}.
  13. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for 15 minutes while you prepare the topping.
  14. Coat the top of each roll or loaf with the topping as described above. {While the original recipe recommends letting them stand for 20 minutes after applying the topping, I got equally good results by putting them directly into the oven, and by letting them stand for 20 minutes while the first batch baked}.
  15. Once you’ve applied the topping, bake in a preheated moderately hot 190°C for 25-30 minutes, until well browned. Let cool completely on a wire rack before eating.


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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


  • 5 years ago

    Wowo they look so perfect and super beautiful grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr you are activating the tiger in me 😉 I was too lazy to make them and now i wish I did them lazy or not.

  • Nora Lumiere
    5 years ago

    This looks beautiful and delicious. But shouldn’t it be “Leopard Bread”, since it’s leopards that have spots and tigers that have stripes?

  • 5 years ago

    Those rolls look amazing! I really like their crust. Perfect for making burgers.



  • 5 years ago

    This is such an interesting recipe, a new challenge for me, since I love baking with yeast and making all kinds of dough. These buns look beautiful!

  • 5 years ago

    I learn about soooooooooo many new bakes or dishes from your site; stuff I’ve never seen or heard of before. Seriously!
    These giraffe / tiger breads look amazing.

    *raising hand* can i write a letter saying they look like cheetah bread? haha! 😛

  • 5 years ago

    What nice Deeba!! this bread look amazing!!

  • 5 years ago

    Wow…the bread looks so amazing! I can’t take my eyes away from it. Love the tiger pattern and its colors, I know right away I have to make this. I’ve been making various kind of bread but never seen anything like this before! Thanks for sharing Deeba!

  • 5 years ago

    What a gorgeous bread whatever it’s called.

  • 5 years ago

    What a beautiful looking bread. Love those sandwiches!

  • 5 years ago

    Deeba these are such a treat to the eyes! The cracks are so neat and I can imagine how crunchy it would be.

  • 5 years ago

    wow!! These look amazing!! But I am never going to try it at home :-p The first ingredient, yeast, scared me off the recipe 😀

    Awesome awesome bread though…


  • 5 years ago

    this is definitely a pretty looking bread!!

    btw, I sent you an enquiry via mail!!

  • 5 years ago

    Really pretty pictures..

  • 5 years ago

    Beautifully done challenge Deeba!!! I have yet to make these and hope I could able to make these atleat this weekend….

  • 5 years ago

    what beautiful buns (sic) babe! look perfectly feline!

  • I sat by the oven waiting for mine to crack just like I wait for mac feet. Your bread is gorgeous! It looks like you achieved sandwich perfection.

  • 5 years ago

    Beautiful job as always! Your Dutch Crunch is truly stunning! 🙂

  • 5 years ago

    Eating with my eyes is the only option right now! Love that burger…I wish I could just drop by have it 🙂

  • 5 years ago

    Great job-love all the photos!

  • I had never heard of this bread! They look so gorgeous! They sound tasty too…

  • 5 years ago

    I love coming to your blog so I can feast my eyes on your beautiful photos. Great work as always. Best, Sandie

  • 5 years ago

    Your crunch topping looks great!

  • 5 years ago

    Love its tiger look but I don’t think we can find dutch crunch topping in Malaysia.
    Can we change it to other kind of topping?

  • 5 years ago

    Spectacular bread with the neat crunches. It would have been a wholesome lunch to have. I love the broken crust, no wonder it’s called giraffe bread now.

  • 5 years ago

    Your pictures are just breathtaking, and you clearly mastered the challenge. Thanks for joining us this month!

  • Donna
    5 years ago

    I want to attempt this gorgeous bread in bun-form for sandwiches…but I wonder if you might tell me about the vital yeast ingredient? Is this something I could find in Europe (France)…I can find fresh and dry yeast…is this different? Thank you for any enlightenment. Your blog is so well crafted..and I enjoy each and every post you so generously share!

  • 5 years ago

    Your Dutch Crunch rolls look stunning and that sandwich sounds so fresh and delicious. As always, impressive and inspiring work, beautiful photos and a great post.

  • 5 years ago

    Wow, your bread is just beautiful…as are all the cucumbers and tomatoes. YuM!

  • 5 years ago

    Stunning rolls and stunning photos! Really well done!

  • 5 years ago

    Beautiful bread, and GORGEOUS pictures! I love the contrast between the animal print bread and that tomato salad. yum!

  • 5 years ago

    Oh… what can I say, Deeba… your Tiger bread is beyond words! When I was having a hard time trying to find a substitute for the rice flour I was unable to find in Korea, I saw your wonderful bread at the forum… so inspiring! You got such a perfect pattern, and perfectly browned as well. Bravo to you!

  • As always your pictures are breath taking
    I love the bread but can’t get over how colorful and bright the salad is
    you did a brilliant job on this challenge

  • Liz
    5 years ago

    I wonder how they developed that topping. It is so unusual. I have been a bread baker for 30 years and never came across anything like it. The bread looks marvelous!

  • What a good looking bread, it’s true that beautiful food tastes even better doesn’t it?

  • 5 years ago

    Wow! Your tiger bread is just perfect 🙂

  • abha
    5 years ago

    Deeba these are just PERFECT.

  • Dear Deeba, your images are simply mouthwatering! The colours are stunning! And the recipe sounds so delicious ~ I’m definitely going to make this (I also have Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Bread Bible, but might not have tried this bread for a very long time until I saw your delicious images! How sweet that Sainsbury’s have decided to rename their Tiger bread to Giraffe bread after the little boy’s message 🙂 I agree, it looks more like a giraffe’s pattern!

    Thanks again for your delicious inspiration and writing, Deeba!

    Hugs from Montreal,

    ~ marie

  • 5 years ago

    I love that bread! I’ve never tried making it at home though. Will have to give it a try!

  • 5 years ago

    Wow, these look so pretty. I’m adding this recipe to my bread to bake list. This list is getting longer and longer and every time I cross out an item my waistline is getting bigger and bigger 😉

  • 5 years ago

    Your bread, by the way, looks incredible!

  • 5 years ago

    I made these yesterday and they turned out picture perfect! Thanks for sharing Deeba

    • 5 years ago

      How nice Rekha. Your email reminded me of maybe missing out on a really old mail you sent me. Did I not get back to you? My apologies, but I have been very occupied of late.

  • Preet
    4 years ago

    Hi Deeba

    Made these and when the topping got browned- i took the buns out of the oven. However the buns were not fully baked in the center. Also the topping did not look as good as yours. Thinking that I might have gone wrong in some measurements etc, I tried them again today, and still no luck.

    I wonder what i could be doing wrong?

  • 4 years ago

    Thank you for the recipe. Today I made these rolls and it was very delicious.

  • 3 years ago

    OMG i just looked up some dutch recipes and found this amazing and delightful post. THe pictures let melt the water in my mouth and let me think of just preparing some salad with this little bread or make some sandwiches/burgers like you did. Anyways i know i will fail, maybe you have to make me some of those Tijgerbrood, because im not master in baking xD Thanks for this post mate! PS. Your pictures are really good!

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