In my family everyone loves a good “Hefezopf”. The recipe is easy – only a handful of basic ingredients are required. But the right proportions…oh my – I’ve tried soo many variations. A bit more of this, a bit less of that – one old cookbook suggested adding an egg the other one warned the reader not to do this…you get the gist of it.
Below you find my perfected version of the “Hefezopf” (or “Zopf” for short). The secret lies in the salt, by the way. Many recipes suggest using much too little – only a very old recipe went for more and I found 8g (per 500g flour) to be the ideal amount for my liking.
The plaiting is not too complicated either, by the way. Just look at my pictures and you’ll be fine! (There are more difficult versions of plaiting with up to 6 or even 8 strands, but this one with 2 strands is the most classic “Zopf” in Switzerland.)
This “Hefezopf” will be the centrepiece of every Sunday breakfast table, I promise! =)
My Perfect „Hefezopf“
In Switzerland this soft, slightly buttery bread is an absolute classic for breakfast on Sunday mornings!
active preparation time: about 25 min
(plus about 1.5 h rising time)
yield: 1 Hefezopf
- 500g flour
- 8g salt
- 30g sugar
- 65g butter, softened
- 18g fresh yeast
- 3dl warm milk
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tbsp. cream
- Sieve the flour into a big bowl. Add salt and sugar.
- Warm butter slightly and whisk until creamy and softened. Add to the flour-mixture and stir.
- Dissolve 18g fresh yeast in the warm milk.
- Form a little well in the flour mixture and pour the yeast-milk into this well. Stir until the dough sticks together.
- Put the dough onto a lightly floured working surface and knead well for at least 8 minutes.
- Flour the dough and put it into a clean bowl. Cover with a slightly wet kitchen towel. Let it rise in a warm place for 45-60 min.
- Cut the dough into two parts. Form each part into a long strand. Plait as following: (continue with the pattern until all dough is plaited)
8. Brush the „Zopf“ with the egg yolk-cream mixture and let it rise in a warm place for 25-45 min. Brush again and bake in the lower middle of the oven at 220°C for 30-40 min. Cover the “Zopf” after at least 10 minutes with kitchen foil (otherwise it will get too dark). Take it out of the oven and knock at the bottom. If it sounds hollow, the “Zopf” is done. Let it cool down on a cooling rack and enjoy pure or with butter and jam or honey.
To get a printed version: Download the pdf.
(Both English and German versions available!)