Skip to main content

How to Make 1st of August Buns

It's coming up soon: the Swiss national holiday 1st of August. Fire works, picnics, brunches, speeches by politicians and warm summer weather will hopefully all be part of this fun holiday this year.

Origins of 1st of August Celebrations in Switzerland

1st of August in Switzerland commemorates the founding of the original Swiss federation by the "original cantons" (= Urkantone) Uri, Schwyz, Nidwalden and Obwalden in the first half of August 1291. Nota that there are only three Urkantone since Nidwalden and Obwalden are the two halves of the canton Unterwalden. 

However, this date does not mark Swiss independence but rather the start of a the several century long formation of the Swiss nation. In fact, it was made a national holiday in as late as 1891 more than six centuries after the fact.

1st of August Bun 

How 1st of August is celebrated today

Although it is nice to remember the beginnings of Switzerland and to think of some of the legends surrounding them like William Tell or the Oath at the Rütli, 1st of August is nowadays mainly a fun day off with lots of good food and fireworks.

One of the typical ingredients of a Swiss 1st of August celebration is the 1st of August Bun. The soft sweetish bread appears on almost every table that day - bought or home made.  They are tasty and great with cold meat, cheese or jam and taste best when coming straight from your oven (as is the caste with most baked stuff). I found this recipe for 1st of August buns and thought I'd share it with you. Just in case you want to try your hand at Swiss baking.

Recipe for 1st of August Buns (for 4 people)

  • 1/2 kilo white flour
  • salt
  • 25 grams of yeast (can be bought in cubes at the super)
  • 60 grams of butter
  • 2,5 deciliter of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 4 small paper Swiss flags for decoration :)

  1. Pour flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl and mix with your hand. Form a well in the flour.
  2. Warm milk in small pan (do not boil!) and add butter and yeast to it. 
  3. Pour milk into the flour and mix with your hand until the dough is smooth (it's gonna be less messy if you only use one).
  4. Put dough on a clean surface and knead well (i.e. until it is soft and elastic and doesn't stick to your hands anymore). You might have to add a bit of flour if it's too moist.
  5. Put dough into a bowl and cover with a towel. Leave it at a warm place until it has risen to double its size. 
  6. Heat the oven to 200 C
  7. Form 4 small buns and cut the top slightly with two straight lines forming a cross (imagine cutting a circle into 4 even parts with two cuts). This is gonna give the buns their typical 1st of August Bun shape. 
  8. Put in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. If the buns sound hollow when you tap their bottom they are ready.
  9. Add the Swiss flags and serve!

En Guete - enjoy your meal!



  1. Nice, thank you for sharing! :)

    I also heard it was quite traditionnal to go for a brunch in a farm (have a look at in case you're interested). I will try on Wednesday and will make a report on my blog. :)

    Have a good national day and thank you for this very nice blog, really like it! :)


  2. Actually, there were only three, since there were also only three men swearing the oath. Namely, Walter Fürst from Uri, Werner Stauffacher from Schwyz and Arnold von Melchtal from Unterwalden, at least as far as the myth goes. Those days, the term canton was not even yet in use, these were just three different sites. But fact is: Ob- and Nidwalden are the two halfs of the canton Unterwalden!


Post a Comment

You have something to add or would like to ask a question? I would love to hear from you!

Popular posts from this blog

How to Spot a Swiss Person

As an expat one usually spots fellow expats right away. It's not only the language or the looks of people but rather the little peculiarities of life that seem so normal at home that give us away while abroad. Obviously, it's a cliche that all people from the same place (country, city, continent) behave in the same way and I am far from making that claim. However, growing up in a certain surrounding does rub off on people's behavior and some similarities can certainly be observed.

This is also true for Swiss people. According to the Swiss stereotype, we are a clean, punctual and strictly organized people. However, there are many exceptions like my Swiss friend who is always late or my brother whose room was a total mess while growing up. Yet, although they do not fit the description of a typical Swiss person, they still have some traits that give them away as Swiss. The same is probably true for myself - if I like it or not.
10 Signs you are dealing with a Swiss Person So,…

10 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Switzerland

The weather has been so so these last few days and will remain rainy and rather cold. No swimming in one of the many lakes of Switzerland, going on a nice bike trip or playing soccer outside unless you are willing to endure some heavy rain.
10 Fun Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Switzerland However, there are plenty of fun things to do in Switzerland even on rainy days. Here's the list of my current favorite rainy day activities:
Alpamare: Biggest water park of Switzerland with dozens of water slides and pools. It's open all year round since most of the baths and slides are indoors. It is perfect for a rainy day since there are usually less people than on a sunny day.Zoo Zurich: The famous zoo in Zurich features bears, elephants, monkeys, tigers and the mazoala hall (a tropical glass house). Many animals can be visited in their houses.Swiss National Museum: The Swiss National Museum in Zurich gives an overview over the cultural history of Switzerland. Swiss Museum of Transport:…

Schätzli, Schnüggel and Müüsli - Terms of Endearment in Swiss German

If you've ever been invited to the home of a Swiss couple, you are probably familiar with the most popular Swiss German term of endearment "Schätzli" ('little treasure') or one of it's many varieties like e.g. "Schatz" or "Schätzeli". Obviously, this is not the only pet name used by Swiss couples (or parents for that matter). Like many other languages, Swiss German offers a wide variety of words and phrases that you can use to address your loved one.
Swiss German Terms of Endearment What most of these pet names have in common is the ending "-li" which basically turns the thing or person a word refers to into something small or cute. For example "Haus" means house and "Hüüsli" means small house. Plus, this ending "-li" can also be added to first names as a means of endearment, e.g. Benjaminli, Estherli or Fabienneli.

I tried to come up with a collection of Swiss German pet names but realized I only k…