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Have you ever taken a bite of artisan bread while travelling in Switzerland? The crust has an unforgettable crunch and crackle. The crumb is chewy and laced with holes. The taste is rich and nutty. Spreading butter on a chunk of this flavorful bread is almost too much.
But what makes this bread so different from other bread? It’s the process. A long process. Every step of baking artisan bread is governed by honored traditions passed from one baker to the next. When you see the number of steps involved, you will be amazed that dedicated Swiss bakers have kept the tradition alive. The villagers in the Gruyere region love this bread so much they will travel great distances to buy it from this baker. And it’s only available one day per week—for four hours.
If you love great bread, this can’t help but make you curious. Alpenwild clients who book Discover Swiss Cuisine: French Inspired spend an entire day in a workshop with our artisan bread baker, André Isenegger, and learn the ancient secrets. Hands on.
Learn about the variety of grains André uses and his special combination of flours. Understand why he captures wild yeast and why it works best. Discover the role of mountain water and why it’s a crucial ingredient.
As the old wood-fired oven heats to a blistering temperature (almost 700°F), you measure and mix the ingredients. Then you dig your hands into the supple and springy dough, as traditional kneading techniques are explored and practiced. The lengthy process of allowing the artisan dough to slowly rise requires both patience and faith.
While the bread is baking all hands are put to the task of preparing an authentic Swiss fondue dinner with local artisan cheeses. Secrets to preparing a successful fondue are shared. The freshly baked loaves are removed from the oven where they immediately begin a crackly chorus of “le chant du pain,” or “the song of the bread.”
André brings bubbling caquelons of fondue to the table with baskets of thickly sliced artisan bread to tear and dip into the fragrant melted cheese. Glasses are raised in a cheerful “Santé!”
The evening concludes taking home loaves of freshly baked artisan bread to nibble on and share.
If this participative culinary adventure appeals to you, join us as we Discover Swiss Cuisine: French Inspired. Spaces are limited and they disappear as quickly as the loaves of bread André sells each week.
Alpenwild is the leader in food tours in Switzerland. You'll find a full range of food tours to choose from on our website. In addition to culinary vacations in each of Switzerland's three linguistic and cultural regions, you'll find specialty tours for cheese and chocolate.