The Swiss bread known as Bauernbrot or Burebrot (German) / Pain Paysan (French) was created by the Richemont school in Luzern and the Association suisse des patrons boulangers-pâtissiers in the 1950s, according to Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse (Culinary Heritage of Switzerland). The goal of this new bread? Using a combination of wheat and rye flours, the recipe also called for milk — to help use what was considered a surplus commodity at that time.
You can easily make this hearty, comforting loaf of Swiss “farmer’s” bread at home, with only a few ingredients. Here’s a recipe to get you started:
– 2 2/3 cups bread flour
– 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon rye flour
– 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons salt
– 3/4 cup milk
– 3/4 cup water
– 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1. In a large bowl, whisk together the white and rye flours and salt.
2. Measure, combine and gently warm the water and milk. Add the yeast to this mixture. Let sit for several minutes and then stir until the yeast has dissolved.
3. Make a well in the center of the flour and salt mixture and add the warmed yeast mixture. Stir until a dough forms. Knead for 10 minutes until the dough is smooth and elastic. The dough should gently spring back when pressed. Cover and let the dough rise for about one hour or until it has doubled in size.
4. Shape the dough into a round loaf and use a sifter to sprinkle a light coating of flour on top. Using a sharp knife, make shallow slices across the top of the loaf to form a grid (or create your own design). Let the dough rest again on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper for about an hour.
5. Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes at 180°C/350°F until the loaf is lightly browned. When tapped, the bottom of the bread should sound hollow. Cool on a wire rack.
My version of this Bauernbrot was inspired by several recipes I found, both online (agriculture.ch and painsuisse.ch) and in the cookbook used in Swiss public schools, Croqu’menus. The description of the baking process as described by Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse also influenced the creation of this recipe.