Easy Tiger

Amateur bread bakers often struggle to create a crisp crust that gives way to a soft crumb beneath, using high-hydration dough and various techniques to infuse steam into the early stages of baking. Recently, I became aware of a shortcut that uses a crunchy topping to achieve something similar. While I have never encountered “Dutch Crunch” or “Tiger Bread” in the wild, the technique is simple. Prepare rolls, buns, or loaves using any recipe (enriched doughs are often used) and apply a thick paste of rice flour, oil, sugar, and yeast. The topping dries before the bread has fully risen in the oven. As it rises, the topping cracks, creating a craggy, crunch surface.

Dutch Crunch Topping

  • Servings: 6
  • Difficulty: easy
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A paste to add a crunch topping to bread

This topping will work with essentially any yeast bread recipe.


120 g white rice flour

100 mL water

12 g sugar

12 g oil

6 g instant yeast


  1. After the bread dough has risen, but before baking, mix together the topping ingredients, adjusting with rice flour and water as needed for a thick paste. Let sit for 15 minutes.
  2. Liberally apply the paste to the top of the dough with a spoon or brush and let sit for another 15 minutes.
  3. Bake as usual (typical recipes with this topping use temperatures of about 400° F for 20 minutes).

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