Hi, I'm Andie.

I live near the Swiss Alps, in Bern, and I love not only melting cheese, but all kinds of Swiss cooking. 

En Guetä!

1. August Weggli
 
1 august weggli
 
alps

I spent my childhood summers in Walenstadt, in the Eastern part of Switzerland. Most days we swam in the Walensee, eating cervelat and Pralinato, with occasional day trips to Pizol Park, Flumserberg, and Knie’s Kinderzoo in Rapperswil.

But the highlight of the summer was usually Switzerland’s national holiday, 1. August.

On that day, the town of Walenstadt would have a street market, with vendors selling snacks, socks, and cassette tapes of Volksmusik. The ground was littered with colourful paper from the yearly tombola (memorable winnings included a white mesh tank top, and a huge oil painting of a lady in a gold frame, which my mother made me trade for a red transistor radio because “there’s no way we are taking that back to Canada in a suitcase”).

Then there were the fireworks. As they were forbidden in Canadian cities, it seemed delightfully delinquent to set them off in a nearby field.

The start of this exciting day was always the same—breakfast at my grandmother’s house for all the cousins, on each plate a perfectly rounded Weggli, with a little Swiss flag on top.

Today, the buns often have a big Swiss cross cut into the top of the dough (which I have done here, instructional video below), but in Walenstadt in the 90s it was just the classic bread with the classic flag.

Making your own Weggli is easy—so easy that I’ve included two über patriotic versions as well: cheese and chocolate.

1 august weggli

In general, many Weggli recipes are similar to Zopf, omitting the egg and adding slightly less butter. Grandmother chef Kathrin Rüegg indeed makes hers from Zopf dough, as does Elisabeth Fülscher who uses her all purpose Hefeteig for the buns.

Schweizerbrot, who use a milk and water mix for their Zopf, eschews that here for a Weggli with milk exclusively.

Fooby throws some Dinkel (spelt) into their version—you can do this easily too, by using flour meant for Zopf (Zopfmehl / Farine pour Tresse / Farina per Treccia) which contains about 10% of the higher protein spelt flour.

As for the delightful crosses on top, the always excellent Streusel has a how-to video on cutting them (which I have poorly imitated, below, with no beguiling French music).


 

500 g flour

12 g salt

300 ml milk, room temperature

20 g fresh yeast, or 2 tsp dry yeast

1 tbsp sugar

60 g butter

Glaze:

1 egg

pinch of salt


In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the milk, yeast and sugar.

Make a well in the flour and add the liquid ingredients. Stir this together until a dough starts to form, then add the butter and begin to knead on the table. Knead for about 15-20 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Alternatively, mix for about 10 minutes in a stand mixer with a dough hook.

Cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about an hour or until the dough has doubled in size.

Preheat your oven to 230° C / 450° F / gas mark 8.

Split the dough into 120 g pieces and roll into buns.

Place on your baking sheet and let rest for about 20 minutes.

Using a pair of sharp scissors, cut out Swiss crosses on top—see video below.

Whisk together the egg and salt, then brush the dough.

As soon as you put the buns in the oven, turn the heat down to 200° C / 400° F / gas mark 6.

Bake for about 20 minutes.

The Weggli are fully baked when you tap their bottoms and they sound hollow.

Don’t forget the little flag on top!


Helvetia
  • The pinch of salt in the egg glaze helps break down the protein in the egg and makes brushing it onto the bread easier.

  • Cheese and chocolate variations below.


Variations:

cheese weggli
 

Add 150 g grated cheese when you add the butter to the dough.

When portioning the buns, they will be about 130 g each.

After brushing with egg, you can additionally sprinkle some grated cheese on top of the cross.

chocolate Weggli
 

Add 175 g roughly chopped dark chocolate when you add the butter to the dough.

When portioning the buns, they will be about 130 g each.

  • I used Cailler dark chocolate, but other varieties would work well too, including milk chocolate for a bit of added sweetness.


arbeiter cordon bleu

National sausage

Arbeiter Cordon Bleu

Zigercake

Zigercake

Eiskaffee

Eiskaffee