The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Switzerland

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tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

It has been quite some time since I posted on my favorite website. But (un)fortunately the business and consulting world is holding me up from blogging and bread baking. But before I disappear again in the offices of the corporate world in upstate NY, I wanted to share this picture I found by accident in one of my old bread books today.


 


My in-laws from Switzerland have celebrated New Year with us here in the super cold Midwest and brought a crown for the 3 Kings Day (1/6/2010) with them. Of course it was their expectation that I bake the traditional "Drei Koenigs Kuchen". I had to find a recipe for this to happen, but I guess I was successful.


 




I still have to work on the formula to fine tune it, but it is more or less an enhanced Zopf dough. If done I will post the formula. If some of the Swiss TFLer have their own it would be great if they could share. During the search for this recipe I found the page shared above. Of course now my quest begins to find all this cantonal formulas, bake and adapt them to the US environment.


 


Happy New Year to all.


Thomas

Salome's picture
Salome

The Swiss have the reputation for being very punctual. Well, you might think now, that we're this time to early. But - you're mistaken.


The 6th of december is here Santa Claus' day, or as we say, "the Samichlaus comes". Sadly, the real Samichlaus doesn't come to our house anylonger as my siblings and me are considered to be too old by now. (Well, I understand, we're 22, 20 and 17 ...) But we still keep the rest of the custom up.


So every 6th of december we will gather at home, enjoy the traditional dinner consisting out of a Grättimaa, a small Samichlaus shaped out of a savoury enriched Challah-like dough (basically our normal Zopf recipe) , lot's of cheese, some dried meat, jam, nuts, tangerines, lots of sweets and hot chocolate.


 



the dinner table...


 



the Grättimaa before and after baking ...



and my mom had her annually mass-production for all friends and relatives who are fond of her famous Stollen. She sends them to friends who live scattered over Europe. After the butter brush they were to get a light confectioner's sugar shower.  (but first they had all to cool, therefore they are still missing it on the picture)


Happy Samichlaus to all of you, but especially to tssaweber and chouette22, the exil-Swiss here on TFL! =)


Salome

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

 


Chouette22 posted a couple of weeks ago pictures of her Zopf (http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/13045/hello-switzerland-celebration-bread-and-zopf). In a reply to my post she mentioned that eggs in this bead would make it dryer or stale faster. This motivated me to experiment with my recipe, with the goal to have at the end a fully understood, easy to use and "Americanized" recipe.


To have a solid and accepted expert on my side I used Dan DiMuzio's book, "Bread Baking" to support my testing. On page 138 he defines rich dough and the effect of fat, eggs and sugar in dough. This was a good start as Zopf has all this ingredients in it. Sugar seems to be the least influential with just a little bit more than 2%, but butter (11%) eggs (14%) and to some degree milk(fat) certainly do have an impact. I also wanted to see what the difference between AP and Bread flour would be.


Zopf is the favorite bread of my younger son, so he was very supportive of this idea. He promised his friends in school to bring an entire loaf for lunch and that this bread would beat every other dad's bread. I don't know how many other dads of his friends are baking but I like that it is embedded in him that not only moms are baking and cooking.   


Using my usual recipe I had to adjust the hydration significantly using AP flour otherwise the dough would have been too wet to braid. The final result was ok from an appearance perspective but did taste too much like "normal" white bread and with the additional flour was also much dryer.


Not adding the eggs was a little bit trickier. Eggs are contributing to the hydration but also add fat and strength to the dough. I decided to substitute 75 % of the egg weight with ¾ milk and ¼ water. The dough turned out wetter than usual and I had a difficult time to roll the two strands for braiding. The final bread had less oven spring and turned out a little bit less roundish than usual. The crumb was denser and whither in color. The taste of the bread was even more like white bread.


It seems to me that adding eggs makes Zopf heavier and gives it the crumb structure I like. It also allows for more liquid without impacting the final result.


I will stick with my ingredients but have changed the process to make it easier to assemble the dough. First I add butter, salt (to make sure I don't' forget it again) and brown sugar, zero out the scale, add hot water to soften the butter, then the two eggs and with the cold milk I get to the correct total amount of liquid to balance the varying weight of the eggs. After that I add the flour and the yeast and knead 3 to 4 min on speed one and another couple of minutes, depending on how the dough develops, on speed two of my KitchenAid. 3 stretch and folds with 45 min rest, after the 3rd st&f I divide the dough, braid it and proof for 20 min. Bake for 25 min at 375˚F (convection). The bread should reach 200˚F interior temperature.


Thomas


And here the final result:





For those interested in the recipe you can print or download it here:


http://tssaweber.com/WP/thomas-bread-secrets/zopf/


The spreadsheet lets you adjust the final dough weight.

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

 


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.


Thomas


http://tssaweber.com/WP/thomas-bread-secrets/bread-of-basel/

chouette22's picture
chouette22

Every time I spend five, six weeks with my family in Switzerland in summer, this is the bread I am looking forward to eating the most.



It is originally from Geneva (the French-speaking part of Switzerland) and its inventor is Aimé Pouly, the author of the book “Le pain” (available, but out of stock right now at Amazon, only in French, as far as I know).


         


He is one of the originators of the “Slow Baking” movement, where bread dough is made completely without the too commonly used industrial flour mixtures that speed up the fermentation. Most  bakeries have everything but time, it has to be fast and cheap, and the lacking taste is being helped with additives – a very common approach nowadays, as the well-known German baker Süpke (referred to recently by Hans Joakim) explains in this very interesting article about preferments (in German though). He says, that until he discovered the Slow Baking movement, the only preferment he’d use in his bakery was sourdough. All other dough was made with the use of “little helpers” or convenience additives, as most bakeries do. Now, he says, he doesn’t sell a single bread with yeast  that has not gone through some type of prefermentation, and the change was everything but easy, he adds. The entire rhythm of the bakery changed completely, but the resulting breads were absolutely worth it.


Aimé Pouly believes in the old approach of a very long fermentation (about 24 hours it seems) and all breads are hand-formed and therefore no two of them are the same. This is the first fresh bread recipe worldwide that got patented, in 1995. Since then, every bakery that wants to sell this bread needs to get the license from Pouly, and apparently only good, quality bakers are able to get it. Then an advisor comes into the bakery to teach the bakers. MANY bakeries in Switzerland now sell the Pain Paillasse, and in the meantime also over 50 bakeries in Germany, and many places in France, Spain, Austria, Italy, and probably more, but the flour will always get delivered to all of them from Switzerland, as part of the recipe. A true success story of slowness, as it is sometimes referred to.


It originally came in three types: white, dark, and rustique (with seeds), but now also with olives, or chocolate, as a provençal version, and more.


         


The crust is strong, and the crumb is very open, soft, sweet (there is, however, no sweetness added, it’s just the long fermentation) and very moist.



The taste is just wonderful! My favorite one is the rustic one with the seeds.


 



Since the recipe is a secret, I have recently tried to recreate a version of it. I saw a recipe for Alpine Baguettes in the blog Beginning With Bread. It is from Daniel Leader’s book “Local Breads” and he got it from Clemens Walch in the Austrian Alps. Since I liked the outcome so much, I have now purchased the book and intend to try many more recipes from it.


We really loved this bread! I have made it twice now, the first time with a whole-wheat starter and the second time completely according to the recipe, with a rye starter (that I have changed from my AP starter over the course of three or four feedings). I could not, however, detect a really different flavor or behavior of the dough, thus in the future I will just take my WW starter. If you like breads studded with seeds (it contains a soaker of sunflower, pumpkin, flax and sesame seeds, as well as rolled oats), then give this a try!


This was my outcome:



The Paillasse rustique has most of its seeds on the outside (it specifies this on the paper sleeve in which it is being sold), the inside just has a few and is otherwise mostly like the dark Paillasse. The Alpine Baguettes are full of seeds inside, but since the hydration is quite high, it's not easy turning the final loafs in a mixture of seeds and grains to coat them.


 

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