WonderMix Bread Dough Mixer

Crust Embellishments

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Crust embellishments add interest to your breads they also help to make your breads look more professional, and they add taste and texture to them as well. They are easy to do and the options available to you are almost endless. Below are directions for adding adding crust embellishments to your own breads as well as some examples of some of our favorites. But, don’t let our examples stop you, as long as what you want to use goes well with the bread your are putting it on go for it.

Adding Crust Embellishments

The best way to add crust embellishments and get them to stay on your breads is to use an egg wash. You have two options for egg wash. You can use an egg blended with water or you can use egg substitute.

Real Egg

I do not like using a real egg because there are two problems with doing so. First unless you have a lot of rolls or loaves of bread to do you end up wasting most of the egg. I do like that. Second it is important that the egg and water be very well blended. Blended to the point that the white, yolk and water and completely mixed together other wise it won’t go on evenly and that makes for an uneven crust color.

To use a real egg mix a real egg with 3 tablespoons of water. Mix them using either a blender or stick blender. If you are going to use a whisk or a fork make sure you do a very good job of it.

Egg Substitute

Egg Substitute for me is the only sane way to go. It is easy to use just what you need taking care of the waste problem and because it is already mixed you don’t have to do anything except poor a bit in to a container and start brushing it on. A small container of egg substitute will do many loaves of bread or hundreds of rolls. I like the kind in the refrigerator section instead of the freezer section, but either will work. Brand is unimportant.


In the Machine Application – To apply a crust embellishment to a loaf of bread that will be baked in the machine wait until the final rise has started. For many machines there are two rise times with a punch down/shape cycle in between, wait until after the punch down/shape cycle to finish, then brush on the egg wash and apply any other embellishment you wish. Because that you don’t get any of the egg wash inside your machine it could burn. Be as careful with the seeds, etc when applying them as well. If you wish, you can simply remove the dough from the pan, shape it if needed, apply the egg wash to the top and then roll the top in the seeds or whatever and then place back in the pan embellished side up. This would also be a good time to remove the kneading paddle or paddles from the machine too; this minimizes the wholes in the bottom of the loaf. Make sure if you do to spray the posts with pan spray before putting the dough back in.

Regular Oven Application – If your just making your loaf dough in the bread machine and then will shape, pan and bake in your regular oven, then simple wait for the dough to get finished in the bread machine, shape it, and then brush the top with the egg wash then roll the egg washed top in the seeds or whatever, then place the dough embellished side up in to a greased loaf pan. Cover with a damp towel and place in a warm place to rise. Then bake in your oven.

Roll Application – After you shape your roll, bread stick, etc simply brush it with the egg wash and then roll it in the seed or other topping. Place it on a greased or parchment lined baking sheet, cover with a damp towel and let rise until doubled and then bake.

Our Favorite Crust Embellishments
Egg Wash Only

Flour & Water Paste
Mix until smooth 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour with 2 tablepoons water. Brush on your dough like egg wash.

Egg Wash & Sugar
Egg washed then dippled in white sugar. You could use brown sugar, natural raw sugar or sucanat too.
Dutch Crunch
See Recipe Below.
This was done with a thin dutch crunch batter topping.
Egg Wash & Sesame Seeds
Egg washed then rolled in white raw sesame seeds.
Egg Wash & Sesame Seeds
Egg washed then rolled in black sesame seeds.
Egg Wash & Poppy Seeds
Egg washed then rolled in poppy seeds.
Egg Wash & Wheat Bran
Egg washed then rolled in wheat bran.
Egg Wash & Oat Bran
Egg washed then rolled in oat bran.
Egg Wash & Onions
Egg washed and then patted on caramelized onions.
Egg Wash & Sunflower Seeds
Egg washed then rolled in sunflower seed bits. You could also use whole sunflower seeds. These were roasted and salted.
Egg Wash & Spice
Egg washed and the spinkled on spice. This was cinnamon but you can use any spice you like that matches the bread.
Egg Wash & Herb
Egg washed and then spinkled with herbs. This was dill weed but you can use any herb you like that matches the bread. You can also use fresh minced herbs and herb combinations.

Dutch Crunch Topping Recipe

This is an old family recipe, no one in our family that is still alive knows its orgins but it has been around for a long time. I share it with you.

2 teaspoons sugar
5 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons white rice flour
1 teaspoon salad oil
1/3 cup water — warm

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Allow to site covered at room temperature until bubbly then stir down and use. To use either brush on in the case of an in machine baked loaf or dip the dough in it in the case of a regular oven baked loaf or rolls. The recipe as it is makes a light thin crackled topping. I like mine a little thicker so I reduce the water by half. At this thickness it is hard to brush on. In this case I pour in on the bread right down the middle (in machine application) it still works fine for dipping however. I recommend that you reduce the oven temperature by 25 degrees when using this in your regular oven. In your bread machine you don’t have this luxury.

Other Topping Ideas

The ideas above are just a drop in the bucket. You can us simple embellishments like cold water or fancy embellishments like carmalized onions with poppy seeds, sesame seeds and caraway. Don’t forget other seeds like anise and fennel too. However about wheat germ, mini-chocolate chips or cinnamon chips. King Arther has a good variety of flavored baking chips. Simply brush on some egg wash and start sticking them on. Don’t forget about grated chocolate, including white chocolate, cocoa powder, etc. You can even brush your rolls with beer in the case of beer cheese bread or how about peppermint schapps. Let your immagination go wild. Just make sure that you match your crust embellishments to the bread. Oh, one last suggestion how about instead of that thick white frosting on cinnamon rolls your brush the with egg wash then dip them in cinnamon sugar?

  • Putting different toppings on breads is a great idea. I can see this working for dinner rolls and other types of bread as well. I personally like poppy seeds. How about making dinner rolls by splitting the dough into say 24 pieces. Roll half in poppy seeds (after egg and water – of course), then put two each into the depressions of a cup cake tin. Bake, and voila…thanks for the inspiration!

    Bread Crust Lover

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