Zopf? Züpfe? We’ve had a bit of a spelling debate here in the Fife Diet offices. Either way, this is the traditional Swiss Sunday loaf, similar to the Jewish chollah, but plaited slightly differently.
If you can’t get fresh yeast, use half the quantity of dried yeast instead. It’ll still be just as tasty.
15g fresh yeast
1 tsp honey
250ml lukewarm milk
50g melted butter
1 tsp salt
450g strong white flour
1 whole egg, beaten
1 egg yolk, for glazing
Cream the yeast and honey together in about 2 tablespoons of the warm milk. Add to the rest of the milk, along with the melted butter and salt. (If using dried yeast, mix all together in one step) Weigh out the flour into a large mixing bowl, make a well in the center and gradually mix in the yeast / milk combo. Add in the beaten egg, mixing it in well.
Knead well for about 5 minutes on a lightly floured surface. Cover with a cloth and leave to rise in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours. Knock back the dough and divide into three equal pieces. Shape each piece into a long thin strip. Start to plait together from the centre. Turn the loaf around and plait from the other end.
Cover with a cloth and set to rise a second time for about 30 minutes. Before baking, put in a cool place for 10 minutes. Brush the egg yolk over the bread and bake in a moderately hot preheated oven (190 C, Gas 5) for 45 minutes. Leave to cool.