A friend posted an article on Dutch Crunch bread, today, and it got me thinking..

Sourdough rolls were king when I was a kid growing up in San Francisco. Nothing could beat a salami sandwich on a crusty crunchy Larrabaru roll. We had a deli at the corner – Edgewater Delicatessen – and for 50¢ we could buy a salami sandwich. On our more poor days, we could buy 25¢ worth of salami and a 10¢ roll – and make our own sandwich for 35¢. More times than not, we paid for them – at least in part – by collecting bottles. It was definitely a world of high finance.

Larrabaru disappeared in the mid-70s, as did their uniquely crusty bread.

At that point I was living all over the USofA and sourdough was something I got on those rare occasions I was back in San Francisco for a visit. I finally moved back home in 1989 and rented a flat on 9th & Judah in the inner Sunset. A few blocks away was Andronico’s Market – an upscale grocery store that was a tad too expensive for everyday shopping but a great source for the unique. (Andronico’s was bought by Safeway in 2017 and it just ain’t the same…)

One of their unique offerings was a hand-carved Turkey Sandwich with Lingonberry Sauce on a Dutch Crunch Roll. They cost about $3.95 – pricey for the times – but definitely in the Top Ten list of favorite sandwiches I have eaten. What I didn’t know at the time was that Dutch Crunch rolls were really the rave in the Bay Area. A few really good bakeries were supplying everyone.

I would buy the sandwiches for dinner, to take to a Giant’s game out at Candlestick… I definitely had one at least every two weeks.

And then we moved east and Amoroso Rolls and Philly Cheesesteaks took over. Dutch Crunch rolls were but a memory.

And then we moved to Oregon. There was a bakery not too far from us that advertised Dutch Crunch rolls, but, in the time of Covid, generally didn’t have any. I found a couple of recipes online for them, but never made them.

Until today.

Dutch Crunch Rolls

adapted from Baking Sense

Bread Dough

  • 1/2 cups (120ml) slightly warm water
  • 1 cup (240ml) slightly warm whole milk
  • 15g (1tbsp) butter melted
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 packet dry yeast (7g)
  • 1/2 cup (70g) whole wheat flour
  • 3 cups (420g) all purpose flour


  • 1 cup (178g) rice flour
  • 1 packet (7g) dry yeast
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil
  • 3/4 cup (180ml) warm water

Instructions for 8 rolls

Mix water, milk, butter, sugar, salt and yeast. Add the whole wheat flour and 2 cups of the all purpose flour and mix until it forms a thick batter. Switch to the dough hook and add the
remaining flour. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl and cling to the dough hook.

Knead on medium speed for 5 minute until the dough is smooth and elasic.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat. Cover the bowl and set aside to rise until doubled in volume, about 1 hour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured
surface and divide into 8 equal portions.

Roll each piece of dough into a smooth ball and set on a parchment lined baking sheet.

Cover with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile. mix the topping.


Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the oil to the warm water then add it to the dry ingredients.

Whisk until combined. Set the topping aside for 20 minutes until bubbly.

Brush the topping generously onto the rolls. Let the rolls rise another 20 minutes.

Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.

As you probably have noticed, i didn’t get the same crackle that a traditional Dutch Crunch roll had. I think the topping was too thick. Another recipe I found stated the topping should be the consistency of glue. The posted recipe was closer to paste.

Yet, another, stated the topping should be spread on immediately after forming the rolls and allowed to rise with it on.

‘Tis the season to be baking bread, so I can see myself experimenting a bit more with this. But… as-is, the taste is great – and that’s the important part!