Swiss Twisted Bread

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Prep: 60 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Rising Time: 12 hrs
Total: 13 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 20 servings
Yield: 2 loaves
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
105 Calories
1g Fat
22g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 105
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 107mg 5%
Total Carbohydrate 22g 8%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 8mg 1%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 69mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Twisted bread is the name of a very simple wheat bread from Switzerland. Swiss Wurzelbrot is a loaf that has been twisted two or three times around itself, giving it a bumpy shape like a tree root. Because Wurzelbrot has a long rise in the refrigerator, many of the starches are converted to sugars, which caramelize when baked, creating deep, nuanced flavors.


  • 2 1/2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour

  • 2 1/4 cups (250 grams) white whole-wheat flour

  • 2 teaspoons barley malt flour, or wheat malt flour

  • 1/2 (0.25-ounce) packet instant yeast (or 1 1/8 teaspoons)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 1/3 cups (330 milliliters) ice-cold water

  • Cooking spray, or oil, for greasing dish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Place dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl, add water and mix until a dough forms.

  3. Turn out onto a lightly floured board and knead with a standing mixture for 5 to 10 minutes (if you want to knead by hand, use wet hands, so no further flour is added), adding a little more flour as needed, to keep dough from sticking to everything.

  4. Place dough into oiled casserole dish and place that in a clean plastic bag, such as a garbage bag. Twist tie the top and place in refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours.

  5. Remove dish from refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature before proceeding (1 to 2 hours). At this time, the dough should visibly rise. (You can let it rise for a longer period of time and make sure the dough shows growth, almost doubled in size.)

  6. Preheat oven to 500 F. Place an old aluminum pan on the bottom rack and your baking rack on the next level up.

  7. Remove dough from bag and casserole and place on floured board, turning once to coat. Do NOT knead. Using a sharp utensil (bench knife or razor), cut into 2 pieces, lengthwise. Take a hold of the 2 ends and twist them (as if you are wringing out a towel) twice. Place on baking tray or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

  8. To bake, place cookie sheet in the oven, pull bottom rack with old pan out and pour about 2 cups of water into it. Close quickly. If you have a spray bottle with water, open oven after 3 and 6 minutes and give 10 quick squirts onto the walls of the oven.

  9. Turn oven down to 450 F after that and bake for 20 to 25 more minutes, or until internal temperature of the bread reaches at least 190 F.

  10. Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour.

Recipe Variations

  • If you prefer to use active dry yeast, dissolve it in 1 tablespoon water before adding it to the mixing bowl.
  • Use white bread flour instead of all-purpose flour; it contains more gluten and produces a better rise.
  • You can also use bread flour alone as a substitution for both the all-purpose and whole-wheat flours,
  • When using bread flour, you can skip the malt flour because bread flour contains malted barley.