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Swiss Bread

Swiss bread is an umbrella term for a range of breads that are specifically prepared in Switzerland. After cheese, bread is the most prepared Swiss food item. It has often been claimed that the country has more varieties of bread than any other nation of the world and the number is between 200 and 300. There are various shapes and sizes of breads available and while most are regional and household preparations, a few have become more popular than the others, both locally as well as globally.

Breads have been an essential part of the Swiss culinary tradition since the ancient times. Over the years, the preparation has, however, evolved in various ways. Although the ingredients essentially continue to be the same as those used traditionally, the cooking methods have changed to enable faster production to meet the growing demands.

Burebrot, Zürcher Murren, Langbrot and Zopf are the national Swiss breads and Basler Brot, Pains de seigle, St. Galler Brot, Cuchaule and Motschellen (to name a few) are common regional specialities.

Common Ingredients Used in Preparation of Swiss Bread Recipes

Despite the fact that there are numerous Swiss bread types, the ingredients tend to remain more-or-less constant. Bread flour, eggs, milk, honey, salt and butter are mostly used to prepare the bread. Some regional recipes call for the use of egg substitutes or margarine instead of butter in order to make the bread healthier. Overall, however, the ingredients are similar for almost every recipe.

What differentiates one type of the bread from another is probably the way the loaves are shaped. While making twists or braids is the most common practice, the loaves are also shaped like buns, French loaves, etc.

Preparation Overview of Swiss Breads

Swiss bread is generally categorized as a moderately-easy dish to prepare. Before the advent of modern cooking equipment, the bread was baked in wood ovens and traditionalists still prefer to turn to those. Modern chefs, however, prefer electric oven that bake the bread in less than half the time. To prepare the breads, the ingredients are first mixed together, pressed into a baking dish and then placed in the oven. An important step before baking is to shape the loaf as preferred.

While baking the bread, it is important to keep a constant check on it as it can easily burn.

Swiss Bread

  • In 1998, the consumption of bread was recorded to be just over 52 kilograms a year (143 grams a day).
  • Swiss Bread is consumed extensively across the country and it is also a common ingredient in salads, soups, desserts, etc. Fondue, the unofficial national dish of Switzerland, uses cubes of bread in order to soak up the cheese melted in wine.