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Fancy a change from boring old bread? Then try these typical Dutch bread substitutes that are quite simply delicious topped with chocolate sprinkles, jam or of course, a generous slice of authentic Dutch cheese.
Those Dutch who’ve never eaten beschuit are few and far between. In fact, one of the very first things that a Dutch baby will encounter is ‘beschuit met muisjes’ – beschuit served with a liberal coating of pink or blue sprinkles to celebrate their birth. Beschuit (rusk-like biscuits) are predominantly enjoyed at breakfast and lunch, or sometimes as a snack with a cup of tea, and generally topped with a slice of Dutch cheese or chocolate sprinkles. The most famous beschuit brand in the Netherlands is Bolletje – Bolletje beschuit come in an impressive range of flavours, including plain, whole wheat, 10 seeds, farmers rusk grain, vital and Twentsche beschuit.
Although knäckebröd is not of Dutch origin, this tasty crispbread has proved enduringly popular ever since it was first introduced to the Dutch market by Verkade in 1960. In the Netherlands knäckebröd is typically topped with Dutch cheese, jam or chocolate sprinkles. The best-loved knäckebröd brands in the Netherlands include Wasa and Bolletje, and in recent years extra filling varieties, such as Bolletje rich and firm have grown in demand.
Ontbijtkoek (literally breakfast cake) is a traditional Dutch product that’s perfect at breakfast or lunch. And, as it’s low in fat and rich in fibre, this deliciously sweet and somewhat sticky Dutch version of gingerbread makes a thoroughly sensible snack between meals. Ontbijtkoek is frequently coated with butter or syrup, and is sometimes even used as a topping for bread. The most celebrated brand of ontbijtkoek is Peijnenburg, which is sold in an exciting selection of different flavours, including plain, whole wheat, honey, raisins, and less sugar. Bolletje also boasts its own breakfast cake range that includes plain and whole-wheat ontbijtkoek.
A typical Dutch alternative to standard bread at breakfast and lunch is roggebrood – a particularly hearty type of bread that’s made from whole grain rye. Rye bread is mostly enjoyed with a slice of Dutch cheese or meat, but just like ontbijtkoek, can also be used as a sandwich topping. Rye bread is available in several regional variations, although Fries roggebrood and Brabants roggebrood are by far the most common. And whilst Bolletje rye bread is arguably the best-known, Ekoland now manufactures a delicious organic rye bread too.
Variety is the spice of life, which is why so many Dutch people choose crackers instead of bread for breakfast or lunch. Indeed, crackers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, can be served with all manner of different toppings, are the perfect accompaniment to drinks and make an especially sensible snack for on the go. In recent years the standard range of crackers has greatly expanded in the Netherlands and the choice is now almost unlimited – from extra filling Bolletje crackers multi seed to much lighter options, such as LU Vitalu Breakfast Crackers.
Prefer to read this article in Dutch? Then visit our sister blog, Heimwee.info, specifically intended for Dutch emigrants.