Sunday, January 7, 2007

Zopf: Swiss Sunday Bread

We're bread fans here in the Bizarre house. It's a good thing, too, because I like to make bread frequently and in large quantities.

While I was in the kitchen making the cinnamon buns, I decided to give the ol' Kitchenaid a workout and try out a new bread recipe recommended by a friend. It's a Swiss bread called Zopf, or Züpfe, and it's a braided loaf rich with eggs, milk and butter.

In my mind, you just can't go wrong with eggs, milk AND butter in a bread recipe. You really can't.




Zopf
makes 2 large braided loaves

1/2 oz active dry yeast
2 2/3 cup milk, about 110*
1 t sugar
2 egg yolks
4 T butter, softened
5 cups bread flour, plus 2 extra cups
1 T salt

For egg wash:
1 egg whisked with a splash of milk

In your mixing bowl, combine the yeast, milk and sugar and mix well. Let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes.
Add the egg yolks, butter, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Mix well with your mixer's dough hook or a sturdy spoon.
Add 3 cups of flour and mix well.
Check the consistency of your dough; you will probably need to add more flour.
Add as much of the remaining 2 cups of flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until your dough is soft, supple, and slightly sticky.
Knead 10 minutes by mixer or 15 minutes by hand until the dough is smooth and springy.

Place dough in a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a tea towel. Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size - about 1 hour. While the dough rises, prepare 2 baking sheets or half sheet pans by lining them with silicone mats or parchment paper.

Gently deflate the dough and divide in half. Divide each half into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a long rope. Place 3 ropes on each baking sheet and braid tightly. Tuck the ends underneath slightly to create a more uniform appearance.

Once braided, cover and let the loaves rise again until doubled - about 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425*.

When the loaves are doubled in size, brush liberally with your egg wash. Bake at 425* for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when tapped on the side.

Cool on wire racks and enjoy!


2 comments:

moufflet said...

I'm making this bread for the second time tonight. It's so delicious! Thanks for posting it. :]

Arfi Binsted said...

i love making bread. there's nothing more humble than it's freshly baked aroma comes out of the oven. heaven!