Swiss bread: Luzerner Brot, or also called the “Luzerner Weggen”. Truly a delight to both the eye, and the mouth. The Weggen, is one of 26 Canton breads, and perhaps one of the original Swiss Breads. Luzern officially joined the Swiss Confederacy in the 1300’s, however, it’s been around since the 700’s. Is the shape of the bread reflective of its rich and long history? Perhaps. This is the only one of the Canton breads to have this trademark shape. The simple slit down the middle is what makes a “weggen” , well, a “weggen”.
The wooden wedge
You’ll see the weggen in almost every grocery store and baker, but not in this grandiose form, but rather in a small, white bread roll form. More than likely, the concept of the shape came out of reason and ease and practicality. As a result, the slit allows the bread to be broken in half, and split with a clean line. No need to rip this bread in half. The technique used by the Swiss bakers to achieve the split, is used by a small hand-made wood wedge, which if the baker’s been around for a while, you can bet his wedge wood has been too.
The Weggen is one of the few Swiss bread’s to be combined with a sour-dough starter and ruchmehl. This in turn gives the bread an incredibly light and airy finish, yet it achieves density. The bread is baked at a very high temperature, and brushed with water before the final baking is complete. The result is a crunchy dark crust exterior with a very light, yet substantial interior. It’s a masterpiece!