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Dutch Sugar Bread (Suikerbrood)

Dutch Sugar Bread (Suikerbrood) is filled with pockets of melted sugar and topped with crunchy sugar pearls. The enriched bread dough is flavored with hints of cinnamon and ginger.

a loaf of dutch sugar bread on a cutting board

Suikerbrood is a real Dutch treat (pun intended). Growing up in the Netherlands, my husband had Suikerbrood only on special occasions.

Traditionally, Dutch Sugar Bread is given to parents upon the birth of a baby.

But you don’t have to wait for a special occasion. This bread is easy enough to make any time the mood strikes. (If you’ve got a sourdough starter, check out my Sourdough Suikerbrood recipe.)

Scroll through the photos to see how to make Dutch Sugar Bread (Suikerbrood):

two side by side photos showing dutch sugar bread dough before and after rising
Make the dough and set it aside to rise until doubled. At this point, the dough can be refrigerated overnight.
two photos showing how to prepare sugar pearls for dutch sugar bread (suikerbrood).
Toss the cinnamon and melted butter with the sugar pearls. Spread the sugar onto the dough.
four photos showing how to incorporate sugar pearls into dutch sugar bread (suikerbrood)
Fold the sugar pearls into the dough and knead until evenly distributed. Rest the dough 20 minutes before shaping the loaf.
three photos showing how to shape a loaf of dutch sugar bread
Roll the dough to a 9″x12″ rectangle. Roll the dough into a log, pinch the seam and set the loaf into the prepared pan.
four photos showing dutch sugar bread before and after rising and before and after baking
The dough should fill the pan as it rises. Top with sugar pearls and bake until the interior is 200°F.

Helpful tips for making Dutch Sugar Bread (Suikerbrood):

  • The whey in milk can inhibit gluten formation in bread dough. Scalding the milk denatures (breaks down) the whey protein.
  • If you cannot find sugar pearls you can substitute crushed sugar cubes. Be sure not to break the cubes down too much. You want chunks of sugar in the dough.
  • The entire recipe takes about 3 hours from start to finish if you make the dough and bake it on the same day.
  • To work ahead, you can refrigerate the dough after the first rise for up to 2 days. Not only does this allow you to have freshly baked bread by breakfast, the time in the refrigerator improves the flavor of the dough.
  • Don’t refrigerate the shaped loaf since the sugar pearls will melt in the refrigerator.
  • The bread freezes very well.

How do you serve Suikerbrood?

  • If the bread is freshly baked it’s perfect with lots of butter and a cup of coffee.
  • Leftover Dutch Sugar bread makes what is quite possibly the world’s most delicious French toast!
slices of dutch sugar bread on a cutting board

If you love this recipe as much as I do, I’d really appreciate a 5-star review.

a sliced dutch sugar bread on a cutting board

Dutch Sugar Bread (Suikerbrood)

Yield: 12 slices
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Rise Time: 2 hours
Bake Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 5 minutes

Dutch Sugar Bread (Suikerbrood) is filled with pockets of melted sugar and topped with crunchy sugar pearls. The enriched bread dough is flavored with hints of cinnamon and ginger.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons (7 oz, 210ml) whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons (1 oz, 28g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 packet (2 1/4 teaspoons, 7g) dry yeast
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz, 14g) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 oz, 350g) bread flour

Assembly

  • 1 cup (5 oz, 140g) pearl sugar (or crushed sugar cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon (1/2 oz, 14g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg whisked with a tablespoon of water for egg wash

Instructions

  1. Pour the milk into a microwave safe container and microwave until scalding hot, but not boiling. Stir the ginger powder into the milk and set it aside to cool to 100°F.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon, combine the milk, butter, yeast, sugar, salt, egg and 1 1/2 cups of the flour. Mix until it forms a thick batter.
  3. If working on a stand mixer, switch to the dough hook. With the mixer running, add the remaining flour. The dough should gather on the hook and clear the sides of the bowl. If working by hand mix as much flour as you can with the spoon, then finish kneading in the rest of the flour by hand.
  4. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead to a smooth ball.
  5. Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl, turning once to coat the dough. Cover the bowl and set it aside to rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 1 - 1 1/2 hours. At this point the dough can be refrigerated for up to 2 days or you can go ahead and shape and bake the loaf.

Assembly

  1. Generously butter a 9"x 5" loaf pan. Sprinkle the pan with granulated sugar to coat and dump out the excess. In a small bowl, toss together the pearl sugar with the cinnamon then mix in the tablespoon of melted butter.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Pat to a rough 12" square. Sprinkle the sugar pearls over the dough and press them into an even layer. Fold the two sides of the dough over like a letter and pat down to an even layer. Fold the dough again then knead until the sugar pearls are evenly distributed in the dough. Cover the dough and rest 20 minutes.
  3. Roll the dough to a 9" x 12" rectangle. From the short side, tightly roll the dough into a 9" long log, pinching the seam together. Place the dough, seam side down, into the prepared pan. Cover the pan and rise until the dough expands to fill the pan, about 1 hour (a little longer if the dough has been refrigerated). Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  4. Brush the top of the loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with a handful of sugar pearls. Bake until the bread is golden brown and the internal temperature is 200°F, about 35 minutes.
  5. Run a small paring knife or spatula around the loaf to release it from the pan. Turn out onto a cooling rack. Don't leave the loaf in the pan or the melted sugar will make the loaf stick.
  6. Cool completely before slicing.

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