The number one Swiss Bread! The Zürcher
Much to my surprise, the Zürcher bread is the most popular, most purchased loaf of bread throughout the entire land of Switzerland. Hailing from Kanton Zurich, this Swiss bread, Zürcher Brot is well recognized with it’s famous 5-slit design on the top. Thus allowing the bread to spread and bake with a nice, crunchy crust that gives way to the soft, airy center. Also called “Laib” which means loaf or piece, this bread is the typical bread used for Fondue, and is actually in my opinion, a very practical bread. It’s not fancy in shape or color, and there’s really no good story from this bread-it’s just the Zuricher brot! But don’t be fooled, as every bread in Switzerland is still a thousand times more special than the bread anywhere else in the world.
The “practical” bread of Switzerland
The bread is made from whole-wheat flour (Ruchmehl) and is said to be made with 1/3 starter. Not to mention, it’s the bread that my husband grew up on. Though for us, it’s always a close call between the Zuricher or the St. Galler, thus proving itself as one of the most practical breads that suit the family.
Though described as hearty, don’t let it fool you, as it too has a light, airy inside. When bought fresh, this bread is delicious! It comes with a beautifully crusty exterior, which gives nice protection to that soft center, which is not unusual for Swiss breads. In fact, it’s pretty typical to have your healthy whole-wheat flour option, coupled with an airy interior. Lots of simple knowledge of dough, flour and rising goes into every loaf of Swiss bread. It’s all about knowing when to add a fermented agent, or when not to. One must remember, that these breads are century old recipes, and it’s depicted in every bite.
The characteristics …
Surprisingly, there isn’t much history on this bread. It’s believed to been made popular in the early 20th century. I think though, it’s the bread in Switzerland with the most value, which is why it’s typically sold by the kilo. It makes for a great family loaf and is well devoured at the breakfast Tisch! You will always find the same finish on this bread. The bread has a nice crunchy exterior and will have 3-5 slits on the top of the loaf.
This is what I’d call the standard in Swiss bread, as it’s really not so special, but then again, it’s not un-special either. Like I said, you can find this shape in every super-market bakery, and in every bakery in every town. For some reason, it’s the most loved bread. I like it too. It’s healthy, hearty and feeds a family nicely. Not to mention, it’s a great option for sandwich bread, french toast, and croutons.
A good pairing: Zurich Brot and Flax
I love this bread most when it’s accompanied by ground organic flax. For years, I’ve known that flax seed is a super food. It’s loaded with omega 3 fats, loaded with nutrients, high in the cancer fighting properties, and helps in controlling HBP and hormone levels. But I want you to know this. Flax is an ancient super food which has a long list of benefits, too many to mention. I like it for all those reasons, plus, I crave it on a piece of toast, or mixed into come coconut yogurt when I have it on hand. Flax seed is a good old pal to have plenty on hand. Be sure to keep your ground organic flax in the fridge, as it can go rancid and become rather useless in all its amazing benefits.