Swiss Bread: Chapter 3 “St.Galler Brot”

St. Galler Brot

from the bakery Hächler

This is one of our family favorites…maybe because my husband came from this canton and it was one of the first Swiss bread’s I tasted, or maybe because it really is a fine bread.  It’s different from the other’s in the sense that it’s a dense bread, yet an airy bread if that makes sense.  When you cut a piece as you can see in the picture, it has air pockets, but if you look at the whole bread, it looks dense.  The shape of St. Galler is rather special.  It’s made in a circular mound usually with a torn front.  From what I’ve heard on the origination of it’s shape was that it was originally made in a 2.5 kilo form, and formed in a taller circle shape.  This was because in the older times, bread was not made daily, but rather once a week.  In order to keep the freshness, they decided to cut it from the top.  When they got to the end of the week, the bread still had freshness to it, due to the shape.  This is one of the most popular bread shapes in Switzerland.  St. Galler bread comes in two varieties; either ‘Ruch’ (dark bread), or Halbweiss (dark mixed with white flour).  Both are equally delicious.  Almost eight hundred years old, this bread is still made by hand and it takes quite a skill to form it.

All that’s required of this bread is to be sure you enjoy it with some organic swiss butter, and a nice home-made jelly (Confiture).

 

 

Swiss Bread: Chapter 2 “Bierbretzel”

They call this beauty the Bierbretzel, or the beer pretzel.  It’s named after the tradition of enjoying this along with a nice pint of beer, and some mustard.  I mean, delicious.  This little baked item has the potential to bring full happiness to anyone who sinks their teeth into this.  The loose translation of this type of bread (with it’s shiny brown finish, with soft airy dough on the inside) is called “lye-bread”, and that’s because the dough after you form it, is painted or dipped into a food-grade sodium hydroxide solution, or a lye solution (baking soda basically).  I have no idea how they ever figured this one out, but let’s bow to the men and women who developed one of the finest breads around!  We happened to stumble into this little fine bakery about 20 minutes from our home, to find they serve these up on a daily basis, but reserve the extra large ones for Saturday’s.  We special order them whenever desired, because if you don’t get there @ opening time (6:30 a.m.), then you can pretty much guarantee, they will be sold out.  Size wise, this is about 2 hands or so.  The cost for one is around Fr. 5 and if you are consuming it for breakfast (where beer is not yet appropriate), then it’s nice to slice it in half, and eat it with butter and some jelly.

If your mouth isn’t watering now, it should be!  This is a damn good bread experience that I wish everyone could enjoy at least one time in their life!

 

 

Fall’s Best Persimmon Cookie

Source:  Me: cir. 2017

Persimmons

Fall's Best Persimmon Cookie

Hachiya is the variety you want to work with.  Not a bitter note to be found in this beauty.  The persimmon is an interesting fruit.  It's a powerhouse, loaded with nutrition, and high up on the vitamin C scale.  The Latin word for it translates as "food of the god's", and that's just what it is.  It's a very gelatinous fruit, and that characteristic shows up in the baked cookie.  The look of the cookie's is interesting, but the taste of the cookie itself is delicious.  I'm not sure which cuisine of origin to list this since persimmon's aren't so popular by U.S. standards, but I can still remember tasting my first persimmon cookie-almost 35 years ago in the U.S.  So, my conclusion is that persimmon is a generational fruit and we need to bring this fruit back in fashion.  Let your "Kaki's" ripen, then get busy and make some cookies!

Enjoy.

5 from 1 vote
Print
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 20 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter soft and cut in pieces
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup persimmon pulp
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 cup walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 200 Celsius

    Get the pulp from the ripe persimmon by cutting the top off and scooping it out with a spoon.  About 2 persimmon's = 1 cup of fruit. 

  2. Combine your butter, sugar, egg, and pulp and mix until well combined.

  3. Assemble the dry together, including the spices. 

    mix together with the wet.  You'll notice the dough is a bit different than what you're used to.  I used a large spoon to spoon the dough on the baking sheet. 

  4. Bake for 15 min., or until golden. 

  5. Take out, let cool before serving.

    enjoy!

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