Sunday, January 01, 2006

Happy New Year's Zopf

Zopf {m} (Geb├Ąck) plaited loaf
We call that type of bread Zopf (pronounced Tsopp-f) in Switzerland. I've never done it before, but i thought it would be nice to have a freshly baked Zopf for this first morning in 2006.

for a Zopf big enough for 4 people:


500 g flour (i used white whole wheat flour)
1 pack of yeast (7 g)
80 g butter
200 ml milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon cream


Put the flour into a big bowl. Dig a little hole into the center and pour in the yeast. In a small skillet, heat up the butter until it melts, remove from the heat and add the milk. Pour the butter/milk mixture over the flour and yeast.
With a fork, beat the egg, add the salt and mix it into the dough. Now knead the dough with your clean hands for
about 10 minutes until it's nice and smooth. Form the dough into a sphere shape, cover the bowl with a wet towel and let it sit for about 1 hour.

The dough should grow a bit during that time. Knead it again a little bit, split
the dough into 2 or 3 pieces (depending on the type of artwork you're going to create), roll each piece into a long and thin piece of dough and do some artistic forming of the bread. You can find a few examples here.

Once you've created your nicely shaped Zopf, put it onto an oven plate, covered
with parchment paper or a special mat. You can find some details about this on the post I previously posted on making Meringues.
Cover the Zopf again with the towel, and let it sit for another 30-45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to about 375 F. In the meantime, mix the egg yolk with the cream and brush it all over the Zopf. This will give it a nice and golden color. Once the oven has reached the temperature, put your Zopf into the middle of your oven and bake it for about 35-40 mins. You can check if it's done by sticking a wooden toothpick or some metal skewer into the dough. When removing from the dough, there shouldn't be any flour sticking to the wood or metal.

We ate it with some smoked salmon, sprinkled with thinly sliced onions, capers and lemon juice.
Happy New Year!


At 8:25 PM, Blogger slavidzee said...

This site is incredible. The photos, the fresh ideas! I keep coming back for inspiration. Keep up the good work!

At 8:25 PM, Blogger slavidzee said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 5:40 AM, Anonymous Aglaia Kremezi said...

A very similar rich bread, with milk and eggs is called TSOUREKI in Greek and it is our Easter bread, shaped in exactly the same way, often with a red-painted egg at the top end.

At 3:06 PM, Blogger Dan said...

thanks for the comments!
i looked up TSOUREKI as well and found a recipe here:

At 9:37 AM, Anonymous Mizue said...

god this bread looks soo good,,,

by the way, is this sweet like butter milkish taste or more like sour, like sourdough??

i respect people who can make bread so well,, i've seen my sis. trying to bake one but somehow it always become like a cookie....very hard and not so sweet... we always wonder what went wrong??

At 10:06 AM, Blogger Dan said...


it is not really sweet, butter buttery milkish sounds right. certainly not sourdough.

in switzerland, we use special "zopf" flour for this which is very very fine. the closest you can get with flour around here, is just using the regular white all-purpose flour.

i'm sure your sister makes great cookies though! :-)


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