Tiger Bread (Dutch Crunch Rolls)


It recently came to my attention that outside of San Francisco, these rolls aren't really well known, which I think is a real shame since this combines a nice, soft, tender white bread roll with a slightly sweet, beautifully crunchy, and gorgeous crust that (depending on how things go) may or may not look like a tiger's skin.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
1 hrs 45 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 40 mins
6 rolls


For the Dough:

  • ½ cup milk

  • cup water

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast

  • 2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

  • 1 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted

For the Topping:

  • cup rice flour

  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

  • 1 teaspoon white sugar

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 ½ teaspoons vegetable oil

  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil

  • 1 ½ teaspoons active dry yeast

  • ¼ cup warm water, or as needed


  1. Combine milk and water in a microwave-safe bowl; microwave in 10-second intervals until just warm to the touch, or 100 degrees F (38 degrees C). Add sugar and 1 package yeast to the bowl and stir together. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes before using.

  2. Pour flour and salt into a mixing bowl and stir together with a fork. Make a well in the center and pour in the yeast mixture and melted butter. Stir with the fork until the mixture comes together to form a shaggy dough, 1 to 2 minutes. Switch to your hand and knead in the bowl until a ball of dough is formed.

  3. Transfer to work surface and knead until a very smooth, soft, elastic ball of dough forms, 7 to 8 minutes.

  4. Transfer into a lightly greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

  5. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat.

  6. Stir rice flour, sugar, salt, vegetable oil, sesame oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons yeast, and 1/4 cup warm water together in a small bowl. Add more water if needed to form a thick, but spreadable mixture. This needs to be thin enough to spread over rolls without deflating them, but thick enough not to all run off on to the pan. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until needed.

  7. Transfer risen dough to a work surface and press out all the air while rolling into a short, fat tube shape. Divide into 6 balls of dough.

  8. Shape each ball by pulling and pinching the dough at the bottom to form a smooth skin over the top surface of the dough ball. Transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a clean, dry tea towel, and let rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

  9. Uncover rolls and use a small spoon to carefully spread the topping mixture over each one.

  10. Bake in the center of the preheated oven until rolls are golden brown and the tops have cracked about 20 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool to room temperature before serving.


Chef's Notes:

You can use bread flour instead of all-purpose flour.

Instead of rolls, one loaf of bread can be made using the same method as written. May require additional baking time, and bread is done when internal temp reaches 190 degrees F (88 degrees C).

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

306 Calories
5g Fat
56g Carbs
8g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 306
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g 7%
Saturated Fat 2g 11%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 277mg 12%
Total Carbohydrate 56g 20%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 6g
Protein 8g
Calcium 36mg 3%
Iron 3mg 17%
Potassium 141mg 3%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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