Recipe: Sii – A Rye Bread Pudding from Valais

In my new book coming out this fall from Helvetiq, I mention a Swiss dessert known as Sii. You make this bread pudding recipe with dry cubes of Pain de seigle, a traditional rye bread from Valais. Sweetened with elderberry syrup, this warm dessert tastes delicious with a generous dollop of whipped cream.

Homemade Pain de seigle, a sourdough rye bread from Valais

Sometimes referred to as Hollermües in the German-speaking regions of Valais, this dish typically goes by Sii in the French-speaking regions. (Please note: Hollermües can also describe an elderberry compote made without rye bread, the recipe for which you can find here).

After reviewing several recipes for this dish from Swissmilk and Volg, as well as two different recipes from Betty Bossi, I’ve developed my own version below. While these other recipes include varying amounts of red wine to soften the bread, they all call for wine-soaked raisins. For my recipe, I’ve omitted the raisins and replaced them with finely chopped dark chocolate. It’s certainly a warm, comforting dessert for a cold winter day — or whenever you have stale rye bread to use up!

Sii / Hollermües

Ingredients

  • 150 g (about 2 cups) rye bread, in cubes
  • 125 ml (1/2 cup) water
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) red wine (e.g., Dôle from Valais)
  • 60 ml (1/4 cup) elderberry (or cassis) syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • whipped cream
  • dark chocolate, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Add the cubed bread to a large bowl. Pour in the water and wine and soak for up to 12 hours, until the bread has softened. 
  2. Once the bread has softened, create a smooth bread puree by mushing up the bread by hand with two forks or a pastry blender. Stir in the elderberry syrup until well-blended.
  3. In a frying pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the bread puree and gently heat until it’s thoroughly warm throughout the mixture.
  4. Serve immediately and in individual dishes, topped with whipped cream and finely chopped dark chocolate.

Textiles provided by: La Cerise sur le gâteau, lacerisesurlegateau.fr

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