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.

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!


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!