This unique topping on top of breads can be seen throughout Europe, in many of the bakeries. It originated in Holland and slowly made it’s way through Germany, France and Italy.
To achieve this look you make a paste of a little rice flour, water and a little oil, to spread on top of the bread. While baking in the oven the paste will expand under the heat and crack like a dried sun scorched riverbed producing this amazing cracked look.
The crackling itself has a similar taste to a fortune cookie, with a slight sweetness and crunch. When you cut into the bread it doesn’t easily fall off.
As for the bread recipe itself, it too is unusual in that I’ve incorporated left over croissants into the dough. The flaky, butter croissants add a wonderful flavor and richness to the bread. I just love it and I hope you will as well.
- NIGHT BEFORE:
- 1 cup bread flour
- ½ cup stone ground whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup warm water
- ¼ teaspoon instant yeast
- DAY OF:
- 2 cups bread flour
- ¾ cup stone ground...
- whole wheat flour
- 2 cup finely chopped croissants
- 1¼ cup lukewarm water
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon instant yeast
- ⅓ cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ cup white rice flour
- 4 teaspoon vegetable oil
- ⅛ teaspoon of salt
- ½ teaspoon instant yeast
- The night before combine all the "Night before" ingredients together; mix and cover with plastic wrap. Allow to sit in room temperature room overnight or 12 - 18 hours.
- The next morning pour the "Night Before" mixture into a large bowl. Add the 1¼ cups of lukewarm water and mix till blended.
- Pour in the whole wheat flour and the finely chopped croissants. Mix with a wooden spoon till all the flour and croissants are well mixed. Add in the salt and instant yeast.
- Once everything is well mixed start to add the bread flour in. About ½ cup at a time.
- When the dough becomes to hard to mix in the bowl, pour out onto a flat surface and continue to incorporate the rest of the flour. Knead the dough for about 8 - 10 minutes. Add a little oil to a clean bowl.
- Place the dough into the bowl and turn over a few time to lightly coat all sides of the dough. Allow to rest for 1 to 1½ hours or till double in bulk. Once the dough has rested till double; pour out onto a flat surface. Cut the dough into two equal parts
- Roll each piece into a ball and place onto a piece of parchment paper. Allow to rise for an hour. About an half an hour before baking the bread, you can start the coating. In a small bowl combine the water, sugar, rice flour, salt, oil and instant yeast.
- Mix with a wooden spoon till the paste is smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest till double. Once the bread is ready to bake, spread the paste onto the outside of the loaves. Place into a preheated 380 degree oven for 35 - 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.