Tiger (or Giraffe) Rolls {Bake!}

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.

To make these rolls, I started by making the One-step Bread Dough on pages 64-65. The dough is made with flour, salt, yeast, water, and oil, which I mixed in a bowl with a rubber spatula.

After the initial mixing, I allowed the dough to rest for 15 minutes, then mixed it again.

I let the dough rest again, then turned it out of the bowl, gave it a stretch and fold, and put it in an oiled bowl to rise.

After a second stretch and fold, I put the dough back in the bowl and allowed it to ferment until it had doubled in volume. At this point the dough was ready to be made into rolls. I turned the dough out onto a floured board and patted it into a rectangle. Using a bench scraper, I cut the dough into 12 pieces. I then shaped the pieces into individual rolls.

I let the rolls rest while I made the topping, consisting of yeast, water, sugar, salt, olive oil, and rice flour. This is a fairly typical Dutch crumb topping, which is spread onto the top of the dough before baking. As the rolls rise in the oven, the topping dries and cracks, creating a mottled effect.

I spread the Dutch crumb on the rolls with a small offset spatula, then set the rolls aside for a final rise.

The rolls proofed for about 45 minutes, until they had nearly doubled in size. While the rolls were proofing, I preheated the oven to 375°F.

I baked the rolls for 25 minutes, until they were well-risen and the topping was lightly browned and crackled.

These rolls were light and airy inside, and the crust had just the right amount of tooth to it. The Dutch crumb topping was slightly sweet, crunchy, and just a bit yeasty. Taken together, these were among the best rolls I’ve ever tasted. I had two of them right after they came out of the oven, and another one or two later in the evening. They were as good at room temperature as they were straight out of the oven.

Nick calls these “Tiger Rolls” because of the appearance of the Dutch crumb topping after it bakes and cracks. Looking at them, I thought they looked more like giraffes than tigers, so I’ve renamed them “Giraffe Rolls”.

The next time I make these rolls, I will scale the dough. I generally scale any dough that I’m going to divide, whether into two loaves or 24 rolls. I didn’t do that with these rolls, which you can tell by looking at a few of the rolls side by side.

OK, so maybe it’s a baby giraffe standing next to its mama. These were fine for a casual weekend family supper, but if I were making them for a dinner party, I would definitely use my kitchen scale to make sure the rolls came out more uniform in size. In any case, they were really delicious and reminded me how much I love Dutch crunch.

This was another successful recipe from Nick Malgieri’s newest book, Bake! If you want a great baking book with lots of techniques and great recipes, you should pick up a copy. If you do, we’d love to have you Twitterbake along with us.

Kayte couldn’t wait to make her next pick, so we are making Spinach & Bacon Tarts tomorrow. So much baking, so little time….

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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.