Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

Swiss Zopf Bread

in Diana's Recipe Book

Average Rating: 
(total ratings: 2)
[Read reviews] [Post a review]
Servings: 1 loaf, 16 slices
Just as each culture seems to have its everyday bread, each also seems to have its "weekend" bread: bread made with more expensive ingredients, bread a step up the richness ladder from the typical flour/water/yeast/salt loaf. These loaves fall somewhere in between basic breads and holiday breads: unlike holiday breads, they're not overly sweet and aren't enriched with dried fruits or nuts; but the addition of butter, perhaps sugar, eggs and/or milk takes them quite a bit beyond the simple hearth loaf.

The Swiss have long been known for their egg- and dairy-rich breads, as well as their intricately shaped loaves. Zopf, usually formed into a simple three-strand braid, is a basic example of this Swiss art. A staple on weekends, and traditionally offered at New Year's and at meals marking the Emmentaler cheese harvest, zopf has a very slight tang (from the sour cream). This was a great favorite among our taste-testers; we found.....The Baking Sheet, published by The Baker's Catalogue (King Arthur Flour).

3/4 cup (6 1/2 ounces) sour cream
4 tablespoons (2 ounces/ 1/2 stick/56g) butter
3 1/4 cups (13 3/4 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 large eggs (reserve 1 yolk for Glaze)

1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

Note from Diana's Desserts:
Poppy or sesame seeds may be sprinkled over the top of loaf before baking, if desired.

Dough: Warm the sour cream to lukewarm in a microwave, or over very low heat while stirring constantly. Add the butter and stir until melted.

In another bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the sour cream mixture, then stir in 1 egg and 1 egg white. Stir until the mixture comes together to form a shaggy mass, then set it aside for 15 minutes.

Knead the dough -- by hand, electric mixer, food processor or bread machine -- until it's smooth and elastic, adding a small amount of water or flour, if needed. Place it in a greased bowl, cover the bowl, and set the dough aside to rise for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until it's doubled in bulk.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly greased surface and knead it gently a few times, to expel the excess carbon dioxide. Divide it into three equal pieces, and roll each piece into an 18-inch log. Braid the logs together, pinching them at both ends and tucking the pinched ends under. Place the braid on a lightly greased or parchment-lined baking sheet, cover it, and allow it to rise for 45 to 50 minutes.

Whisk the egg yolk with the water, and brush the braid with this glaze (and sprinkle loaf with poppy or sesame seeds at this point, if desired). Bake the bread in a preheated 375°F/190°C oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until it's golden brown and shiny. Remove it from the oven and let it cool on the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely. Zopf is traditionally served at breakfast, toasted or not, with butter and/or jam.

Yield: 1 loaf, 16 slices.

Nutrition information per serving (1 slice, 47g): 146 cal, 6g fat, 4g protein, 18g complex carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 40mg cholesterol, 181mg sodium, 65mg potassium, 63RE vitamin A, 1mg iron, 18mg calcium, 50mg phosphorus.

Source: The Baking Sheet (r) (Vol. XI, No. 6, Autumn 2000 Issue). The Baking Sheet is published 6 times a year by The Baker's Catalogue (King Arthur Flour Company).

Date: March 29, 2006


Reviewer: tara
i have a few issues with this recipe, while in Switzerland two months ago i got to help a family make TONS of loaves of zopf bread for my friend's wedding, as well as making it with her years ago in england. no one use sour cream in any of the recipes, including a savory version of the bread. and you don't braid three strands of dough together, but rather two, crossed at the middle and then the strands woven together in a specific pattern. and lastly, there was no order in which we added the ingredients, everything was thrown together and then i was told to put my hands in and start kneading. i'm sure there are variations, but that basic does NOT include sour cream

Reviewer: jemima chadwick
I made it because my best friend made it and she said it was so fun and great so I knew that I had to make one.


Add Your Review

  YOUR NAME (required)
 (Very Good)
 (Could be Better)
  RATING (required)

More Recipes in this Section

Viennese Topfenstrudel with Vanilla Sauce Aguas Frescas Alfajores (Caramel Sandwich Cookies) Alfajores-South Amercian Sandwich Cookies Almond Tuiles Amaretti Apfelkuchen-Spicy Apple Cake Aqua Fresca de Sandia (Watermelon) Arroz Doce-Portugues Rice Pudding Bakewell Tart Banana Hazelnut Empanadas Banoffi Pie Barbara's Baklava Basic Crêpes Berry-Apple Empanadas Bienenstich Cake (Bee Sting Cake) Blancmange with Orange Sauce Bonet Bugia Buñuelos Cajeta (dulce de leche) Calabaza en Tacha Cannoli Cassata Cake Champurrado (Mexican Hot Chocolate Drink) Cherry Bakewell Tartlets Chocolate Chip Cannoli Chocolate Panna Cotta Chocolate Tres Leches Cake Chocolate-Orange Biscotti Churros Cigarettes Russes (Piroulines) Classic Vanilla Pots de Creme Cornish Saffron Cake Crema Catalana Crème Brûlée Crêpes Suzette Crostata della Nonna Danish Aebleskiver Danish Flødeboller Danish Kringle Dobos Torte Dutch Stroopwafels Easy Dulce de Leche Easy Norwegian Lefse Empanadas de Guayaba (Guava Turnovers) England's Victoria Sponge Cake French Almond Macaroons French Madeleines Fresh Berry Tiramisu German Style Cheesecake (Kaesekuchen) Grand Marnier Creme Caramel Greek Kourambiedes Cookies Gur Cake for St. Patrick's Day Harry's Bar Torta di Zabaglione Horchata Hungry Monk Banoffi Pie Irish Apple Crumble Irish Porter Cake Jammie Dodgers (Clone) Biscuit Sandwich Käsekuchen - German Cheesecake Kasutera-Japanese Sponge Cake Kuih Lapis or Kueh Lapis Lamington's Lemon Taralli Lemon Walnut Biscotti Limonada Madeira Cake Ma'moul (Date Patries from Syria) Mango Pudding Mascarpone Filled Bougatsa Mexican Brownies Mexican Chocolate Cake Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies
Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies Mexican Chocolate Layer Cake Mexican Chocolate Pie-Pastel de Chocolate Mexicano Mexican Coffee (Café de Olla) Mexican Hot Chocolate Mexican Raspadas (snow cones) Mexican Wedding Cakes (Cookies) Milk Chocolate Cannoli with Pistaschios Milk Chocolate Semifreddo Miniature Baklava Bites Moravian Sugar Cake Muah Chee Nanaimo Bars Old English Trifle Paletas (Mexican Popsicles) Pan di Spagna Pan Di Spagna (Italian Sponge Cake) Pandan Chiffon Cake Pandan Layer Cake Pandoro di Verona Panettone Panna Cotta Panna Cotta with Berries Paris-Brest Pasta Ciotti or Pasticiotti (Little Custard Tarts) Pasta Frolla - Italian Sweet Pastry Dough Pastéis de Nata-Portuguese Egg Custard Tarts Petits Pots de Crème à l'Orange Picarones Pierre Herme's Chocolate Macaroons Pikelets Pine Nut Amaretti Pithiviers Princess Cake Quick and Easy Buñuelos Ris ala mande with Cherry Sauce Rosettes and Timbales Sachertorte Savarin (French Ring Cake) Savoiardi (Ladyfingers) Scandinavian Christmas Gløgg Scottish Petticoat Tails Shortbread Smoutebollen-From Belgium Sopapillas Spiced Apple Cake with Guava Cream Cheese Spiced Citrus Pikelets Steamed Pork Buns (Char Siu Bao) Sticky Toffee Pudding Strawberries with Balsamic Vinegar Swedish Apple-Lingonberry Cake Swedish Pancakes Sweet Rice Flour and Coconut Cake (Butter Mochi) Sweet Rice with Mangoes Sweet Tamales Swiss Zopf Bread Syllabub with Berries Taralli from Puglia The Dairymaid's Wafers (Seterjentas Rømmebrod) The Italian Bellini Tiger Cake-Finland Tiramisu Torta alle Banane (Banana Cake) Torta della nocciola e del cioccolato Torta di Amore Torta di semifreddo del limone Torta Prugna Treacle Toffee Tres Leches Cake with Whipped Cream Topping Tropical Fruit Salad in Jelly Tsoureki (Greek Easter Bread) Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta with Apricot Coulis Walnut & Rum Raisin Crêpes with Chocolate Sauce Yorkshire Pudding Zuccotto Alla Cioccolato