Super Crunchy Dutch Tiger Bread (Tijgerbolletjes)

These are the crunchiest rolls I’ve ever eaten! Dutch Tiger Bread (tijgerbolletjes) is made from scratch with a little whole wheat flour and a topping that creates an amazing, super-crunchy crust.

a dutch tiger bread roll on a plate

To tell you the truth I’d never eaten Dutch Tiger Bread before I made this recipe. As I was looking through Dutch cookbooks and websites for typical Dutch breads, I kept coming across recipes for Dutch Crunch Bread or Tiger Bread (Tijgerbrood in Dutch).

Since I don’t remember having this kind of bread in Holland, I asked the hubby if this is really a Dutch recipe (and not Pennsylvania “Dutch”, which is German). He assured me that it really is a Dutch recipe.

Recipe Ingredients

  • Water
  • Whole milk
  • Butter
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Yeast
  • Whole wheat flour
  • All purpose flour
  • Rice flour
  • Vegetable oil
dutch tiger bread baking
  • As the dough rises in the oven, the paste on the outside crackles, which forms the “tiger” crust on the rolls.

Tips for making Tiger Bread:

  • I added a hint of whole wheat flour for an interesting background flavor and better crumb texture. You can eliminate the whole wheat flour or increase it to up to half the amount of flour in the recipe.
  • The dough can be formed into a loaf if you prefer sliced bread to rolls.
  • If you like a slightly larger sandwich you can portion the dough into 6 instead of 8 pieces.
  • The rolls are best the day they’re made, but also freeze very well.
dutch tiger bread on a cooling rack
interior of a dutch tiger bread and a knife with butter

Watch the recipe video to see how to make Dutch Tiger Bread.

Want to try more Authentic Dutch Recipes?

Looking to make a great submarine sandwich? You can make Homemade Hoagie Rolls!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please consider giving it a 5-star review.

dutch tiger bread tijgerbolletjes
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4.55 from 155 reviews

Dutch Tiger Bread (Tijgerbolletjes)

Soft rolls with a crispy, crunchy “tiger” topping. There’s a hint of whole wheat flour for extra flavor.
Prep Time30 minutes
Bake Time25 minutes
Rising Time1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time2 hours 25 minutes
8 large rolls
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Bread Dough

  • 4 oz warm water (½ cup)
  • 8 oz whole milk (1 cup, scalded and cooled to 100 °F)
  • ½ oz unsalted butter (melted)
  • ½ oz granulated sugar (1 tablespoon)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast
  • 2 ½ oz wheat flour (½ cup, see note)
  • 15 oz all purpose flour (3 cups)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons table salt


  • 6 oz rice flour (1 cup)
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast
  • ½ oz granulated sugar (1 tablespoon)
  • ½ teaspoon table salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 6 oz warm water (¾ cup)


  • In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combinei 4 oz warm water, 8 oz whole milk, ½ oz unsalted butter, ½ oz granulated sugar, and 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast. Add 2 ½ oz wheat flour and 2 cups (10oz) of the all purpose flour and mix until it forms a thick batter. Cover the bowl and set it aside for 30-60 minutes.
  • Switch to the dough hook. Add 1 ½ teaspoons table salt and the remaining flour. Knead on medium speed for 5 minutes. The dough should clear the sides of the bowl and cling to the dough hook. If mixing by hand, add as much flour as you can with a wooden spoon then knead the remaining flour. Knead by hand for 7-8 minutes 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. Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
  • 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 the prepared baking sheet.
  • Cover the baking sheet with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the topping (see note).


  • Preheat the oven to 400 °F.
  • Whisk together 6 oz rice flour, 2 ¼ teaspoons dry yeast, ½ oz granulated sugar and ½ teaspoon table salt. Add 1 tablespoon vegetable oil to6 oz 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 the rolls. Let the rolls rise another 20 minutes. Bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes.

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If measuring the flour by volume use the “dip & sweep” method. That is, dip the measuring cup into the flour bin, overfill it, then sweep away the excess.
The rolls can be made a day ahead and refrigerated until ready to bake. The next day take the rolls out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature while you make the topping and preheat the oven.


Serving: 1roll | Calories: 368kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.1g | Cholesterol: 7mg | Sodium: 596mg | Potassium: 142mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 90IU | Vitamin C: 0.01mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 3mg
Have you tried this recipe?Mention @eileen.bakingsense or tag #bakingsense!

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    My bulk risen bread was a little sticky but I persevered to separate into eight pieces.
    However, they still baked well, with a hard crusty top and a good inner crumb.
    This method makes me want to try a sweet roll recipe and a craquelin like topping next.

  2. 5 stars
    I have been looking for this recipe for decades! As a kid, my family use to go to a German bakery on Long Island to get ‘Rice Rolls’. They had such a crunchy texture, and I loved the crunchy overflowed baked bits on the edges. This is the only recipe I found that comes close to what I remember. They were not called Tiger Bread so this might be a second cousin to a similar German recipe, but they are delicious (if there a similar German recipe, please let me know). I followed the instructions, which were well written and easy to follow, and the rolls came out great. Thanks for helping me relive a childhood memory that I can now bake on my own! The search is over!

  3. Hi, thank you for your recipe! My bread loaf came good but the rice paste crackling looks chalky n white pale
    Thank you

  4. I made these once before and they were a huge hit! I’m getting ready to make another batch, but I don’t remember if I substituted the whole milk with almond milk. Or Lactaid? Does it make a big difference? Or should I just go buy the whole milk?

  5. A great recipe! My family love this bread and I enjoy making our own. I do find the topping feels more powdery than the shop bought Tiger bread. Do you know why this might be?

  6. Would you suggest using active or instant yeast? I’m guessing active since there are resting times but just wanted to double check..

    1. If I use yeast I always use active yeast because I do like longer rise times. But if you only have instant go ahead and use that. Adjust rise times as needed.

  7. This recipe turned out fantastic. I love Dutch Crunch rolls and often can’t find them in the store. These are better than any store rolls! I’ll make them again. Hint: If you can’t find rice flour, you can grind some rice in your coffee grinder or in a good blender.

  8. can these be baked in a dutch oven, if yes, would you kindly share the instructions to do so. thanks much in advance.

    1. You can’t really fit 8 rolls into a Dutch Oven. You could form it into a loaf and bake it in the Dutch Oven. Same instructions, just form one big ball instead of 8 small balls.

  9. Thanks heaps for this deliciousness! I’ve made it and it definitely tops the store bought ones. Love it, keep it, will make it many times, I am sure of it. Xox

  10. I had Dutch Crunch bread a long time ago and loved it. I found your recipe in a search after watching an episode of The Great British Baking Show where I saw and didn’t now what Tiger bread was. I made these for my family and they were a big hit. The texture was a little grainier than I remembered, but it was a good flavor nonetheless. Is the bread supposed to be slightly grainy?

    1. I’m not sure what you mean by “grainy”. I purposely put a little whole wheat flour in the recipe for an interesting background flavor and better crumb texture. You can use all white flour if you prefer not to have the “grainy” flavor (if that’s what you mean).

  11. I baked a half-recipe (dough and topping) for a little more than 20 minutes on an oven rack just slightly above center and the tops came out really pale. I am perplexed over (1) oven position, (2) add more oil to the topping, (3) really load up topping on the rolls, (4) bake longer (although the interior temp as 195 F, (5) type of white rice flour. Any suggestions on where I may have gone wrong?

    1. Was the color of the rolls the only problem? My guess is that is has something to do with how your oven is baking. Do you have a convection setting? If so, that would improve browning. More oil wouldn’t improve browning. I think just a few more minutes in the oven would do the trick.

  12. The timings in the instructions are a bit confusing:
    Cover the baking sheet with a damp kitchen towel and set aside to rise for 30 minutes. Meanwhile. mix the topping (see note).
    Whisk together the dry ingredients. Add the oil …. Set the topping aside for 20 minutes until bubbly.
    Brush the topping generously onto the the rolls. Let the rolls rise another 20 minutes.

    What is the timing from covering the rolls to brushing on the topping? Do you do it after 30 minutes, with another 20 minutes rest?

    1. Set the rolls aside and begin making the topping. Assuming it takes 5 or 10 minutes to make the topping and then it sits for 20 minutes, by the time you’re ready to brush on the topping the rolls should have sat aside for 30 minutes. Brush on the topping and leave it another 20 minutes. By then the rolls should have been rising about 50 minutes.

  13. Sorry, I am an experienced baker and I think you have the wet/dry proportions off on these, I tried making them exactly as indicated and ended up with a very very wet dough. I added an extra half cup of flour and it still felt more like a biscuit dough than a bread or roll dough. Ended up with rolls that basically flattened into pancakes and did not hold their shape at ALL – and that’s with adding an extra half cup of flour. Disaster. Would not make again, Trying someone else’s recipe as I really want to make this.

    1. No, the proportions are fine. This dough has a 65% hydration, that is the ratio of moisture to flour in the dough. That is not a particularly wet dough. Do you use volume or weight measure? If you use volume measure this recipe is tested using the “dip and sweep” method for the flour. There can be quite a bit of weight difference if you spoon the flour into the cup.

  14. I made this recipe for the first time and the rolls are lovely, just a question, when I took them out of the oven the tops were lovely and crispy, but then they softened up. How do I keep the tops crusty??

    1. How long did it take for them to soften up? They should stay crisp for a day or so. Maybe give them another minute or two in the oven to finish crisping. Also, cooling on a rack helps.

      1. It didn’t take long at all. I cooled them on a rack, by the time they were cool they were soft. Could humidity be a factor? It was awfully humid yesterday.

  15. Hi, these look absolutely beautiful, I cannot wait to try baking them. May I ask a question…… if I wish to make a loaf rather than rolls, what size loaf tin (or free form?), and what Oven temperature and for how long? Thank you.

    1. You could either bake in a loaf pan or as a free form loaf on a sheet pan. Bake at 400F. Instead of 20 minutes I would guess more like 40 minutes. But that’s just an estimate. It will vary based on the size and shape of the loaf. Keep an eye on the loaf starting at 35 minutes. An interior temp of 190-200F is what you need. I generally just flip the loaf over and tap on the bottom. If the loaf is baked it will have a hollow sound.

  16. Very nice and easy to do! Very tasty. I let it rise before and after putting the topping on. Mine definitely didn’t come as neat as yours – but very good all the same!
    I couldn’t find rice flour – so I used ground rice – which is more course – but was very nice! As a young baker I would recommend this recipe for people to do – it is very nice!

    1. Hi Jill, sorry but I don’t have any experience with a bread maker. Does the dough setting just mix the dough? If so, I’m sure you can use it to mix this dough.

  17. Hi, so there seems to be a lot of the “topping” left over. What could I make with it so as not to waste all that yeast and flour?

    1. Hi Clare. Yes, we’re all trying to save yeast and flour right now. You could put the topping in the freezer and use it later for another batch of rolls.

      1. Hello, Eileen! Looks as if you just answered my question; I was going to write and ask you if the 2½ tsps of yeast in the topping was a mistake or not. Apparently it isn’t!

        I’m definitely going to try this recipe.

  18. I just made these rolls and they were delicious! Unfortunately, they didn’t rise again after I added the topping, and I waited 20 minutes before I faked them. Any idea what I could have done wrong? Thanks for the recipe!

  19. These look delicious! It will be my first time making bread, wish me luck! When baking the bread into a loaf, how long for the baking time?

    1. I haven’t baked this recipe as a loaf so I can’t give an exact time. I would start checking at about 25 minutes. The center of the loaf should be at 190-200 degrees F.

  20. This recipe came out really well. I baked mine for a few extra minutes because I prefer them a little darker. Growing up in Northern California, ‘Dutch Crunch’ was used for sandwiches and it is not a common bread to find. My hubby had his first Dutch crunch roll about 11 years ago and became obsessed. I saw this recipe and surprised him. He loves them! These are a bit more dense than expected, but I enjoyed it and will keep the recipe handy. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Jenn. If you found the rolls a bit dense, you could give them a little more time on the final rise to see if that helps.

  21. I would like to use frozen bread dough. My rolls have tasted good but they did not crackle.Do you know what went wrong?

    1. Have you tried this recipe, but with frozen dough or have you been working with a different recipe. Make sure you follow all the steps, allow the topping to rise for 20 minutes before brushing on the bread and then wait another 20 minutes after it’s brushed on.

  22. I found these to be divine when first out of the oven. The next day however, when you touch the topping it turns to power and falls of the bread roll. Maybe my topping was too thick? Will make again, but want to perfect them!

    1. Most breads are best the day they’re baked. I can’t remember if I had any of these left over to see how they were the next day. It does seems strange that the topping will fall off like that. Did you refrigerate the rolls over night or leave them at room temp?

  23. These crunchy tiger bread are tasty. Now they are my favourites. Can’t wait to make them on this weekend. Thank you Eileen. 🙂

  24. Dutch Crunch is a San Francisco invention. Tijgerbrood is not Dutch Crunch. They don’t even look the same.

    Dutch Crunch is always shaped in a long oblong roll, never round.

    The Crunch top has distinct striated lines, not the roundish marks of these rolls.

    The top of Dutch Crunch is deep golden brown, not pale like these rolls.

    What sets Dutch Crunch apart from other rolls is the bread is very soft, like a bakery made dinner roll, but with the top being crunchy. The flavor is very light, with a delicate sweetness.

    Dutch Crunch is so specific to San Francisco that it’s hardly even found in the surrounding cities.

    1. Thanks for the feedback Cate. My husband is Dutch and verified that he has seen bread like this in Holland all his life.

      1. I’m in agreement that tijgerbrood is truly a Dutch thing. Maybe San Francisco has their own version, but my husband is Dutch and every time we visit we get it.

      2. I’m Dutch and I can verify that tijgerbrood is indeed a very common Dutch staple bread and has been for as long as I can remember.. It’s most commonly sold as larger loaves (either pre-sliced or whole) but you can also find tiigerbolletjes, little rolls. SF seems to have a verson of their own that is very similar, but it is also a very common Dutch bread for sure.

  25. Howdy Eileen,

    For a moment I felt it to be a cookie. The crust is so beautiful. How did you get that beautiful crust. Why do we call it tiger bread?


    1. If you watch the video you can see how the crust is made. I think it’s called “tiger bread” because of the pattern. I think it looks more like a leopard than a tiger, but, Oh well.

  26. Tiger bread has been on my to-bake list ever since I was it being made on a cooking show. Your super crunchy and perfectly baked Tiger rolls are tempting me to try them right away.

  27. Hello Eileen, Your rolls look fabulous. I also love adding whole wheat flour to my breads and love the nutty flavour. It also adds some health quotient to it. I have never baked tiger bread before and your post motivates me to bake one.

  28. I want to make these n right now I just don’t want to wait but will have to. These bread are so beautiful I am in love.

  29. I tried making this long before starting my blog, and mine didn’t turn out nearly as nice as yours! I’m going to have to try it again. Gorgeous.