Zopf – Plaited Swiss Loaf

In Baking, Bread on January 2, 2012 at 3:33 am

I hadn’t made any bread for a while and was going through a bit of a bread detox. So I decided to flick through my trusty Bread book and see which recipes I hadn’t tried – this was one of them. My plait didn’t end up quite as elaborate as theirs (I’m not skilled at plaiting) but overall I was pretty pleased with the result.

Bread dough, plaited (proving)


All that is missing is the butter!

The recipe for this is kind of long and slightly complicated (but if you are used to making bread from scratch, it’s pretty straighforward). Upon request, here is the recipe:


2 tsp dried yeast

300ml milk

500g flour

1 1/2 tsp salt

60g butter, softened and creamed

1 tsp granulated sugar

2 tbsp brandy


Sprinkle the yeast into 100ml of the milk (make sure it is room temp, not cold) in a bowl. Leave for 5 mins, stir to dissolve. Put flour in a bowl, make a well in the centre and pour in the yeasted milk.

Draw enough of the flour in to make a paste in the centre. Cover and leave “sponge” until frothy and risen, about 20 mins.

Pour in the remaining milk, holding back about half. Mix in the flour. Add the salt, sugar, butter and brandy. Stir in the remaining milk, as needed, to make a soft, moist dough.

Knead dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth, shiny and elastic. Put dough in a clean bowl and cover with a tea towel. Leave to rise until doubled in size, between 1 1/2 – 2 hours. Knock back the dough and leave to rest 10 mins.

Divide dough into 3 pieces and roll into 40 cm lengths. Start plaiting by placing one length at right angles to another, then add the third and plait to the end. Tuck the ends together and fold them underneath the dough. Do the same towards the other end, until both ends are finished and you have a full plait.

Place on a buttered baking sheet and cover with a tea towel. Leave to prove until doubled in size, about 35-45 mins. Glaze the loaf with milk, egg or butter if you wish.

Bake in preheated oven (180 celsius) for 40 mins, until golden brown and hollow sounding when tapped. Cool on a wire rack if you aren’t eating it immediately.


  1. […] extremely skilled-at-bread friend Katrina posted about this beautiful bread at the start of the month, and I was so awed that I just had to add it to my to-do […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: