Monday, May 28, 2012

People's Pops

I just stumbled across a delightful looking new cookbook for the summer, called People's Pops.  The people behind the trendy (ok, honestly I have never been and can in no way vouch for its trendiness but I for sure want to check it out the next time I am in New York) popsicle stand of the same name are releasing a book in June with recipes for gems such as peach and bourbon popsicles.  I may need a copy.  I dare you to check out their website  or their blog and not want to try some of their creations.  You can pre-order from Powell's. (P.S. People's Pops have no idea I even exist, this is not a sponsored post, but if they want to throw a book my way I would be game...  Just kidding.  Sort of...)

Monday, May 21, 2012

Dutch Crunch Bread

This weekend I stumbled upon a picture of a sandwich on a delicious dutch crunch roll, which naturally I decided looked pretty darn fabulous and that I needed one of my own asap.  And naturally, the only place I have ever seen dutch crunch rolls is California (for those of you who don't have family in California to introduce to you to the wonders of dutch crunch, it is a crunchy, crackly topping on white bread and it is delicious).  And no, I don't live in California, in case you didn't know, I live 3,000 miles away from California, but that was not going to stop me, o no.  I researched and found a crazy informative blog about the crackle topping here, which it turns out is actually made from rice flour/sugar/yeast/water paste slathered on regular white bread before baking.  Easy right?  That blog mentioned the recipe being from Rose Levy Beranbaum's book The Bread Bible so I promptly went to the library and picked it up, and didn't find anything about dutch crunch in there, which I now realize is because she calls it tiger bread.  Anyways, I used her soft white bread recipe, which is a bit more involved than some bread recipes, but has great flavor, you could use whatever recipe you want and top it with the very first rice flour paste recipe from this blog, which you should probably cut in half because it makes a massive amount (and as I discovered baking the leftover paste on a cookie sheet does NOT make a delicious crunchy snack but rather makes a strangely textured blob).

Start out with your favorite bread dough, whatever you like to use for sammies, I have only seen it with white bread but you could use wheat if that is what floats your boat.  This is the Basic Soft White Sandwich Loaf and I would give you the recipe except it is a full 5 pages in The Bread Bible.  So I won't.

Timing wise, you want to form your rolls so that they can start in on their final rise while you mix the crunch topping and let that sit for its 15 minutes to meld.

The crunch mix is odd, I ended up adding more rice flour to get it to the stiff royal icing consistency called for, I don't really know how much, I sort of got frustrated and dumped a bunch in and that ended up being the right amount, magic.

This is another strange part, these snowballs are the rolls after I slathered the crunch goop on them with my fingers, make sure to cover the whole roll with a relatively thick coat, if it's too thin it won't crackle properly and it won't crackle much at all if it's too thick.  It is messy.  Just a warning.

Bake them up and enjoy.  If you need any clarification regarding the crunch topping check out this blog ( I know, I know, this is the third time I have linked to it, but really, it is quite useful)

Dutch Crunch Topping (this is the halved version, should make enough for about a dozen rolls/ one standard batch of bread dough, if there is such a thing)
1 Tbs yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1 Tbs sugar
1 Tbs veggie oil
1/4 tsp salt
3/4 cup rice flour

Mix all the ingredients together, adding more water or rice flour as needed to make it the consistency of a stiff royal icing.
Let sit 15 min.
Slather a good coat on your rolls or bread and bake according to the bread instructions.