Berne Brot – The Bread From Berne

Berne Brot
Recipe Video

 

Sunday morning  breakfasts  deserve  something  special, don’t you  agree?. No,  I am  not talking about extra  work for the cook.  I like  to keep it  simple, anything  elaborate on a Sunday  should  be  brunch, at least in my book !!  Here is  such a breakfast treat that  we  love – Berne Brot.  Make it the  previous night  and  serve  in the morning  with just a  touch of  butter  and  drizzle of  raw  honey.  Heavenly Simplicity!

They say it comes from the  the   city  of  Bern, Switzerland.  Wherever it came from , this is a  fine  bread  with soft  and   close crumb.   Well, I am going to let you in on a  secret – it is the perfect  bread for picnics and  road trips with kids. It is enriched with eggs and diary and stays  soft  for a  couple  days, but it is not as fragile as brioche.  These  freeze  well  too.

Berne Brot Cooling On The Rack

I was looking  for  recipes  similar to challah  that  use  diary when I came  across  this  recipe for  Berne Brot. This  recipe   asks  for  multiple  stretch and  folds, but  I  do not normally do it as  the   bread   rises  beautifully and  evenly   with  standard bulk and proof.

For this  bread I use  bread  flour  when possible. But  any good  all purpose  flour  with good  protein content (around 12% or  anything  says  good  for  bread)  will produce excellent  results. Even  with lower  protein content   the bread  will be  delicious , if  not as airy as  its  bread flour  counterpart.

For  this  recipe I use  4gms yeast (about 1/2 packet)  for 500 gms of  flour (about 4 Cups).  Of course  you can  use a  full sachet  and  cut  down on time,  but  I  find  that  the  slower  rising  gives  better  flavor.  Take  the  flour, salt  and  sugar in a  large  mixing bowl or in  your  stand  mixer’s  bowl,  and  mix  well. Add the  proofed  yeast   one  egg  and an egg yolk to it  and  knead  while  adding  the  milk slowly.  Reserve the  remaining  egg  white. Once  all the  flour comes together in the  dough  add the  softened  butter  and  knead  for  10 minutes.  The  dough  should  be  soft   and  a little  tacky, but  it  should  not  stick to your  hands  if  you pinch a piece  and  roll into a  ball. If  needed  add  extra  flour or  milk as  required.  Form into a  ball, place in an oiled  bowl. Cover  and  let  rise in a  warm place  till  doubled, about  2  hours. You   could  of  course  do an  overnight  rise in the  fridge as  well for  an  even  more  complex  flavor.

 

Punch down the  dough  and   form into loaves.  I usually make  this  bread  into  2 winston knots , but   shape it  the  way you like . Winston knot looks a little  complicated,  but  the process of  rolling  and  forming  the  ropes seems  to  arrange  the  gluten  strands  very neatly, resulting in beautiful crumb.    Cover  and  let  rise  till looks  almost  doubled.  The  video  shows  how  to  shape a  Winston Knot.

Preheat  the oven to 375°F (190°C). Remember  the egg white   that  we  reserved ?  Beat  it  well with 1 teaspoon of  water  and  brush the  tops of  the  loaves.  Do not  discard  the  remaining  egg wash.  Place the  loaves  in the  preheated  oven   and  bake  for  20 minutes.

Berne Brot

If  you are  making  plain   loves  skip this  step. If making  braided  loaves  your  bread will look   similar  to  this. See  the   white  portions  on the  top  –  results of  beautiful oven  rise, but  that   also causes  uneven  browning. Brush the  remaining  egg wash on top   and  return to the  oven.

Reduce  the  oven  temperature  to  350°F (175°C) and  bake  for  another 10 to 20  minutes.  The  bread is  done  when   the  internal temperature  reaches 200°F.  If you  do not  have an  instant  read  thermometer  check the old fashioned  way . Remove the  bread  from the oven  and tap the  bottom.  When  done  the  bread  will sound  hollow.

Cool to room temperature  before  slicing !

Berne Brot

Berne Brot

Berne Brot

Ingredients

Bread Flour - 500gm (4C + 2 Tbsp)
Milk - 240g (1C)
Eggs - 2 Large
Butter - 60g (4 Tbsp)
Sugar - 25g (2 Tbsp)
Salt - 9g (1 1/2 Tsp)
Active Dry Yeast - 4g (1 1/4 Tsp or 1/2 Packet)

Instructions

Warm 1/4 C milk (60g) to 110°F or just warm to touch. Mix in 1 tsp sugar and sprinkle the active dry yeast on top. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes for the yeast to activate and froth up.

Take the flour, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix well and make a well in the center. Add the yeast solution followed by one egg and an egg yolk. Reserve the white. Start kneading by slowly incorporating the flour mix into the wet mix, adding more milk as necessary. When all the flour has been incorporated into the dough add the butter and knead for 10 minutes. The dough should be soft. Form into a ball. Place in an oiled bowl cover and set aside in a warm place for about 2 hours or till the dough has doubled in bulk.

Punch down the dough and shape into loaves of desired shape. Here I have made these into 2 Winston knots, but you could leave them as 2 rounds shape into balls and arrange on a baking tray. Cover and let rise till almost doubled (30 to 45 minutes).

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Make an eggwash by beating the reserved eggwhite with 1 teaspoon of water. When ready to bake brush the tops of the loaves with the eggwash and place in the oven.

If making braided loaves, remove from teh oven at 20 minutes and brush again with the remaining egg wash.

Reduce the temperature to 350°F(175°C) and bake for a further 15 minutes or util the internal temperature of the loaves have reached 200°F(93°C). Or you can check by tapping the bottom of the bread. When done it should sound hollow.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.

Notes

You can make this bread with AP flour or a combination of AP and White Whole wheat as well. Increase the amount of milk if using WW flours. For beast results use unbleached bread flour, preferably organic.

https://oventales.com/berne-brot-the-bread-from-berne/

Berne Brot

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