BBA Challenge #39: Vienna Bread with Dutch Crumb Topping

The next bread in the Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge is Vienna Bread, an enriched European bread that is often topped with a slightly sweet Dutch crunch topping. This bread was delicious, especially after the nearly tasteless Tuscan bread. In fact, I enjoyed this bread so much that I made it twice in two weeks.

Reinhart’s Vienna bread recipe, like many of his recipes, begins with a preferment, in this case pâte fermentée. The recipe calls for 13 ounces of preferment; but the pâte fermentée recipe in the book makes 16 to 17 ounces of dough. Time to break out the baker’s math! Since the recipe gives baker’s percentages, it was a fairly simple matter to scale it to the amount I needed.

I ended up using 4 ounces each of all-purpose and bread flours, 0.15 ounce salt, a scant 1/2 teaspoon yeast, and 5 ounces water. The result was just over 13 ounces of dough, which I allowed to ferment for a little over an hour before refrigerating it overnight.

The next day, I removed the pâte fermentée from the fridge, cut it into pieces, and allowed the pieces to come to room temperature.

The pieces were then mixed into the dough, which included sugar, butter, egg, and barley malt powder.

After fermenting the dough for about 2 hours, I divided it in half and shaped each portion into a boule.

I allowed the boules to rest for 20 minutes, then shaped them into batards.

The loaves were covered and left to proof for about 90 minutes. While the loaves were proofing, I mixed the Dutch crunch topping, made from semolina flour, yeast, oil, sugar, salt, and enough water to make a thick, spreadable paste. When the loaves were ready to bake, I brushed them with Dutch crunch paste and slashed the loaves lengthwise.

Because Vienna bread contains malt powder, it browns more quickly than other doughs. For this reason, the loaves are baked at a lower temperature than many hearth breads — 450 dF.

I baked the loaves for about 30 minutes, until the internal temperature reached 200 dF.

As noted above, this was a delicious bread, one worth making again and again. And I really liked the look, texture, and taste of the Dutch crunch topping. I’ve never used Dutch crunch paste before, but I think I will find myself adding it to other recipes.

So that’s Vienna bread. Up next: the Big Four-Oh — Pain de Mie.

Check out Paul’s write up at Yumarama.


  1. February 12, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    […] of the bread a mottled appearance and a crunchy texture.  Ever since I read fellow BBA Challenger Phyl’s post of his Vienna bread, I have been dying to try this topping.  It reminds me of my dry scaly dragon […]

  2. December 5, 2010 at 2:08 am

    […] It was my turn to pick a recipe from Bake! for my weekly Twitterbake with Kayte, and I chose Tiger Rolls on page 69. These rolls are simple and delicious and will become a regular feature on my dinner table. They are really good rolls in their own right, and are taken to another level by the addition of Dutch crumb topping. […]

  3. May 24, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    […] out some other Vienna Breads; Of Cabbages & King Breads – here The Yumarama Bread Blog – here Family & Food & Other things – here Bewitching […]

  4. May 9, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    […] of the bread a mottled appearance and a crunchy texture.  Ever since I read fellow BBA Challenger Phyl’s post of his Vienna bread, I have been dying to try this topping.  It reminds me of my dry scaly dragon […]

  5. misterrios said,

    March 2, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    My word! These are amazing. I’ve been totally looking forward to the Dutch Crunch. The loaves, the scoring. Beautiful. Good to know that the recipe makes too much Crunch. Thanks for the tip.

    • gaaarp said,

      March 2, 2010 at 5:24 pm

      I’ve made Dutch Crunch several times since this post (I used it on my pain de mie, with great results). I have found that 1/3 recipe is just about right for one batch of bread. If you look at the recipe, it’s fairly easy to convert (e.g., 1/3 tablespoon is 1 teaspoon; 1/3 of 3/4 is 1/4; etc.).

  6. February 28, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    […] Sourdough, sourdough barm, sourdough starter, yeast Having recently baked one really good (Vienna), two so-so (Pain de Mie and Whole Wheat), and one yuck (Tuscan) breads in the past few weeks, I […]

  7. February 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    […] version #3, however, I decided to use a Dutch crunch topping, which meant I couldn’t use the lid, as I was afraid the topping would all stick to […]

  8. Tonia said,

    February 10, 2010 at 12:27 am

    I think the Dutch crunch topping will keep for a few days in the ‘fridge, or you can freeze left-overs. I worked in a Dutch bakery for almost 2 years and I think the guy who was the bread baker kept his in the ‘fridge.

    • gaaarp said,

      February 10, 2010 at 10:01 am

      Good to know it can keep. I left mine sitting out on the counter for too long, and it went to pot. I’ll try refrigerating or freezing it next time.

  9. Natashya said,

    February 8, 2010 at 7:15 am

    Beautiful! I am looking forward to this one.

  10. February 7, 2010 at 9:13 pm

    Your loaves look beautiful. Great idea to substitute semolina for the rice flour, although I think you’d get a good crunch with rice flour as well. Thanks for the heads up on excessive quantitiy of topping. This looks like it would be great toasted too.

  11. oggi said,

    February 7, 2010 at 1:13 pm

    The topping and the loaves look beautiful. The semolina sounds better than rice flour for the Dutch crunch topping.

    • gaaarp said,

      February 7, 2010 at 1:33 pm

      I used semolina because that’s what I had onhand. I really did like it. I might try it with cornmeal on Anadama bread next.

  12. February 7, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    Mmm, that looks fabulous! I’ve never paid attention to that bread in the book but now I’m excited to make it. Can’t wait to try the topping!

  13. Nicole said,

    February 7, 2010 at 10:11 am

    The topping looks really cool! 🙂

  14. AnneMarie said,

    February 7, 2010 at 8:18 am

    I ended up tossing a chunk of the preferment. Mine is on the counter warming up and I thought I would check what is new in blogger land. I’m psyched that it is delcious.

  15. Frieda said,

    February 7, 2010 at 12:27 am

    Fabulous lookin’ bread! Thanks for figuring out the baker’s math…don’t know if I could do that. Also, thanks for the tips on cutting back on the Dutch topping…I would hate to see it go to waste.

    • gaaarp said,

      February 7, 2010 at 12:44 am

      Thanks, Frieda. As I was baking the bread, I thought I would expand on both the volume of Dutch crumb and using baker’s math in my blog. But of course I forgot about it when I wrote the post!

      Perhaps I’ll do a “baker’s percentages in action” post. It’s easier than you think.

  16. Paul said,

    February 7, 2010 at 12:18 am

    Mine JUST came out of the oven and are cooling. They look very cool and smell great. Can’t wait to slice and bite.

    I’ll get this blogged tomorrow.

    Did you find the amount of crunch topping mix was a little excessive? I mixed 2/3 quantity and still had well over half left after slathering it on the bread rather heavily. I doubt it can keep with the yeast in it so a fair bit got chucked.

    • gaaarp said,

      February 7, 2010 at 12:22 am

      Yeah, there was WAY too much crunch topping. The second time around, I only made about 1/3 quantity, and I still had a lot left over. I agree: I don’t think it would keep.

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