Rich and buttery Swiss bread provides a beautiful and delicious centerpiece for brunch.
My bread-baking goal upon moving to Mongolia was to bake all of my favorite breads without the aid of my trusty Zojirushi bread machine that I relied on heavily in Alaska. The tiny house we will eventually live in will not have room for such an extravagant machine, so it was time to wean myself off of this terrific invention. In Alaska, I enjoyed throwing all my ingredients into a machine, going for a walk and coming back to beautiful finished doughs ready to shape and bake. These days, I’m finding that I really enjoy the process of manually bringing all the individual ingredients together to form delicious and beautiful breads. There is something satisfying about kneading dough and knowing, by touch, if it needs more of something.
The final bread on the list from my Alaska days to make from scratch was züpfe. I was introduced to this braided Swiss bread when I was young. I loved it. It could have been because of its soft, almost creamy texture or the lovely Swiss braids. I would eat as much of it as I was allowed. As an adult, I still love the flavor and the texture. The braids are fun to create and give an impressive finish. Bring this bread to your next dinner party instead of the traditional bottle-of-wine and see what happens.
2 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
1 1/3 cups warm milk (105F/41C)
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons butter, melted
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 egg white
1 tablespoon water
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
Add the egg yolk, butter, 2 cups of bread flour and salt. Stir well to combine.
Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition.
When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into about a 14-inch long log. Braid the pieces together and place on a parchment-covered baking sheet. Pinch the ends of the braids well so they don’t come undone.
Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a small bowl, beat together egg white and water. Brush risen loaf with egg wash and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Braided bread topped with anything you’d like! We topped ours with smoked sea salt, sesame seeds, caraway seeds, poppy seeds, and dried minced onion.
The beautiful photo on Taste of Home’s website grabbed my attention. With tasty success making everything bagels, I decided to tinker with their bread recipe and see what happened. Jack’s review – salty, hearty yet soft and perfect to go with a bean soup he whipped up. Oh yeah, he said “Magnificent!” too. My review – easy dough to work with with a delicious result. I really liked how the everything topping added layers and layers of flavors. I would agree with “Magnificent!”
Everything Braided Bread
2 1/4 tsp yeast
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup warmed milk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp sugar
1 egg yolk
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg white
1 tsp coarse sea salt, or kosher salt
1 tsp dried minced onion
1 tsp caraway seeds
1 tsp sesame seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds
In a large bowl, whisk together warm milk, water, and yeast.
Add butter, sugar, egg yolk, salt, and 2 cups of flour. Mix together well.
Add another cup of flour and mix thoroughly.
Add another cup of flour and mix thoroughly again.
Knead in remaining 1/2 cup of flour until dough is smooth and elastic, about 6 minutes.
Place dough in large oiled bowl. Make sure to roll the dough so that entire dough ball is lightly covered in oil.
Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Punch dough down. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and divide into thirds.
Roll each third into a long rope, about 20 inches long.
Place ropes on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Pinch one end of ropes together and braid remaining strands. Pinch together both ends firmly, so that braid doesn’t come undone.
Cover and let loaf rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (about 190 degrees C).
Combine salt, onion and seeds in a small bowl.
Brush loaf with egg white.
Sprinkle salt combination evenly over loaf.
Bake loaf for about 22 minutes. Loaf will be golden brown. The smell will delight you.
Swirling with, pecans, cinnamon, butter and maple syrup, this decadent creation puffs up like a soufflé in the oven. You and your guests will be inspired to linger over a leisurely morning table with a second mimosa.
We recently baked a loaf of twisted cinnamon bread, which is never better than on the morning it comes out of the oven. Since our Arctic kitchen is quite arid, items left out tend to dry out quickly, which gives us the opportunity to get creative with leftovers.
Overnight French toast is not a new recipe for us. But starting with a base of this wonderful twisted cinnamon bread was new. Soaking the bread overnight in an egg and cream mixture causes the bread to puff up magically during baking. Drizzled with maple syrup and served with a strip of thick bacon this cinnamon loaf French toast was a great way to start a weekend!
The bread loaves are nestled in kitchen towels to hide the fact that we ate half of one of the loaves before I could take a photo!
Two similar breads came to mind for my next baking adventure. Swiss Zopf, which is known as Züpfe in the Bernese region of Switzerland, and Challah, a traditional sabbath bread in the Jewish tradition. I was lucky enough to enjoy both when I was young. They are similar in texture and in their beautiful braided presentation.
Yesterday’s decision to create loaves of Züpfe was based on my being able to adapt the dough to my bread machine. The temperature in our house doesn’t seem conducive to bread rising. The same problem exists when I try to let bread rise in the oven. To modify Victoria’s recipe for my Zojirushi bread machine, I mixed all the wet ingredients and placed them at the bottom of the pan. I layered on the bread flour and the yeast. Per many suggestions by recipe users, I also added one teaspoon of salt. After the bread dough processed in the machine, I braided the dough using a four-strand braid and let it rise on a parchment covered baking sheet for about an hour in a barely heated oven before finally baking it. It doubled in size!
Honestly, when I was finished braiding the bread, I had one of those I-am-so-impressed-with-myself moments. At these moments, I totally get the end zone celebration dance. Then it came out of the oven – wow! I proudly paraded the baked beauties through the house so that Jack and Maia would be impressed. The final victory? Hot slices of deliciously soft bread slathered in butter.
In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes. Add the egg yolk, butter and 2 cups of bread flour; stir well to combine. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces and roll each piece into a 14 inch long cylinder. Braid the pieces together and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
In a small bowl, beat together egg white and water. Brush risen loaf with egg wash and bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25, until golden.