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.

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