Obwalden anis birds

Obwalden anis birds (bread)

Source:  Swiss Farmers Cookbook  (circ.  1800’s)

Personal Notes:
As they say, the Swiss farm woman plays a great role in cuisine.  Being that the men, and children traditionally come home for lunch promptly @ 12:00, the woman must make her meal complete, full of flavors and to be adored by her hungry group.  Upon searching around for some traditional Swiss recipes, I found this anise bread in the shape of a bird (if you looked hard enough).  Now, you might ask yourself why in the world would you ever attempt to bake at home when there are so many bakeries that do it for you and most of the time better than you.  My answer is, I’m always looking for a culinary challenge.  When I saw these bread birds in the book, it inspired me.  I challenge you to give it a try as well.  I’m sure you will not only please yourself, but those adorning and eating them!  They are wonderful for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

anis bird from Obwalden (OW)


500 gr. white flour 1 dl. heavy cream
¼ Tbs. salt ¾ Tbs. anise
1 Tbs. sugar 2 Tbs. raisins
20 gr. yeast 1 egg yolk (for brushing)
2 dl milk

Mix together the flour, salt and sugar.  Dissolve the yeast in a bit of warm milk, then add the dissolved yeast to the remaining milk mixture.  Add the cream, anise and raisins and kneed it together.  Let the dough rise in a warm place until it’s twice the size.

Divide the dough in 8-10 equal balls.  Roll out each ball to about 25 cm. long.  Make a simple knot in each roll.  If you’d like, form a beak and add wings if you’d like to enhance the bird look.  Brush on the beaten egg yolk and let stand for 20 min.  Bake birds for about 20 min., at 200°C Celsius.

Braided Bread

Braided Bread (Easter bread)

Source: friends (Marcel R.) in 2011

Personal Notes:
This is a tradition in Switzerland. On Sundays you eat it for breakfast with butter and jelly

1 kg. white flour 6 dl. milk (lukewarm, not warm)
4 tsp salt 40 gr. yeast
4 tsp sugar 1 egg (egg white for dough, yellow for crust)
150 gr. butter
Work with your mixer for this dough, as they recommend to mix for 10 min. thus ensuring the dough is well mixed and warm.
Combine all dry ingredients in mixer bowl.
Melt butter in small sauce pan, then when just about melted, pour milk and butter together in a pirex mixing cup.  Wait a few minutes, then add the 40 gr. of yeast to the warm mixture.  Combine w/ spoon, then add to dry mixture and turn machine on to begin.
Add your egg, and continue monitoring the texture of the dough.  The mixer should be able to mix around the dough with our any sticking or tackiness.  Mixture should be smooth and non-sticky.
Once a fare 10 minutes worth of mixing has passed, and the dough appears well combined, assist your dough to a wood board, or counter top out of the way, yet somewhat warm.  Put mound of dough in center of floured bottom, and take a white cloth towel, make wet with warm/hot water, ring out completely, and lay over the rising dough.  Set aside until dough has doubled in size.  (Usually about 2 hours)
Forming the braid:
form 2 strips (same length) form your braided bread.  Find a braiding method that works for you.  I begin with a cross, then criss/cross the braid strands to form a nice french braid.
When you have formed it brush the top of braided bread with the egg yellow and bake it for 20-25 minutes @ 400°F in your warm oven. To make sure your braided bread is finished take it out of the oven, turn it over and knock on the bottom.  Should make a nice knocking sound.

.zopf zopf aufgeschnitten

Zucchini Bread

Zucchini Bread

Source:  Internet  Circ:  1950’s.

Personal Notes:
This bread recipe is something you dig up when you’re usually overflowing with zucchini from your summer garden.  It’s usually around the time of Fall.  So, like myself, I was doing a search on zucchini bread.  Of course, there are plenty of recipes, and all are very similar.  I just found one that was the recipe of someone’s grandmother, and I was impressed.  I hope you enjoy it!

3 eggs 1 tsp. Cinnamon
2 Cup sugar 1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 Cup oil / or 2 sticks melted butter ¼ tsp. Baking Powder
1 tea spoon vanilla 1 tsp. salt
2 Cups shredded zucchini ½ C. nuts (walnuts, pecans, hazel-whichever you like best)
2 Cups flour

Mix together eggs and sugar until creamy and frothy.  Add melted butter or oil.  Add in your vanilla and cinnamon.  Begin to add the flour, and rest of the ingredients.  Stir together and mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula.

Preheat oven to 200°C.  In a buttered loaf pan, pour in the batter, cook for about 45-55 min.

Farmer’s Bread

Farmer’s Bread

Source:  A “Friend” about 2006

Personal Notes:
I had been trying to successfully make bread for over 10 years when I learned this recipe.  I had gone through 2 bread machines, and tried countless recipes.  My girlfriend got this recipe from a friend who owns an Italian restaurant. This is a sure recipe with sure results!  One of the best things about the recipe is that it calls for ¼ tsp. of yeast!!  Give it a go…

Farmers bread
3 C. Flour ¼ tsp. yeast
1 ½ C. Water 1 tsp. salt

Mix all ingredients together and hand kneed for 5 min, until dough is soft and pliable, no longer sticky, nor dry.

Get a baking sheet,  flour the bottom surface of the sheet, and place the dough on. Cover w/ clean kitchen towel and let sit for 12 hours. (I usually make about 4-6 loaves @ a time, so usually put 2 loaves per sheet)

Heat oven to high temperature, 450°F.

Get a stock pot which has a lid and is oven safe.

Re-shape the dough loaves after the 12 hours has passed.  If it’s dry on the top, not a problem, just re-kneed and keep in round ball.  Keep the bottom surface floured, as this will prevent it from sticking to the pot.

Put dough in pot, in the oven, with lid.  Bake on high heat for about 15-20 min.  Take the lid off, and lower heat to 350°F.   Bake for an additional 15 min.  Be sure the loaf is brown and had formed a nice hard shell.

Take out, cool, cut and ENJOY!!

Country Style French Toast

Country Style French Toast

Source:  Rochelle  Cir.  2000’s

Personal Notes:
This is a rich breakfast, and something I do not do every weekend.  It’s a special occasion usually and it’s always devoured by my kids!  You can play with the type of bread you use-smaller baguette I find is the best, but you can try a Ciabatta or a French bread. Serve with butter, real maple syrup and powder sugar

French toast
Eggs Milk
thicker sliced Bread
(amount determined on a per person basis)

Slice your bread.  You can do this the night before and let it sit out for best results.  If not, it’s not a show stopper, just uses more eggs than usual, so plan for that.

In a large bowl, beat 6 eggs, and add ¼ C. milk to the mixture.  Add your cinnamon for flavor, and beat until well combined.

Have your frying pan ready to go with enough oil to evenly “fry” or cook the battered bread.. (Do not use Teflon coated pans.  They emit toxins while cooking with high heat-even if the manufacturer says they are safe, the are not!  Find yourself a good copper frying pan, or cast iron or cast alum.  They are a great investment which you will have for the rest of your cooking years!!!)

Take your bread slices (again, size to be determined by yourself) and let soak in egg mixture.  Once evenly coated, put in frying pan and cook until nice and golden brown on both sides.

Remove from frying pan, put directly in warm oven either on a platter or on a lined baking sheet to keep warm and to dry out a bit)

Once everything is cooked, serve with a nice creamy butter, real maple syrup and sprinkle with a dash of powder sugar.  It’s pretty heavenly!