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
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.
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