Here in Toronto, I have been fortunate enough to have lived with a few different amazing roommates. Each of these ladies have shared with me a few of their own traditions, passed down from their families and their cultures. My roommate Ursina’s parents are from Switzerland, which means that we often have delicious Swiss chocolate, and amazing traditional Swiss Zopf bread freshly made in our apartment.
Swiss Zopf bread is a traditional bread recipe that is fairly simple to make as far as baking bread goes. The word “zopf” means braid, and this loaf is typically braided in 2, 3, 4 or more strands. Braiding the dough is my absolute favourite part of making zopf.
The following recipe uses only a few basic ingredients, and is very easy to follow. Give this a try and I know you won’t regret it! It Switzerland, it is common to have zopf bread on Sunday mornings. The best part about this recipe is the versatility; The zopf is delicious on it’s own, with butter, jam, honey, or even swiss cheese!
Swiss Zopf Bread Ingredients:
- 8 cups of flour
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 800ml of milk
- 2 whole eggs + 1 yolk
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 small package of active yeast
- 2 tablespoons of warm water
- 3 tablespoons of butter
How To Make Zopf Bread:
- Stir the sugar and active yeast together in a very small bowl. Add the warm (not hot) water to the yeast and set it aside to do its magic (it will foam up).
- On a medium heat, melt your butter and milk together until lukewarm.
- Mix together your flour and salt
- Slowly add your wet ingredients (milk/butter + eggs) to the dry ingredients (flour + salt)
- Once combined, add in your yeast and make sure everything is mixed together thoroughly.
- Cover the dough and let it rise for 2-3 hours or until it has doubled in size
- Take the mound of dough out of the bowl, onto a clean surface sprinkled with flour
- Knead and add flour until the dough is smooth and no longer sticky
- Preheat your oven to 400 degrees
- Divide the mound of dough into 3 and create 3 long sausage shaped pieces (for a 3 strand braid)
- Braid the dough and then tuck the ends neatly under the loaf so it won’t unravel
- Carefully place your braided dough onto a large greased pan
- Glaze the top of the dough with one egg yolk for a shiny, golden coloured crust
- Bake the zopf at 400 degrees for about 35-40 minutes
Let cool, and enjoy your Swiss Zopf Bread!
This recipe is a hit at any family gathering or potluck. Not only is it gorgeous to look at and a great centre piece, but it is absolutely delicious!
Thank you to Ursina Luther and her Baba Luther for sharing this incredible recipe with me.
Are you going to try this recipe for Swiss Zopf Bread? Have you made bread before? Let me know in the comments below. If you make this braided loaf, snap a picture for me and tag me on Twitter or Instagram ! Don’t forget to save this recipe to your Pinterest !
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