Traditional Swiss Zopf

Zopf ( traditional swiss sunday bread)

There are about as many recipes for the perfect Zopf as there are households in Switzerland, every Grandma, every Mum, every baker have their own recipe…and of course, everyone’s THE real one! 😉
Me, being a baker’s daughter, have my very own recipe too, proudly stolen in my Dad’s bakery:-)

For one Zopf of approx 1kg (or two of 500g, one can easily be baked, then frozen and used for next sunday)

850 g flour type 400, Manitoba style
400 g milk, UHT
2 eggs
150 g butter, cut in cubes
20 g salt
20 g sugar
42 g yeast( i use the fresh one in a block), broken in small pieces

1 egg, diluted with some salt for the finish

 

 

All the ingredients must be cold, do not melt the butter nor warm the milk. The yeast should not be dissolved neither.
So, instead, I mix the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, milk and eggs in my Kenwood Chef until it starts looking like a dough, then I add the butter and let the machine knead the dough for about 10 mins at low speed. Then, I cover the dough with a moist linnen and let rest and grow for 1 hr.
Now comes the most difficult part:-)

 


Cut the dough in two (or 4) pieces of the same weight, with the flat hand, flatten it out and then roll it until you get an approx 25cm long roll, proceed with the other pieces the same way. Now take one roll by one and roll them gently, trying to keep the middle a bit thicker than the ends, don’t do too thin ends as the Zopf will otherwise be very dry at that end. Now, weave it.
Put one roll across the other (shape of a Swiss Cross). . Put top right end to left low and low left end to top right. Then put top left end to right below and low right end to top left. Continue until no more dough is left. Press ends and put below bread.
Now sweep the Zopf gently with the egg batter and let rest for another 30 minutes. Heat the oven to 240c.

 

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After the 30 mins, sweep the Zopf once more with the egg and put into the oven, reduce the heat immediatley to 200c, bake for 45 minutes or less if you bake smaller pieces (35 mins for a 500 g Zopf).
Now, let cool and enjoy with home made jam, honey, nutella…mmmhhh

 

 

The making of….bear garlic tagliatelle

My pasta maker…has spent a few years unused and today I thought it is time for a revival.
Yesterday, I have bought the first bunch of bear garlic of the season. I usually use it to make pesto with it, same recipe as with basil, just without garlic as it is garlicy enough.
Today, I used part of the chopped bear garlic for the pasta dough.
Recipe:
200 g flour Italian style 00
2 eggs
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of extra vergin olive oil
1 tablespoon bear garlic chopped

Place the flour on a table, make a well in centre and crack the eggs into it. Add salt, olive oil and bear garlic. With a fork, stir the eggs, salt, olive oil and 1 tablespoon of finely chopped bear garlic until smooth. Now comes the fun part. With your fingers add flour to the mix, incorporating little at a time until you get a dough, it takes time, then, knead it at least for 10 minutes, this will develop the gluten in the flour, else the pasta will be flabby and soft, it will never be al dente!
Cover the dough well and store it in a cold place for one hour.

Now comes the pasta machine:
Cut small parts from the dough, roll them through the widest setting first, then smaller and smaller until it has reached the narrowest. Some people do use the narrowest setting right from the beginning, but in reality, it would be better to go step by step. It takes time and patience. Then roll the dough through the shaper of your choice. This time, the tagliatelle shaper. Then let the pasta dry. Since I have no fancy pasta dryer, I just spread them on baking paper and let them dry in the air.

Cooking: in salted water, if fresh about 3-5 mins, if you let them dry a few days/weeks 11mins, until they are al dente. Serve with any kind of sugo.

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Flour and eggs

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The dough

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The production