The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

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One of my favorite bread is the "Basler Brot" or bread of Basel. It is a Swiss cantonal bread and as I was born in Basel of course I favor this over other cantonal breads like the bread of St. Gall, or of the Ticino. An exception is the rye bread from the Valais, the Walliser Brot, as I spent the other half of my younger years in this region.

If you belief the history than this bread was the first time mentioned in 1792 in a bread book. And still as of today it is the runner in many bakeries in Switzerland.

The shape is longish oval and it is always baked as two loafs sticking together at the front. For all of you who have difficulties with scoring, this is the bread to go, because it has none. I also like the dark rather thick crust which gives it the wonderful taste.

The oven temperatures from the old days with the wood fired ovens are not attainable in a private household environment, but I was able to get good results with 550˚F during the steam period and finishing the bake with 450˚F.



 TFL Crumb Shot

Unfortunately I was not able to copy paste the adapted recipe as it is in table form and TFL doesn't allow to import published spreadsheets/*.xps files. But for those who are interested I have a printable version and an Excel version on my blog. Due to the higher ash content of European flour I have adapted the recipe to American flour and reduced the hydration to 68% instead of the 80%. The Excel spreadsheet let's you change the final dough amount, default is 1500 grams.


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A week ago I came back from my camping trip to the Upper Peninsula in Michigan. It is not the first time that we are in Yooper country with our travel trailer, it was a little bit on the colder side but camping and fishing was great fun.

Before I left I forgot to feed my two starters (St.Clair, 100%, rye, and SanFran, 100%, AP) so all the tree weeks I was wondering if the two would survive and forgive my negligence. Coming home both had still a good smell but looked a little shaky. I started feeding them twice in 24 hours. The rye starter rebounded immediately and after four feeds I put it back in the fridge. SanFran took a little bit longer and after it tripled again as I was used too, I decide to bake some bread to make sure it is ok again. I was very pleased with the result and also SanFran went back in storage.




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