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.
See illustrated step by step instructions here.
- 1/2 package instant yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 cups/250 grams all purpose flour (or white, bread flour)
- 2 1/4 cups/250 grams white whole wheat flour (or more white bread flour)
- 2 teaspoons malt flour (barley or wheat; optional if you use bread flour which already contains malted barley)
- 1 1/3 cups/330 milliliters water (ice cold)
- Place dry ingredients in bowl, add water and mix until dough forms (if you are using active dry yeast, dissolve in 1 tablespoon water, first)
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove dish from refrigerator and allow it to reach room temperature before proceeding (1 - 2 hours). At this time, the dough should be visibly risen. (You can let it rise for a longer period of time and make sure the dough shows growth, almost doubled or doubled in size.)
- Preheat oven to 500°F. Place an old aluminum pan on the bottom rack and your baking rack on the next level up.
- 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 two pieces, lengthwise. Take a hold of the two ends and twist them (as if you are wringing out a towel) twice. Place on baking tray or cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- Remove from oven and cool for 1 hour.
You can bake these breads directly on an oven stone if you prefer. Preheat the stone for 1 hour. King Arthur sells pizza baking stones that work well, or you can find them at Williams-Sonoma. Variation: May be made with all white (bread) flour.