On the “Gold Coast” of the Zurich See at the Zurich end, there is a neighborhood called Seefeld.
Seefeld is the “expat” neighbourhood full of expensive boutiques, and exclusive cafes and restaurants. At Seefeldstrasse 169, however, there is a rather old-fashioned-on-the-outside bakery/cake shop/cafe which bakes terrific bread.
I had done a thorough search, of course. My hosts were delighted/dismayed to see that I showed up with six loaves of bread, all of which I had purchased at six different places on Seefeldstrasse. A couple were spelt, a couple were mixed, and one was wheat and potato
“Too sweet.” Isabelle proclaimed.
“Too airy.” Said Gabor.
“Don’t like this white stuff and look I can pick out the inside.” Complained Isabelle.
“A bit boring.” Determined Gabor.
“This one is good…” complimented Isabelle.
“Ummm….really goooodddd….” agreed Gabor.
The loaf that won the prize, hands down, was the spelt and pumpkin seed bread from Seefeldstrasse 169 and so I had to wake up early the next day to check it out more thoroughly.
BACKbAR is the name of the “Baeckerei, Cafebar, Take-away” that is owned by Line and Wolfram Schniepp. The outside of the shop is oldy-worldy and the inside welcomes guests with a smart little seating area, an array of hand made sandwiches (you can watch them make the sandwiches), hot and cold drinks, and cakes, tarts, and bread to either eat in or take away. Everything is made in the shop and the bread, pastries and cakes are baked in the basement by a team of skilled bakers and pastry chefs. I know this because Line Schniepp kindly offered to show me the bakery and (of course) I went. I nearly cancelled all of my appointments and put an apron on, it was so exciting.
They are justifiably famous for their traditional Swiss German bread and pretzels.
They also have more “German style” loaves.
In addition, they have hand packed sweets and biscuits and a range of home made jam.
It is not true that the entire GSA (German Speaking Area) has great bread. Witness the recent attendance at the German Baking Conference. In fact in Zurich, just like in Wiesbaden, it is not easy to get good bread, although it is very easy to get reasonable bread baked by chain bakers. Better than most of what we can get in the UK, it does not mean it’s brilliant.
BACKbAR, however, is brilliant. So if you live in Zurich, I recommend you check it out, have a coffee and a cake, buy several loaves to take home and have a feast with a good piece of Swiss cheese and some Buendnerfleisch. If you live outside of Zurich, I recommend you do the same BUT buy even more and put it in the freezer. You will regret it if you don’t.