Züpfe (Zopf) - Swiss Braided Loaf
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Züpfe or Zopf is a Swiss, Austrian, German and Bavarian braided loaf made with bread flour, eggs, butter, sour cream, water and yeast. It is traditionally made into a pigtail or braid shape, from whence it has acquired its name, and glazed before baking.
350 gms strong white bread flour
150 gms soured cream
1 lightly beaten egg
50 gms softened unsalted butter
5 gms crushed sea salt
30 gms tepid water
7 gms active instant yeast
1. Add the flour to a large bowl and then add the salt and mix well.
2. Add the yeast and mix well.
3. Warm the soured cream and softened butter in a pan until it reaches 36⁰C.
4. Add the beaten egg to the flour mix and stir in the soured cream and butter.
5. Mix and then knead on a lightly floured surface until you have an elastic and silky dough.
6. Place in a lightly-oiled bowl, cover and place in a warm place until doubled in size (about 1 - 1½ hrs)
7. Tip out onto a floured surface. Divide into two equal parts and braid using two lengths.
Here's a video that might help:
8. Tuck the ends underneath and place on a baking sheet (lined with silicone paper or parchment paper)
9. Cover with a cloth and allow to rise in a warm place for about 40 minutes.
10. Preheat the oven to 190⁰C
11. Glaze using egg / milk or milk wash and bake for 30 - 35 minutes until golden. (You can always scatter poppy or sesame seeds on the top before baking)
12. Cool on a rack