Swiss Bread: Taillaule Neuchâteloise

My first blog post appeared exactly one year ago, as of yesterday. When I envisioned Swiss food back then, I didn’t realize that, along with chocolate and cheese, Switzerland loves its bread. In fact, this small nation has over 200 varieties of bread, including 22 pains de canteaux or cantonal breads (see also Newly Swissed’s guide to cantonal breads).

Last week, I tackled an allergy-friendly version of Cuchaule, a delicious saffron bread from the Fribourg region, and this week, I tried a bread from our own canton—Taillaule Neuchâteloise. While not the official cantonal bread, Taillaule has been around since the 18th century, according to Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse. Even now, I see it all over boulangeries in our Swiss city. A few weeks ago I bought my first loaf of Tauillaule (the real thing, full of dairy and eggs), after both my husband and a friend recommended I attempt an allergy-friendly version.

Taillaule Neuchâtel photo

Taillaule gets its name from the French verb tailler or “to cut.” Before baking, you take a scissor (or sharp knife) and make deep, horizontal cuts in the dough. Typically eaten at breakfast, this sweet bread contains raisins and candied lemon peel. I’ve also seen recipes with honey, but the recipe I adapted uses a tablespoon of rum.

 

Taillaule Neuchâteloise

(dairy/nut-free)

4 cups white flour
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1-2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon peel
3 tablespoons water mixed with 1 tablespoon flax meal
1 cup rice or soy milk
1/3 cup + 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine
1 tablespoon rum
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup candied lemon peel
Glaze: 1 egg yolk, beaten OR 1-2 tablespoons vegetable-based margarine, melted

1. Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl—3 cups of flour, salt, sugar, yeast and fresh lemon peel. Set aside.

2. Separately, mix together the milk substitute, water, margarine and rum. Gently heat in a small saucepan, stirring constantly, just until the margarine is melted.

3. Mix flax meal with water and set aside for a few minutes. Then, add the flax meal mixture to the dry ingredients along with the warmed liquid ingredients. Stir together to form dough. Knead for about 10 minutes, gradually adding in the remaining 1 cup of flour. During about the last 2 minutes of kneading, add the raisins and candied lemon peel, and continue kneading until the dough is smooth and elastic.

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4. Place in a covered bowl. Let rise until doubled in size, about one hour.

5. Punch down the dough and divide into 2 pieces. Gently press each piece of dough into a rectangle shape, roll the dough into a cylinder, and tuck under the edges. Place into 2 pans (about 20 cm or 8.5 by 4 inches), greased and/or lined with parchment paper. Let the dough rise again for about 30 minutes. Note: You could also make two free-form loaves without pans, if you don’t have the exact pan size.

6. Separate an egg and brush the yolk on the bread. Use kitchen shears or scissors to make alternating horizontal cuts in the dough.

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7. Bake at 180°C/350°F for 30 to 35 minutes. If necessary, cover with aluminum foil during the last 5-10 minutes to prevent the crust from getting too brown.

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I look forward to sharing another bread recipe soon. However, I’m not sure I can keep up the once-a-week bread recipe pace. We ate a lot of bread cette semaine! How do the Swiss do it?! Bon week-end!

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