Recipe: Swiss Rice Tart for Easter

Discover a dairy-free version of a typically Swiss tart made for Easter with rice, vanilla, lemon zest and a thin layer of apricot jam.

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For our first Easter in Switzerland, I attempted a few dairy-free and egg-free Gâteau de Pâques. My experiments always looked bad, and the texture was never right. Honestly, I think some of it ended up in the trash. (Please note: For those of you still avoiding eggs AND dairy, I found an Easter tart recipe from aha! Centre d’Allergie Suisse).

According to Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse, the first tarts in Switzerland resembling today’s Gâteau de Pâques (in French) or Osterfladen (in German) may have started as early as the 16th century, and several sources pinpoint Basel as the birthplace. These tarts typically contain either rice or semolina. At our local Suisse Romande bakery, the Gâteau de Pâques has semolina and a thin layer of apricot jam. One of the bakers I spoke with there said he preferred using semolina over rice because it makes a lighter cake.

I tend to prefer the semolina-based tarts, but for this year’s Gâteau de Pâques (which I can now make with eggs), I really wanted to tackle a rice-based tart—especially since my past attempts were so unsuccessful. My dairy-free recipe uses the apricot jam layer instead of the more traditional raisins (the thought of moist raisins mixed with sweet rice just isn’t appealing to me). Both of my sons loved this tart, so I’m finally ready to share my recipe below.


Gâteau de Pâques

Recipe adapted from cuisine de saison.
(dairy-free, nut-free)

Tools:
Tart pan, 24 cm (9-10 inches) diameter

Ingredients:
500 ml soy milk
60 grams sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla paste or vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
120 grams rice (e.g., Camolino rice or risotto)
30 grams dairy-free margarine, melted
2 eggs, separated
about 320 grams prepared allergy-friendly pâte brisée (i.e., shortcrust pastry or pie crust)
100 grams apricot jam
powdered sugar for dusting

Instructions:

1. Stir together the soy milk, sugar and vanilla paste in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, and then add the lemon zest. Stir in the rice. Simmer for about 25-30 minutes until the rice becomes tender. Set aside to cool.

2. Add parchment paper to a greased tart pan (using dairy-free margarine), and then place in the prepared pâte brisée. Trim the sides, if necessary. Prick the bottom with a fork in several places. Spread the apricot jam evenly on the prepared crust.

3. Melt the margarine, and stir it into the cooled rice mixture. Separately, beat together the two egg yolks, and then stir them in as well, until well-combined.

4. Separately, beat together the 2 egg whites with an electric mixture (it will take forever to do this by hand) until they form stiff peaks. Gently fold them into the rice mixture. Take the rice mixture and spread it evenly over the apricot jam in the prepared crust.

5. Bake the tart for 40-45 minutes at 180°C/350°F until it’s set (it doesn’t wobble when you take it out) and lightly browned.

6. Once the tart has cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar (I made a quick bunny stencil with a sheet of paper, which I held down against the cake with some dried beans).

School vacation starts tomorrow, so I’ll be offline for the next two weeks. Happy Easter! Joyeuses Pâques! Fröhliche Ostern! Buona Pasqua!

The April Fish

Happy April Fools’ Day! Are you eating chocolate fish today? Did your local newspaper publish a few nonsense articles this morning? Have you put a paper fish on someone’s back? If you’ve answered yes to all of these questions, you may be living in French-speaking Switzerland (or France, for that matter).

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Poisson d’avril

In Suisse romande, April Fools’ Day is known as Poisson d’avril (April Fish). There are many theories for why this name developed, but the tradition of playing practical jokes on friends and family remains the same, as in other parts of the world. Long ago, people would apparently give fake fish as gifts on this day as a joke. Today, the tradition continues with beautiful chocolate fish displayed in store windows.

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Poisson d’avril display at the Musée d’horlogerie du Locle

Similar to giving fake fish, another unique tradition here and in France involves people secretly affixing paper fish to people’s backs. Whoever wears the paper fish is the Poisson d’avril. I’ve been talking about this tradition with my 6-year old, so I’m expecting a surprise paper fish from him at some point today.

To make sure a certain 2-year old can participate in Poisson d’avril, I bought a silicone mold with small springtime shapes, including a few little fish amongst the bunnies and Easter eggs. I melted some Divvies chocolate and added some grated coconut, poured it into the molds, and voila! Delicious little chocolate fish that our family can share together.

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I hope you enjoy your April Fools’ Day or Poisson d’avril. Be wary though, pranksters will be lurking everywhere today!

Gâteau des Rois: Three Kings Cake

For our first Epiphany in Switzerland—also known as Three Kings Day—I was completely unaware of a major Swiss tradition: Gâteau (or Galette) des Rois in French or Dreikönigskuchen in German. Last year, how did I miss seeing these crown-covered cakes in the windows of our local boulangeries?

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This year, a few days before January 6, special bread wreaths with golden paper crowns started appearing at Coop. Thanks to a quick Google search, I discovered that the Swiss celebrate this religious holiday by eating a cake with a surprise inside. While baking a cake for Epiphany is an old tradition, an ambitious pastry researcher and the Richemont school revived it in Switzerland in the 1950s.

Each cake contains a fève (and sometimes more than one), which is typically a small toy king to symbolize the three wise men who visited Jesus 12 days after his birth. The cake I bought contained two, one of which was a tiny porcelain Lucille Ball. According to a Swiss friend, along with the typical king figurines, bakers will sometimes add a more modern figure, like a Disney character. In our case, to our surprise, it was a popular American actress and comedienne.

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Two fèves: one of the 3 wise men… and Lucille Ball!? (coins shown for scale)

Of course, eating a cake for Epiphany isn’t entirely unique to Switzerland. I’ve heard of similar cakes being prepared in Spain, Portugal, France, Bulgaria, the United States and other countries. In Switzerland, whoever finds the fève gets to be king or queen for the day with a paper crown to symbolize their status. Friends tell me the French tradition requires the youngest child in the family to sit under the table and name off their family members at random, while an adult or another older child passes out pieces of cake to those who are called.

­Here in Suisse-Romande, we have the Swiss brioche-style couronne for Three Kings Day, as well as the French-inspired pithiviers, a delicious puff pastry cake filled with frangipane. The brioche-style version traditionally contains raisins, but I saw many versions without. One of my favorite bakeries in town studded its cake with chunks of chocolate. The Pithiviers also has a crown shape, with a design cut into the shiny browned top.

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Gâteau des Rois with chocolate

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French-inspired Pithiviers

With my son’s test results indicating an almond allergy, we skipped the almond-flavored pithiviers and the almond-topped couronne. Instead, I made a homemade Galette des Rois with a pumpkin seed hidden inside. When our family sat down for breakfast on January 6 this week, we crowned my oldest son the king, much to his delight. We’ll certainly repeat this sweet Swiss tradition again next year, now that we’ve finally been introduced!

 

Galette des Rois

(dairy/egg/nut-free)

Adapted from Swissmilk’s version. I made another one from Migros’ cuisine de saison that was quite good, but the cake contains one egg. In order to bake it long enough so it was safe for my son, the top got a little too dark. I also prefer Swissmilk’s recipe because it contains less sugar and more raisins.

Dough:
100 grams raisins (I used golden raisins)
500 grams all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
7 grams active dry yeast
250 ml rice milk, warm
75 gram dairy-free margarine, melted and cooled

1 pumpkin seed or graine de courge

Topping:
1 egg yolk, beaten with 1 tablespoon rice milk (or for an egg-free version, just use rice milk)
some course grained sugar or sucre en grains

1. Combine flour, sugar and salt and form a well. Dissolve the yeast in warmed milk, pour into the well with the rest of the melted and cooled dairy-free margarine. Knead into a soft dough.

2. Knead raisins into the dough. Cover and let double in size.

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3. Form a ball with about a quarter of the dough, place on plate lined with parchment paper. Divide the rest of the dough into 6 or 8 balls, hiding the pumpkin seed in one of them. Arrange the balls around the central ball. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel and let rise for about 15 minutes.

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4. Brush with the egg yolk and rice milk mixture and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 25-30 minutes in the lower part of an oven preheated to 200°C/400°F.

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My homemade-looking version of Galette des Rois (sans dairy and nuts)

Another reason I shouldn’t have missed the tradition… It seems that almost every food blogger in Switzerland ­­has a wonderful recipe or a story to share about Galette des Rois—all of which I enjoyed reading. I’ve shared some of the links below, if you want more information about this festive Swiss treat.

I look forward to trying some new Swiss recipes this weekend, including the European version of my beloved Bundt cake. Bon week-end, everyone!

Homemade Biscômes and Noisette Stars

Christmas baking continues… One recipe to share (Biscômes), and one I’m still working on (Etoiles á la cannelle).

Swiss Gingerbread

Since I wrote about Swiss gingerbread or “biscômes” last week, I’ve cleaned up the recipe so it’s ready to share. My third batch more closely resembles the store-bought gingerbread we’ve seen around town—a little thinner, a little browner. I just ate one for breakfast! Biscômes date back to the 16th century in Switzerland, and I’m loving the smell of homemade gingerbread in my kitchen at Christmastime.

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Pains d’épice biscômes

Adapted from the recipe in Croqu’menus (2005).
(Dairy/egg/nut-free)

425 grams all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons “pain d’épice” spice mix (i.e., gingerbread spice mix with cinnamon, coriander, anise, cloves and mace; if you can’t find a pre-mixed version like this, here’s a do-it-yourself recipe).
3 teaspoons baking powder
100 grams dairy-free margarine
125 grams honey
3 tablespoons sugar
200 ml rice milk

Glaze:
100 ml warm water
50 grams powdered sugar

Icing:
2-3 teaspoons rice milk
75 grams powdered sugar

1. In a large bowl, whisk together all the dry ingredients: flour, spices, baking powder and salt until well-blended. In a separate bowl, beat together the margarine, sugar and honey.

2. Stir together the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in 2-3 batches, alternating with the rice milk, just until blended; do not overbeat. Place in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

3. Roll out the dough on a floured surface to about 1/3 inches (8-9 mm) thick; you may need some flour on the rolling pin too. Cut out desired shapes, such as rectangles, hearts or gingerbread men. Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake for 20 minutes at 200°C/400°F until browned, but not burned.

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4. Place on a wire rack to cool. Once cooled, whisk together the glaze mixture and brush over the biscômes. Let them set for another hour or two at room temperature until the glaze has soaked in and dried.

5. Whisk together the icing ingredients until smooth. Use a pastry bag (or a plastic bag with a small corner cut off) to decorate the biscômes.

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Etoiles á la Cannelle

I see “Etoiles á la cannelle” (cinnamon stars) everywhere this time of year. This popular Swiss cookie usually contains almonds, one of my son’s allergens we’re currently avoiding. I noticed these cookies last year, and decided to finally tackle them in my home kitchen over the weekend.

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In my copy of Croqu’menus, the recipe for “Etoiles á la cannelle” says you can use almonds or “noisettes” (hazelnuts). Last year at this time, we were avoiding hazelnuts for my son. This year, I’m free to use them in holiday recipes, and it’s opened up some new options, like these little cinnamon cookies.

From what I’ve seen, recipes for “Etoiles á la cannelle” typically call for eggs in both the cookie and the glaze. I made a few modifications, and my 2-year old loves my homemade version, but my recipe still needs perfecting (see the photo below for proof). My appreciation for the professionals who do this kind of baking grows with each failed attempt! Maybe next year…

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I’ll be trying out some other Swiss Christmas cookies, at least one of which I hope to share later this week! What allergy-friendly treats are you making for the holiday season?

Gingerbread for Saint Nicholas Day

Happy St. Nicholas Day! Today is December 6th, when Swiss children receive treats from Saint Nicholas—the patron saint of children. He typically hands out peanuts, chocolates, mandarin oranges and rectangular Swiss gingerbread (“biscômes” in French and “lebkuchen” in German). When my son arrived at school this morning, Saint Nicholas had left a bag of goodies in his slippers that he wears for class.

At this time of year, our local boulangeries, grocery stores and farmers’ markets are filled with different kinds of gingerbread for Saint Nicholas Day. I typically see biscômes in rectangular shapes, decorated with white icing or with a paper drawing of Saint Nicholas.

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Biscômes for sale at the farmers’ market

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Bear-decorated, Bernese-style biscômes (and a grand bonhomme de pâte!)

I made two batches of biscômes this week—sans dairy, eggs and nuts—using a recipe I modified from my copy of Croqu’menus. We ate them for breakfast this morning to celebrate Saint Nicholas Day. They’re good with a strong cup of coffee!

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At the moment, I am baking a large bonhomme de pâte for dinner, as a final reminder of Saint Nicholas Day. Bon week-end, everyone!

Swiss Bread: Grittibänz/Bonhomme de Pâte

With Bundt Day and Thanksgiving behind us, I’ll be focusing on Swiss Christmas treats from now until the end of 2013. To kick off the holiday baking bonanza, I’m starting with yet another Swiss bread: Grittibänz (German) or Bonshommes de Pâte (French). These little bread men are made primarily for Saint Nicholas Day, and likely date back to the 16th century, according to Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse. Very loosely translated, “Grittibänz” apparently means something like “old frail man walking with his legs spread apart.”

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From what I’ve heard, the celebration of Saint Nicholas on December 6th occurs more in the German-speaking and Catholic-leaning cantons of Switzerland. However, I’ve been learning about celebrations happening here in French-speaking Suisse-Romande as well, particularly in the canton of Fribourg.

My 6-year old has been helping to teach me about this Swiss holiday, as he and his classmates were singing about Saint Nicholas and his donkey yesterday. Today, he came home and told me how Saint Nicholas travels with a sidekick, le Père Fouettard (or “Schmutzli” in German), who hits badly-behaved children with a broom (!). He also heard that Saint Nicholas hands out Bonshommes de Pâte, so it looks like I’ll be making these again this week…

 

Bonshommes de Pâte (Grittibänz)

Adapted from the recipe in Croqu’menus (2005).

(dairy/nut-free; can be made without egg)

350 ml rice milk, room temperature
7 grams (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
60 grams of dairy-free margarine
500 grams bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
canola oil, for greasing the bowl

1 egg, beaten (or melted dairy-free margarine)
Toppings: pumpkin seeds (almonds are more traditional, but we’re avoiding them), dried raisins or cranberries, coarse grains of sugar

1. Add the rice milk, yeast and sugar to a large bowl. Let the yeast dissolve for a few minutes on its own and then whisk together. Add flour, margarine and salt to the yeast mixture and stir together until dough forms.

2. Knead the dough for about 5-10 minutes. The dough will be sticky, but be patient. Add a little flour, if necessary. Once the dough is smooth and elastic (when you press the dough with your finger, it bounces back), place in a greased bowl and turn greased side up. Let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

3. Shape the dough into about 1-4 bread men. Here’s a quick video (in German) from Swiss Milk that gives an overview of how to shape the dough (it also features other small bread shapes for Christmas; skip to 2:50 for the section on Grittibänz).

4. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F. Let the bread rise while the oven preheats. Just before placing in the oven, brush the top of the bread with some of the beaten egg (or melted margarine). Decorate with pumpkin seeds (or almonds) and other dried fruit and coarse grains of sugar.

5. Bake for 30 minutes until the bread is nicely browned and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.

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Finally, a big “thank you” to the Food Librarian for including my Vegan Chocolate Bundt Cake with Speculoos Glaze in her National Bundt Day 2013 Round-Up.

Swiss Agricultural Products: AOP/IGP Designations

The list of 30 Swiss agricultural products protected by the government includes cheese—which my son can’t safely eat—but what else appears on the list? I got my answer after (finally) reading a beautiful magazine about Switzerland’s La Semaine du Goût—a weeklong celebration of traditional Swiss foods (I attended Festin Neuchâtelois in September 2013 as part of this event).

To give you some background, the Swiss government uses two special designations for agricultural products other than wine:

  • Appellation d’Origine Protégée (AOP)” or Protected Designation of Origin (PDO)
  • Indication Géographique Protégée” (IGP) or Protected Geographic Indication (PGI)

You may have seen similar designations for wine before (e.g., AOC), which means the product was prepared in a certain way and from a particular geographic region. Designations like the two listed above can be applied to other agricultural food products, such as cheese or sausage.

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Pain de seigle valaisan AOP from Grimentz

The purpose of the AOP/IGP designation is both to protect consumers and the products. For consumers, the designation stands for a quality product produced in the traditional way. Also, this designation prohibits companies from using a traditional name for a protected food product, like Gruyère cheese, if they can’t meet certain production standards.

The complete list of Swiss AOP­/IGP products appears below (there’s also a map). I consider it one of my new “to-do” lists, as I personally want to try all of these foods. When I can, I’ll also share these products with my son—when they’re free of dairy, eggs (raw or undercooked) and almonds.


AOP Products


Spirits                                                                                              ­

Bread and cereals

Cheese*

Fruit, vegetables and spices


IGP Products**


Meats
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Saucisse aux Choux Vaudoise IGP

As I discover allergy-friendly recipes using these products, I’ll continue to update this post. And as a reminder, please check labels every time to determine if any of these products contain or may contain ingredients you are currently avoiding because of food allergies.

*Not dairy-free, based on my initial research.
**“Café de Colombia” (coffee from Colombia) is the only non-Swiss product to appear on this list, and it has an IGP designation.

On Monday, I’m heading to Bern for an early morning festival. Maybe you’ve heard of it? Bon week-end!

Updated: June 17, 2014

Longest Meal Ever: Festin Neuchâtelois 2013

I talked some friends into attending a 4-course meal of typically Swiss foods from the canton of Neuchâtel last weekend. Restaurants throughout the canton participated in Festin Neuchâtelois, including our pick—Restaurant Au Château in Colombier. Each site served a set meal of traditional dishes made with “produits du terroir” (local products). Little did I know when the meal started at noon, it would last for over 6 hours!

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When I saw the posters up around town for Festin Neuchâtelois, I decided I had to attend. One of my goals for this blog is to identify Swiss recipes I can recreate at home—free of my son’s allergens. Some recipes that I’ve found, like for Pane Ticinese, don’t call for milk, eggs and nuts. For other recipes, I enjoy adapting them to include allergy-friendly ingredients, like using coconut milk to make Salée à la Crème. I thought this would be a great opportunity to try lots of local foods, all at once.

Festin Neuchâtelois did not disappoint. It was the longest meal I’ve ever had. So many delicious plates of food. For the full menu at Restaurant Au Château that day, click here (in French). The photos below provide examples of some of the dishes served during each of the “services” or courses.

1er service

DSC01172Bondelle fumée du lac” (Smoked whitefish of the lake)

DSC01175“Gelée de pied de veau à la lie” (Calf’s foot jelly, this wasn’t my favorite…)

2ème service

DSC01178“Pot-au-feu” (French beef stew)

DSC01180“Saucisson neuchâtelois IGP cuit à la braise sur pétcha” (Neuchâtel sausage)

3ème service

DSC01182“Tourte aux poireaux” (Leek pie)

DSC01168“Pièces d’agneau rôties au serpolet” (Lamb roasted with wild thyme)

4ème service

DSC01184Tarte aux fruits, Crème bachique, Parfait glacé à l’absinthe”
(Fruit tart, Bacchanalian cream, and Parfait absinthe)

All of us took home a small cookbook with the recipes from our huge feast. I’m hoping to make some of these dishes soon and will post the recipes when/if I get them right. That reminds me… If anyone knows where I can get a cheap bricelet press, please send me an email (the new one I saw here in town was CHF 240!).

As always, thanks for reading and supporting Dairy-Free Switzerland. Bon week-end!

Super Quick: Tarte aux Pruneaux

This week at school, my 5-year old and his classmates made little plum tarts or tarte aux pruneaux. On Tuesday, their teacher took them to the marché to buy fresh plums. With 4 plums purchased for each student, they all walked back to school. Then on Thursday, they prepared and baked the tarts. When we went to the playground after school that day, my son unveiled his baking creation, carefully wrapped up in a colorful napkin.

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Our 2-year old with multiple food allergies didn’t taste the tart because I assumed it contained some type of milk-related ingredient. To give him that opportunity, I made a super quick version at home using a pre-made crust from Coop—a convenient allergy-friendly product I’ve recently discovered. The Coop-brand Kuchenteig (German) or Pâte brisée (French) contains gluten, but the label doesn’t list any of my son’s allergens—milk, egg or almond.

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The French-speaking cantons of Switzerland eat tarte aux pruneaux this time of year, in part because it’s plum season, but also because of the upcoming mid-September holiday—Jeûne  Fédéral. Historically, this was a federal fasting day “in remembrance of wars, pestilence or other misfortunes.” A traditional fast-breaking feast included tarte aux pruneaux, which could be made in advance.

While I haven’t heard of anyone planning to fast on September 16, the practice of making and eating plum tarts has continued—as demonstrated by my son’s recent classroom activity. This tart took almost no time to make, and my husband finished it up at breakfast this morning.

 

Vegan Tarte aux Pruneaux

Adapted from a recipe featured in Migros’ cuisine de saison.

(dairy/egg-free)

Pastry:
1 prepared tart crust, such as Coop’s Pâte brisée

Filling:
1/2 cup ground hazelnuts
15-20 plums, pitted and quartered
1/3 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 200°C/400°F. Place prepared tart crust in an 11-inch/28-cm, nonstick springform pan (use greased parchment paper, if necessary). Prick the crust with a fork. Spread ground hazelnuts evenly on the crust.

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Next, gently arrange the pitted and quartered plums on top of the hazelnuts. Please note: you can pack the plums tight and overlap them a bit; they’ll shrink as they bake. Then, sprinkle sugar over the fresh plums.

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Bake for about 35-40 minutes, until the plums have softened and the crust is lightly browned.

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My Sunday plans include a huge, 4-course feast celebrating local Suisse-Romande cuisine. I look forward to discovering some new Swiss foods I can safely recreate at home for my family. Bon week-end!

Spring Cow Parade and Saffron Bread

Lots of lucky Swiss cows spend their summers in the mountains.

Inalpes festivals happen in the springtime when cows ascend toward their alpine pastures (the fall equivalent celebrating their return is Désalpes). Imagine a parade of flower-decorated bovines with immense clanging bells around their necks.

On Mother’s Day, we checked out one such festival that occurs about once every 10 years in the town of Estavannens, not far from Gruyères in the Fribourg region. The weather was cold and wet, but we packed our lunches and piled in our Mobility car to experience this traditional Swiss event.

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Poya 2013

Since 1956, the small mountain village of Estavannens has held a Poya celebration seven times. In the local dialect, the term Poya apparently refers to herds rising to their pastures. This 5-day event with food, music and more culminates in the cow procession on Sunday—a clanging parade of cows and other livestock with their human handlers dressed in traditional costumes.


Making Saffron Bread

At the Poya festival, the huge food tent served up typical festival fare—french fries, chicken nuggets, Swiss sausages, and pizza, for example. So when we got home, I decided to try making an allergy-friendly recipe from the Fribourg region. After consulting my Swiss cookbook, I chose a yellow-tinged saffron bread or “Cuchaule.”

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After two failed attempts with saffron threads—the yellow color didn’t flow throughout the bread (I should have known better)—I finally tracked down small packets of powdered saffron, and it worked great.

Also, while I used flax meal in the bread, I decided to try an egg wash for the first time in over a year—now that our son has passed his “baked egg” food challenge. An egg wash gets crazy-baked to the point of turning brown, and the bread bakes for 25 minutes at 200°C/400°F, so I felt comfortable serving this to him (FYI: Allergy UK has a helpful table with “egg foods,” but always consult your allergist first to make sure).

The Swiss serve Cuchaule with Bénichon mustard, a sweet and savory condiment made with white wine, vin cuit and spices. While I have a recipe for it, I couldn’t spare the time this week to make homemade mustard. I checked around for a pre-made version at a few stores, but found out it’s a seasonal product sold in the fall. So, like the Swiss, I’ll hold off until fall to try my own Bénichon mustard.

In the meantime, we’ll enjoy our Cuchaule! Here’s the allergy-friendly recipe I modified from my Betty Bossi cookbook.

 

Cuchaule

(dairy/nut-free), can be made egg-free

3-3 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
150 ml soy or rice milk
100 ml water
3 tablespoons vegetable-based margarine
1 pinch of saffron
1 tablespoon flax meal mixed with 3 tablespoons water (or 1 egg)
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 and yeast. Set aside.

2. Separately, mix together the milk substitute, water, margarine and saffron. 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. Add to dry ingredients along with the warmed saffron mixture. Stir together to form dough. Knead for about 5-10 minutes, adding the remaining flour as needed, until the dough is smooth and elastic.

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

5. Form the dough into a round loaf and brush with glaze. Make crisscross cuts along the top. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

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6. Bake for about 25 minutes at 200°C/400°F. Remove and cool on a wire rack.

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I could really devote a weekly series to Swiss bread. So many different, regional options. Look forward to trying them all. What’s your favorite? And, as always, Bon week-end!