Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Crackle Bread, Dutch Crunch or Tijgerbrood...

Bread.  The staff of life.  Isn't it amazing the varieties of bread we make in various cultures?  I have been baking bread for many years and I am constantly wanting to try different bread recipes and methods of making bread.  I had just used up half of the last remaining loaf of bread and so declared to myself that today was bread-making day.   I decided to do something a little different in my bread making today -- crackle bread.  I had never heard of it until I was reading a blog called The Woman and the Wheat.  The post where I first discovered this yummy bread was here and that post was a springboard to a bit of online research to learn more about making Crackle Bread, Dutch Crunch, or Tijgerbrood (tiger bread in Dutch) -- whichever name you wish to call this tasty loaf.  I checked one of my favorite bread sites, The Fresh Loaf and found a nice listing of  the breads here.  I also found The Knead For Bread, a lovely bread recipe collection blog, and I used their Crackle Bread recipe for my topping and just made one of my standard bread recipes as the foundation loaf.  As you can see by the above picture, the topping is really a dough in and of itself.  It is a rice batter that is made ahead before you are ready to bake your loaves so it has time to rise.  Then you frost your raised bread loaves generously with the rice batter and pop them into the oven to bake.  The result is a crackly top as pictured below.

You can see by the above picture that my largest loaf has the deepest cracks, and I remember coating it a bit thicker than the others.  I really should have made double the rice batter to slather on the other loaves before baking, but alas, I only had what I had.  I *think* the bread may have had a crustier top and more crunch had I been more generous with it.  Next time I will also add a little more bake time for a darker crust and deeper contrast in the bread cracks.



The topping on the bread is sweet and crunchy and really adds a nice dimension to the everyday loaf. It does not fall off like some toppings I have added to breads, but that's because it's a batter and it sticks better than seeds and grains that are sprinkled onto an egg wash.  I'm anxious to try this again with the next batch of bread, and I will definitely double the rice batter.  I'd really like to try it on rolls too.  You'd get more crunch on individual rolls, I think.  Yum!

**Addendum
One thing to note, make only enough crackle bread to eat fresh.  If you put the loaves or rolls in plastic bags, the crunchy topping gets soft.  It doesn't affect the bread or the taste, but there's just no crunch.  Also, next time I will not make loaves in bread pans, but make them free-standing on cookie sheets so as to smear on more rice batter for coverage and over-all crunch.

17 comments:

  1. I love all breads too and have been making it since I was 12...this looks very yummy! :D

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  2. Just a week ago I found some white rice flour and brought it home so I would be ready to make bread with this topping. It's nice to read about your experience ahead of time. Thank you!

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  3. Oooh, I'll bet that's good! I love a crusty top. Can you just spread that rice mixture on the top of any standard white or wheat bread recipe?

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  4. Mmm mm - that looks so good! I love to make bread. And now that our weather is a bit cooler it's a perfect time to bring out the loaf pans and give this recipe a try. I have such a traditionalist hubby though - he likes things plain :) But I'm going to give this recipe a try anyhow!

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  5. Oh that looks so good! Maybe I'll even try to make some :0)

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  7. Jody, you are The Breadmaker Extraordinaire in my book! These looks so totally delicious. I bet your house smells delightful.

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  8. Thimbleanna,

    Yes, you may use any bread and smear the rice batter on top after it has raised. I'm doing an experiment tonight with frozen Rhodes rolls. I'm letting them thaw and rise and then I'm going to spread on the rice batter thick and see what happens.

    I'll share the results.

    Gretchen Joanna,
    I hope you'll share your results with the Crackle Bread on your blog.

    Jody

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  9. Mmmmmmmm. Beautiful bread, Jody.

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  10. I'm with Pom Pom--that's some pretty bread you've got there. Really lovely! I've been wanting to make some whole wheat honey bread lately. It makes the whole house smell wonderful.

    xfrances

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  11. Very intersting. I have never made this. I have had this bread but did not think much about the crackle top. I will have to try it xoxo Clarice

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  12. I'm a lazy girl with a bread machine but isn't it excellent to have fresh made bread, the house smells so cosy. Your breads look so homely.

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  13. It does look so yummy. We are that big bread eaters but this makes my mouth water. I think we eat about 1 loaf every 2 weeks...but who knows if I baked it fresh that might change. Dianntha

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  14. This is a great idea - what a nice change from our regular daily bread.
    Warm wishes, Tonya

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  15. Oh my those loaves look so good! I love trying new bread recipes as I'm pretty new to bread baking and don't yet have a very favorite one. I'll save those links and have a look when I have more time. Thanks!

    Manuela

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  16. All I can say is yum! I make a lot of bread and I am going to give this a try. Don't you just love how baking bread makes the house smell?

    ~M~

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