A Stir The Pots Post

Ticino bread

by | Jan 21, 2012 | Bread, Switzerland

When visiting my sister in Switzerland, I always find a specific bread conjoined by six rounds and split with a razor down the middle. When seperated, it has a wonderful pillowy crumb that invites butter, jam, whatever. It's a delicious bread whose exterior crust is thin and egg shell-like baguette feel, and is known as Tessiner brot, pain Tesinés or Pane Ticinese, a bread from the Italian speaking region of Switzerland known as Ticino.  

Tessiner brot is a staple in most bakers' repertoires throughout the Swiss cantons. Probably because it's an easy bread that makes friends with your würstli, butter and cheese, the common staples in eating a family style Swiss meal. Below are photographs of my recent attempt to bake some Ticino bread locally, at home in Sunnyside, Queens. 

I made mine with yeast, using an easy formula from the Richemont school. That said, there are some ingredients, including the flour and a weird product called levit, which are unavailable here in America. As for the flour, like most found in Europe, there are various types. In this case it's "halbweissmehl," which translates literally to "half white." Before our borders were so highly protective, my sister would send me flour from Switzerland, always a treat. I'd get exotic Ruchmehl, Halbweiss, Dinkel and this list goes on. Subjected to the constraints of a global world's bureaucracy, I now just wing the percentages of milled flours; Halbweiss is around 75 percent milled wheat, so I adapted this formula by adding 25 percent whole wheat flour to white to make my own halbweiss flour.

As I don't have a packet of Levit, I subbed some backferment, which is a mysterious Rudolph Steiner hippie product, which I am still finding a bit unpredictable but will use until it's gone. Or until I make my own dry sourdough. So basically this is a yeasted dough, with some bit of levaining for more likely flavor. To my friend, Mick, I know you're rolling your eyes. But… I love you, baby. And you'll love this bread. It welcomes butter and jam, prosciutto and cheese….basically a loving loaf!



  1. Mick Hartley

    I love you too, baby.
    Coming to my party?

  2. Maureen

    I could put some jam on that right now and pop it right into my mouth.
    I could probably do it without the jam – it looks delicious.

  3. Andrew Janjigian

    Can you share the formula, or a direct link? It just so happens I have a jar of levit, which I had no use for until now.


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