Monday, April 25, 2011

TRESSE AU BUERRE: La Meilleure Recette du Monde!!

Hello my friends! I've missed your internet footprints dearly. Big things have happened since I last wrote. The biggest of which, well, I'm no longer yon. I'm very firmly hither. And by that sad attempt at working in my blog title, I mean I'm home. In the U.S. of A. 4 months early.
That's the short of it.
The long of it is a painfully honest, deeply personal blog post that is currently with some trepidation, resting in 'draft mode' while I decide if and how I want to share the story.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying life on home soil, reveling in all things American. Of course Switzerland and all its wonders are always on my mind. There are so many things I miss about it. One of these things is the breakfast bread, called tresse au buerre (butter braid).

Folks, put on a bib. This is the most delicious bread you will ever taste. Golden and thick-crusted but with a delectable soft pillowy middle. Perfect fresh out of the oven or three days old. Completely tasty by itself or with heaps of homemade apricot confiture (jam). And I have the recipe!

Today was perfect for bread making: cold, windy, and rainy. No pesky beautiful spring weather to make me feel guilty for spending the day inside. So I donned my homegirl head wrap and my glamorous Swiss apron (thanks again Audrey :)! ) and got busy.

To spare you poorly lit photos of mixing together ingredients that are all the same color, (because Pioneer Woman is the only one who can do it right) I thought I would instead give you the recipe and just share photos of the process of forming the braid.

Note: This recipe is a combination of one given to me by a Swiss woman and one I found on the Internet. I'm absolutely terrible at weights and measures conversions, so I used my mom's handy food scale for the ingredients in grams. I guess this is why they encourage math education.

La Tresse
500 grams bread flour (or about 3 and 1/3 cups)
12 grams salt (or about 1/2 tablespoon + 1/4 teaspoon)
1 tbsp sugar
1 1/4 cups milk (room temperature)
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cups unsalted butter, melted

-Mix together flour, salt, and sugar
-Dissolve the yeast in the milk, and stir in the melted butter (only if the butter is not too hot, don't want to kill the yeast!)
-Add wet ingredients to dry and knead well for about 5 minutes
-Let rise for 2 hours
(our kitchen is cold as a tomb, so I warmed up the oven to 170°F, let it cool for a bit, and put the dough inside)
-Optional: make sure you have a cute, toothy 8 year old grin to model the risen dough

-Once risen, punch down and separate into 2 equal parts
-Roll out the two parts into long thing ropes of equal size and length, like so:
-Pick up one dough rope and lay it perpendicular on the other, forming an 'x'.
-Pick up the ends of the horizontal rope and cross over the vertical one. Now pick up the ends of the vertical rope and cross over the horizontal one. Repeat, braiding in the same direction, until you reach the end of the dough.
-When you've braided as far as you can, flatten the remaining small ends of the dough with your hand in a chopping motion.
-Tuck the flattened part under the braid for a finished look.
-Place on a lightly-greased baking sheet, cover with a thin towel and let rise for another 30 minutes.
-While waiting, preheat oven to 375° F
-Once bread has risen again, whisk together the yolk of one egg with a dollop of milk and brush over the top of the braid. This will give the crust its signature golden brown shine.
-Bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Loosely cover with tinfoil for the last 10 minutes if the top is browning too quickly. and VOILA.
 -One last tip: make sure you look your runway-ready fiercest when removing the finished product from the oven. There will likely be cameras. And your dad, awkwardly sticking a knife in the shot.
 Bandanna 100% mandatory, for obvious reasons.

Now get out there and make some bread! Let me know how it turns out!

Edit: This is what I saw when I went to get breakfast this morning:
 I'm only glad I didn't sleep in this morning.


  1. AH so sad I missed this!! hope you make it again!
    p.s. I know the reason for the bandana...FONG! haha :)

  2. I want to jump through the picture into your bread making haven of a kitchen as I read this. I WANT A PIECE OF IT RIGHT NOW!!
    I will try it! sometime...

  3. YEAY!!! THAT tresse looks good! :) bravo ma belle, c'est une vraie tresse suisse!!! Ce tablier te va à merveille!
    Tu nous manques!
    gros becs
    PS: Je te dis Bon Appétit, Tu me dis Bon Appétit, On se dit Bon Appétit, MERCI! ;)

  4. Rachel was looking at your blog last night and it is my dearest hope that she is making this bread at this moment:) Looks great! (and so do you:)

  5. Yum! The bread looks delish and your little brother looks like he's growing up... oh my. ;)


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