Bavarian "Bread and Salt"

I love "Bread and Salt" as a present for someone's housewarming party - you can always use it, even if many guests had the idea to give you bread and salt, and the symbolism (the bread stands for food, the salt for wealth) is also nice. The German saying that goes with it is "Brot und Salz, Gott erhalt's" ("bread and salt, may god keep it for you").
If you want to gift-wrap the bread and salt in a traditional way, a wooden cutting board serves nicely, and here in traditional Bavaria, everybody loves a "Royal Bavarian Snack Plate". Since I had seen one of these readymade only once (during Oktoberfest) and I thought it would be nicer still to include the host's name, I made the plate myself this time. The Bavarian coat of arms shouldn't be missing, so I decided to put it on the bread. I baked the bread in the wooden baskets from here, and I included a jar of Rhubarb-Strawberry-Chutney, as we were invited for a barbecue.

Ingredients for 3 breads á 700 g:
1 dough Sourdough bread Rudi, oiled and risen
3 small wooden baskets

Print out the coat of arms of Bavaria (or what you want to have on the bread) in cut it out, ideally in one piece. The crown on the coat of arms was too fragile and didn't make it onto the bread! Try out your template by sieving flour on it amd removing the template carefully, using pincers. Preheat the ofen to 230°C.

I tried with one bread (the middle one) to sieve the coat of arms mirror inverted into the basket. The so created bread can be baked freely, without the basket before laying the loaf into the basket with the folds facing up. With the other two breads, I sieved the coat of arms onto the upper side of the bread and baked the breads in the wooden baskets, which produced a nicer coat of arms.

Bake the breads together, 15 min each at 230, 200 and 180°C, knock on the bread to see if it's done. You can see that the freely baked bread tore open during the baking right across the coat of arms, the other breads have the tear beneath the smooth surface. 

Choose the prettiest bread and arrange it with Fleur de Sel and Rhubarb-Strawberry-Chutney on the board, tie with Bavarian bow!

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