Beyond Cheese and Chocolate: Homemade Swiss Bread

Today’s guest post comes from special salad correspondent and vinegar addict Natalie Hoch, who has been pining for the mountains of her ancestral Switzerland. She’s generous enough to share with us her family’s recipe for traditional Swiss bread. If you’ve got a lazy Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning ahead of you, this is a tasty way to spend it.

Although I grew up in Westchester, New York, I was born in the small Swiss mountain town of Vevey during one of my family’s stops around the globe as part of my dad’s work for Nestle. I was only 9 months old when we moved away, but Switzerland has stayed with us—particularly in the kitchen. Our time in Vevey and the deep Swiss roots from my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins have defined our family to this day.

We put candles on our Christmas tree and use old ski socks for fireplace stockings as Swiss holiday tradition dictates. I love to ski—most of the Swiss do too. I have an impressively high threshold for large quantities of melted stinky cheese after growing up with deliciously gooey Swiss meals. I adore good quality chocolate, from Nestle (of course) to Toblerone and Teuscher. And the Hoch family’s Swiss culinary specialties run the gamut from smooth raclette and fondue to creamy veal geschnetzeltes, from crisp potato roesti to spicy Christmas cookies, and oh so many hazelnuts!

swiss, bread, braided, bakingBut for now, the blustery cold wind whipping through Brooklyn makes me want warm, rich, eggy bread, the kind I remember my dad making by hand on Sunday mornings. We always ate it warm for breakfast, with honey butter (room-temperature butter blended with equal parts honey), which is so damn good. But this could also accompany a hearty stew, some soft cheese and fig spread, or any charcuterie, really.

We call it Tresse, French for “braid.” But any way you slice it (hee), I promise you’ll love it. I recently made a loaf for a Food-You-Grew-Up-With themed Glory Salon, and got some happy reviews.

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