In French-speaking Switzerland, thousands of people get up in the middle of the night to knead, mold and bake bread. Few people realize how difficult this work is and how little it is appreciated these days. And while bread may seem simple in its ingredients, it is truly exceptional. In the four corners of French-speaking Switzerland, we found 7 products that are a must-try.
In 2018, Juliette Haenni and Leonore Despres wanted to "get out of the city and do something with their hands", so they put their hands... to the dough. They bake their bread with natural sourdough. The red wheat from Bordeaux is more brittle and therefore easier to digest. The loaves may seem coarse, but they are thin and go well with fresh cheese.
Address: Le Pain du Jardin, chemin des Echaux 6, Meinier (GE).
Like the galaxy of sesame seeds on the crust, the reddish flakes of crumb give the bread elegance and character. The bread, from the sourdough bakery of Noor Hadam and Scott Deeley, is an homage to the infamous city and the Syrian roots of Sawerdō's co-founder. It can be served with a fruit sauce, but it's also lovely on its own as the chili gradually explodes in your mouth.
Address: Sawerdō, boulevard James-Fazy 100 bis, Geneva.
At L'illustré, everyone fell in love with this delicious bread with sweet and tart notes, the fruit of a meeting between baker Jérôme Sogi and syrup producer Claire-Lise Bujon in Meunier. Blackcurrants are used to make the syrup and their pomace is added to the bread itself. This bread is sold on a subscription offered by the baker and is not sold separately.
Address: Levain.ch, rue du Simplon 7, Geneva.
Leonhard Bernard started thirty years ago with small pretzels, but soon realized that it was not profitable for him. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, he switched to huge pretzels - and they are a hit! You can wash them down with a good beer or crunch them up as an aperitif.
Address: Leonhard Bretzel, chemin du 23-Août 11, Geneva.
For almost fifteen years, Cédric Chézeau and Marc Haller have been working together to grow (Chézeau's work) and process (Haller's work) starch, an ancient, super-strong cereal. "It gives us an extraordinary experience, both for its beauty and originality," explains Marc Haller, who goes to the Yverdon-les-Bains market every Tuesday and Saturday. Our advice? Enjoy it in its natural state.
Address: Les Pains de mon Chemin, rue de Crêttet 2, L'Abergement.
Alex and Julien started in their kitchen before Covid, trained "on the job" and became successful during the pandemic. They now supply their bread and Viennese pastries to about thirty restaurants. Their Engrein is a low-gluten, dense spelt bread with a dense crumb that is best eaten with a slice of smoked ham or simply with a good vegetable soup.
Address: Le Pain des Frouzes, route des Ripes 4, Étagnières.
If the thin crust resembles a beanie, it's because this headpiece has a special meaning for baker Adrien Charlet, who runs the family business with his brother Guillaume. "Tibau, my best friend, who was a lumberjack and very close to nature, always wore a cap," he explains. - "He passed away on January 1, 2019, and this bread is a tribute."
Address: Charlet-Ançay, place de la Barboleuse 10, Gryon.