Lots of hard work went into to locating our Bundner Roggenbrot. This is an iconic staple of the lovely canton of Graubunden. This is the largest and most east canton of Switzerland. Perhaps one of my top 2 favorites for me, it’s a canton which shares the borders of Ticino, Uri, Glarus and St.Gallen. Additionally, it shares the border of Italy, Austria and Liechtenstein. It’s loaded with steep granite plateaus, has a diversity of wild life and is a outdoor lovers paradise.
OK, this is not a post for Bündnerland, but rather this marks another post for a kantonbrot. These ‘kantonbrots’ are a dying breed, at least some of them. We searched several local bakeries for this ring. Many had not even heard of it! It’s a disheartening feeling when you feel the sense of culture being buried under the fast-paced hectic life we’re all choosing, but my heart was warmed when we stumbled on the last bakery in the canton for us.
The last of the greats
We found the Ziegler Bäckerei-Conditorei AG in Maienfeld (where the movie ‘Heidi’ was filmed). This was an old bakery dating back to 1877. Of course they knew the roggenbrot, and they made a fine version of this bread ring.
The Bundner roggenbrot is a round shape ring of bread. It consists of 2/3 rye flour, and 1/3 white flour. It’s a bread more on the denser side of things-I think a bread made perfectly to accommodate a slice of Bundnerfleish. Or perhaps it was a bread very reflective of the canton. Though canton Graubunden is a lovely beautiful canton, it’s rather remote, and has many dark and gray corners to its landscape. The sun shines less, and spring and summer certainly arrive later in this region. It’s a host to a black and white back drop of nature, so not much color in the off season.
Perhaps, it’s rich in the ingredients which grew locally, lasted longer in storage, and gave more nutritional value to the consumers of this fine bread ring. It’s not your usual, typical breakfast bread which most canton breads are. This has more thought and results. Perhaps it enabled you to climb the peaks at a faster rate, or perhaps it’s a great addition to the age-old Bundnersuppe. Either way, I loved it’s unique character and delightful appearance.
It’s been said that the rings used to hang on sticks and be displayed in the bakeries this way. Additionally, the bread dough, once shaped, receives a final bath in the flour and is sliced 3 times around the ring.