Swiss Bread Recipe: Bauernbrot / Pain Paysan

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:

Bauernbrot

  • Difficulty: easy
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Ingredients


  • 375 grams (2 2/3 cups) bread flour
  • 125 grams (3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon) rye flour
  • 1 1/2 – 2 teaspoons (9-12 grams) salt
  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) milk
  • 175 ml (3/4 cup) water
  • 7 grams (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast

Directions


  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.

8 replies »

  1. Thank you for this. I shall test it as soon as I get a chance. I’m a massive fan of Bauernbrot but right now I can only get it from either the German Deli in London’s Borough Market, or from the German Baker who brings his van to London every Tuesday and stops outside Deutsche Bank for half an hour at lunch time.

    • Good morning, Stella! I hope you like the recipe. I know flour can sometimes be different outside of CH. My in-laws tested this recipe in the US a few times as well and had success with it, so I feel confident to share it. Always looking for more feedback though! Thanks again, and Happy Friday! -Heddi

      • Good point, Heddi. I have to say that flour of different types is easy to get in the UK, at least for now, so at least that won’t be a problem!

  2. I’m a chef and one thing that give me most pleasure cooking and working is the entire process of baking a bread from trying new flours throughout rising and finally gently baking in the oven. Old and traditional bread recipes particularly passionate me so I’m very happy to try this farmer bread recipe. Thanks

    • I love baking bread! One of my favorite things to make. I hope this recipe works for you! Please let me know how it turns out, if you think of it. Many thanks!

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