Valentine’s edition -Zopf Swiss Bread
Happy Upcoming Valentine’s Day. #BMV
I may not be the biggest lover or eater of bread, but one things’ for sure, I do love and always had fun when baking bread. I would say, the only time I do enjoy eating bread is if there’s an accompaniment like eggs, ham, cheese or sausages for the purpose of toasting it. Sundays are my ideal days of baking fresh bread to have it for brunch. Trust me, no matter how asleep or tired bae is, he most definitely makes time to help around, and let’s not forget sweeps me off my feet with a little show off dance he put together with smooth instrumental music playing at the background. When he knows it’s about that time for bread baking, he never leaves room for personal space. TMI Maybe…? Giggles – moving on swiftly. FYI: I don’t have a bae yet, but am hopeful. He better be ready and reading this. But today’s post is all about art. I am an artist, I just painted you a picture. 🙂
Zopf means braided.
This a type of Swiss, Austrian or Bavarian bread made from white flour, milk, eggs, butter, and yeast. The dough is brushed with egg yolk before baking, lending it its golden crust. It is baked in the form of a plait and traditionally eaten on Sunday mornings.
It’s best eaten with butter and jam, or butter and honey, of course, Nutella. Shall we begin?
Making ” Zopf Swiss Bread“
Prep time: 20 min Proof time: 1 hour 30 mins Bake time: 25 mins Cooling time: 1 hour
Total Time: 3 hours 25 mins
- 1 -1/2 cups of warm milk
- 3 Tablespoons of vegetable cooking oil – Sunflower / OR/ Melted unsalted butter
- 2 -1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast
- 3 -3/4 cups of all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon of sugar
- 1 -1/2 teaspoons of salt
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 egg white
- Extra cooking oil
- Extra flour
- An oven
- Damp kitchen towels
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring spoons/cups
- Baking tray
- parchment paper
- Pastry brush
Step 1: Activate the yeast
In a bowl, pour in the warm milk + sugar + yeast = mix them together and let it sit in a warm area for 10 mins. Once it gets activated, as always, it gets to smell boozy, and a frothy foam is formed. Immediately add the oil + egg yolk and mix very well.
Step 2: Mix the wet to the dry.
In another bowl, Combine the salt + flour together. Add the wet to the dry ingredients until you form a roughly shaped dough. Transfer the dough to a working surface and knead it for 5 mins until you get a smooth dough.
Step 3: First proofing = 1 hour
In the same bowl you used to mix the dough, just scrap off the flour on the sides and generously add some cooking on both the sides and the bottom. Place the smooth kneaded dough in the bowl, toss it around to coat it with the oil. Take your damp kitchen towel and cover the bowl. Place the bowl in a warm area to double in size for 1 hour. Don’t touch or check it before then.
Step 4: Divide the dough
After 1 hour, generously flour the countertop and place the dough. Punch out the air, then reform it into a ball. First, cut out the dough into four pieces. From the four pieces, each piece divides it into three equal pieces to form 12 pieces in total.
Step 5: Zopfing – “Braiding”
Don’t use any more flour at this stage. Using your palms, roll out the individual pieces of dough. Once you have 3 pieces ready, Make a V shape with the with the ^ inverted, with the pointed area facing opposite to your chest. Pinch the three of the strands of dough together, and start braiding it – just the way we braid hair”. Repeat for the other 9 pieces.
Step 6: Second Proofing + Valentine’s edition
Preheat the oven to 220 °C. Align a baking tray with parchment paper and set it aside. You should be having 4 braided dough strands. Take two of the braids and shape it to form a heart. Pinch to where the two strands conjoin. Place it gently on the baking tray and cover with a damp kitchen towel. The the other 2 braids of dough and make a B” shaped letter and place on the same baking tray and cover. Allow the 2nd proofing to take place for 30 mins to double in size.
Step 7: Coat with Egg white
Using the egg white + a pinch of salt mixed together, using a pastry brush, brush some of that egg white wash all over the bread and bake it for 25 mins or until golden brown.
Step 8: Cooling time: = 1 hour
Once baked, let it cool completely for 1 hour before serving. #BeMyValentines
The letter B” looks more golden for the purpose of “emphasis”!!
Step 9: Serve it however you’d like.
It could be with Jam or butter, as an accompaniment with soup and any other brilliant way.
If it’s a soft bread, its’ best cut with your hands than rather sliced, but if the bread you’ve baked is hard like a baguette, the slice method is preferred.
May this Zopf Swiss hearty bread bring you joy and a tiny fraction of happiness whether you’ve got your man/lady to celebrate this Valentines with. Hugs and Kisses to you all.
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Acres & Acres of Love.