BLUE WINDOW | Food Travels in the Alps | Flûtes (bread sticks)

SWITZERLAND

Barbara Demont makes her flûtes with flour, butter, milk, cheese, baker’s yeast, malt, salt and sugar at her bakery on the Rue de Gland in Vullierens between Morges and Lausanne by the shore of Lake Geneva.

The dairy products, flour and salt are local to the Vaud canton, the sugar and yeast are Swiss. This makes these little treats a very special indigenous product and we recommend them highly if you are ever in the Lausanne region.

In the meantime here are a couple of recipes for you to make your own. If you cannot get a hard Swiss cheese, especially Sbrinz, use a suitable hard cheese, semi-soft cheese does not make good flûtes.

For the history of flûtes and the tradition of breadstick making in the modern regions of the old Savoy kingdom, see The Great European Food Adventure.

… with cheese

The butter-milk ratio is the essential element in these cheese sticks. The cheese will bind the mixture but more butter and less milk will also toughen the dough, so for a lighter dough and ultimately a light stick use less butter and more milk but be careful, they are delicate!

  • 250 g strong white flour
  • 110 g butter, softened
  • 110 g Sbrinz, fine grated
  • 100 ml milk, warmed
  • 25 g yeast
  • 15 salt
  • 15 g sugar
  • 10 g malt / molasses
  • 10 g green / white pepper

Dissolve yeast in the milk and sugar. Fold 45 grams of flour into the yeast mixture.

Work the molasses into the flour, add the salt and pepper, followed by the cheese, butter and yeast mixture.

Knead the dough for five minutes, leave to rise for 75 minutes.

On a floured table roll the dough out into a 30 x 30 centimetre sheet about 5 mm thick.

Cut into long strips 2 centimetres wide, twist each strip a few times, place on a buttered baking tray, leave for 30 minutes.

Place in a 220ºC oven and bake for 10 minutes.


… with herbs and puff pastry

  • Puff pastry
  • 60 g Sbrinz, grated
  • 4 tbsp herbs (sage, thyme, parsley), chopped small
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • Black pepper, pinch
  • Salt, pinch

Variations

  • cheese / cumin
  • cheese / thyme
  • ham / cheese
  • ham / sage
  • olives crushed
  • olive oil / salt
  • poppy
  • sesame seeds

Preheat oven to 210ºC.

Combine the herbs with the cheese and seasonings.

Unroll the puff pastry on a clean surface. Brush the long side with the herb mixture, fold over and press lightly to form a rectangle approximately 45 centimetres x 15 centimetres.

Cut the puff pastry into strips 2 centimetres wide. Place strips on a warm baking tray, twist ends of each strip twice.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Cool on a rack.