Many people today rediscover the worth of handmade products – especially when it comes to food. The Haueter bakery and confectionary specialises in making artisan bread, allowing the dough to rest longer and thereby develop its own unique aroma. In their bakery and café in Adelboden, about an hour’s drive south of Bern, they offer cake, pastries and bread made the traditional way.
It is three o’clock in the morning: while others are still in deep slumber, at the Haueter bakery and confectionary the oven is already hot, loaves of bread are resting in rows waiting to be baked. And when the first early risers make their way into the village of Adelboden, the scent of freshly baked bread, cake and bread rolls wafts through the road.
Letting the dough rest for days gives the bread a better taste and unique character
Flour, water, salt and only a tiny little bit of yeast is all that is needed to make a terribly good dough, forming the base for the ‘lang geführtes Brot’, a bread speciality. The term‘lang geführt’speaks of the long amount of time needed for the dough to rest and rise – which in this case can take up to 72 hours.“You can compare bread to red wine, cheese or whiskey,”says Susan Haueter, who runs the business together with her husband Marc. Both have taken over the business from Marc Haueter’s parents in 2013. Like wine or cheese, bread needs time to ripen and develop a unique aroma. “The longer it takes and the gentler the ripening process is, the more exquisite and distinct the aromas can develop in a bread.”Even the crumbs are finer after baking.
But how is this special bread made? “We did not invent the method we are using, it has been done the same way by bakers and housewives in former times already,” says Susan Haueter. On the first day a yeast sponge is made from flour, water and yeast that instantly starts rising in the warm bakehouse; unlike sourdough this dough is made fresh for every batch. On the second day the rest of the flour is added together with salt, before the bread is left to rest again. On the third day finally the baker forms the loaves and bakes them in the oven. This way the Haueter bakery produces a great variety of bread – from Italian style Ciabatta to French Baguette, from Fitzer spelt bread to Chälistei nut bread. “Our breads simply taste more intense and mature – even the light ones,” says Susan Haueter.
A bakery in the second generation
For 27 years Gerhard and Yvonne Haueter had run the business before their son Marc and his wife Susan took over leading the bakery into the future. Both have gained extensive experience in the food service industry. Marc Haueter had worked alongside his father for seven years, learning from the bottom up how to make bread, before taking on the business.
The bakery not only uses local produce, but also supplies surrounding hotels with fresh-quality products. Next to the bakehouse the owners run a café where customers can taste the wide range of specialities: chocolate or cappuccino patisseries, lemon cake, mini puff pastries, cupcakes, sandwiches and, of course, the above mentioned breads. In the morning guests can enjoy a fresh breakfast with the very best products the bakery and confectionary have to offer. If ordered the bakery also delivers bread to all of Switzerland.
Traditional methods counter industrial food production
The traditional method Haueter bakery uses for making their breads needs time and has become quite a rarity in modern food production. Today’s life has become faster and faster and this pace took over as overall measures even in traditional trades like baking. “Many producers today even add enzymes to the dough so it rises faster,” explains Haueter.“This is a trend we want to counteract.” Slow food is the keyword, describing not only the joy of savouring good, local food, but also the time it takes to produce it. Local producers like the Haueters counter the trend in the global food industry where food is produced fast, only to be consumed the same way. Making bread the traditional way without using additives might be a time-consuming process, but has unbeatable results: the longer a dough for example is allowed to rest, the longer the bread can be kept and stays fresh. In this case up to five days.
Consuming quality bread like the one made by Haueter also has a health aspect: “Studies show that a longer fermenting time helps the human body to better digest the bread,” says Susan Haueter. That is something customers confirm: the bread does not sit so heavily on the stomach.
Text: Jessica Holzhausen | Photos: Haueter Bakery
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