The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Bread of Basel

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tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Bread of Basel

 


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/

Comments

Salome's picture
Salome

This bread looks exactly like the original! I am very impressed. I might try this bread in my "new" oven at my new appartement in Basel. It reaches up to higher temperatures. Thank you!


Salome

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Well you are at the source now, so you can compare, but thanks for the nice comments. Let me know how the baking went.


Thomas

chouette22's picture
chouette22

... for me as well. It looks like it comes straight from a Swiss bakery! Very nice!

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

....and it smells and taste like from the bakery, thanks for your comments.


Thomas

stefchik's picture
stefchik

Thanks Thomas for posting such a great recipe, I couldn't resist, I prepared the biga yesterday and baked them today, here are 2 pics,


I will report on the crumb later. I am being patient!


Best,


Stefan

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Thanks Stefan, I'm looking forward to hear how the bread tastes or tasted. I'm sure you enjoyed it.


 


Thomas

stefchik's picture
stefchik

It is a superb bread, the taste is excellent, I still haven't found where it gets it, I guess from the biga but it has a distinct taste and smell that I cannot pinpoint, very pleasant, makes you want to eat more and more - dangerous that for weight watchers!


Anyway I am in the process of preparing the second batch today, yesterday's all disappeared - no wonder.


 


Will keep you posted with an update, thanks again.


Best


 


Stefan

stefchik's picture
stefchik

Well, there we are, as promised.Crumb-1st batchCrumb-1st batch2nd batch 10-09-09


2nd lot is as good as the first; taste exquisite.


 


Best,


Stefan

Salome's picture
Salome

Beautiful! If you're really trying to copy the original Bread of Basel though, there is only one small thing you'd have to do. Flour the loaves somewhat more, the traditional Bread of Basel is always covered with some Flour.


Look here: http://www.mandelbaerli.ch/content/geschichte/geschichte_glatz_basler_brot/index_ger.html


I'll have to bake this soon.


Salome

stefchik's picture
stefchik

No, I was not trying to copy, never baked or saw this bread before and just followed Thomas's recipe which gave spectacular results - thrilling actually.


Try it. enjoy.


 


Stefan

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Due to the hight hydration the bakers in Basel rolled the bread in flour so it was easier to handle.


As I changed the hydration to adapt to U.S. flour it is easy to handle without this step.


Probably this has no impact on the flavor, just on the look.


Thomas

Salome's picture
Salome

Where did you get the original recipe from? It would make more sense to me to bake the swiss version and not the american. ;)


Salome

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

 


Hi Salome,


Unfortunately I don't know anymore.


From my European times I have the flavor of three distinct breads in my memory and it is my goal to find ways to bake them here in the U.S. The three are St. Gallerli, Züri Bürli (Gold or Buchmann) and Baslerbrot. Whenever in my quest to bake these breads I stumble over a recipe, I write them down in my main Excel spreadsheet. Time and appetite permitting I begin to try them out and at the same time make the modifications on my computer. So over time and many trials I get to the final and acceptable (at least for me) result, but in this process the original recipe gets lost.


I'm happy right now with the Baslerbrot, close with the St. Gallerli but nowhere with the Bürli.


Sorry for not being able to help.


Thomas

tssaweber's picture
tssaweber

Thanks Stefan for the update, I'm glad that this recipe is working for you.


Thomas