Bread of Basel

One of my favorite bread is the “Basler Brot” or bread of Basel. It is a Swiss cantonal bread and as I was born in Basel, of course I favor this over other cantonal breads like the bread of St. Gall, or of the Ticino. An exception is the rye bread from the Valais, the Walliser Brot, as I spent the other half of my younger years in this region.

If you belief the history than this bread was the first time mentioned in 1792 in a bread book. And still as of today it is the runner in many bakeries in Switzerland.

The shape is longish oval and it is always baked as two loafs sticking together at the front. For all of you who have difficulties with scoring, this is the bread to go, because it has none. I also like the dark rather thick crust which gives it the wonderful taste.

Unfortunately the oven temperatures from the old days with the wood fired ovens are not attainable in a private household environment, but I was able to get good results with 550°F during the steam period and finishing the bake with 450°F.

Below is a printable version of the recipe for your bread baking folder and a downloadable Excel spreadsheet. In the spreadsheet you can adjust the final amount of dough.


Printable version as PDF file for your recipe folder: Bread of Basel PDF

Printable version as XPS file for your recipe folder:  Bread of Basel XPS

Zip file to download spreadsheet: Bread of Basel ZIP





6 comments to Bread of Basel

  • Thomas Weber

    Dear Reto,

    I’m happy that your Basler Brot was successful. To have a little bit of home away from home is a good thing. Your IP address shows that you are located in Milwaukee, if that’s true I’m just south of you between Rockford and Chicago, West Dundee to be exact.


  • Reto Frei

    Hi Thomas

    What a Dream of a bread i was just fortunate enough to make yesterday. It turned out amazing. My parents in Switzerland know they have to have some Basler Brot at the ready when I’m visiting. Now that my batch yesterday turned out so great I will miss it less.

    One item I used for the steam part is, that I just tossed into an empty but hot baking pan a couple of ice cubes to generate steam. It worked so well I got from my rather wet dough an amazingly round loaf when I expected it to be flatter. I even had a little ‘new’ bump on one side grow out.

    Anyway thank you for this very gratifying experience and giving me new hope for being able to recreate my favorit bread.

    Thank you,

    Reto Frei

  • Thomas Weber

    I hope you enjoy your stay in Basel, it is a beautiful city and as additional benefit for global people very close to France (Alsace) and Germany.

    If you are also part of the TFL blog then I guess you are familiar with all the discussions around the difference between European and US flour.

    I’ve copied you a couple of links of flour from Migros (largest grocery store in Switzerland)
    I would start with the “Ruchmehl” and replace the bread flour and white whole wheat with this. If this works then you are good to go, otherwise do the same thing with the “Halbweiss Mehl”.

    For other bread recipes I would replace the bread flour with “Weiss Mehl” and maybe adjust a little bit the water.

    I hope this helps and let me know how it goes.


  • Maria

    Hi Thomas, I recently moved to Basel (from the US) and would like to start making traditional breads in my home kitchen but cannot find any books in English or French with breads like the Basler, St. Gellar, etc. Was thrilled to find your blog but then realized the recipes have been Americanized….You wouldn’t happen to have them in their original format with Swiss flours/quantities, etc? And or a recommendation of a good recipe book? Vielen Dank, Maria

  • Thomas Weber

    I’ve sent you an email earlier with some files attached, but I also added this files on the blog post on the bread page.
    Hope it works.

  • Sabrina L. Nelson

    My mother-in-law would really like to get your recipe for Basel Brot but we cannot use the files you have provided. Neither one of us has a version of Excel that will open the files. Can you make a plain text version or export as tab delimited text? Thank you for your time. Much appreciated.

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