Zopf is a special kind of Swiss bread served for breakfast usually on Sundays. The braided appearance of the bread has given it its name although it is also known as Zupfe. It is considered to be one of the traditional breads eaten in the Emmental region of Switzerland. The bread is made with white flour, milk and yeast which gives it a soft texture and consistency. While most Swiss households bake the bread at home, it is also available commercially in 300g and 600g loaves.
The bread is traditionally baked in most households on Friday nights and eaten on Sunday mornings with other traditional items for breakfast. Apart from the morning meal, the bread is also found to be on every Bern menu with the recipe differing slightly from household to household. It is also a common prize that is given away at local Swiss games and events.
The braiding is particularly difficult to accomplish without practice. The traditional way of braiding it is in the criss-cross manner although a lot of chefs braid the bread by making use of three strands very similar to that of braiding the hair.
History of Zopf Recipe
While there has been no recorded history of the bread in particular, the local legends speak of the origin which happens to be as early as the 15th century. The custom of the widows cutting off their braids and burying it with their husbands was replaced with burying the Zopf which is similar to the braided hair. The custom was followed more in Bern than in the other parts of Switzerland. However, the bread is relished all across the country and is considered to be a delicacy.
Ingredients Used and Popular Zopf Recipe
The soft bread is made by mixing eggs, milk and white flour together with yeast and some salt and sugar. The traditional way of preparing the Swiss bread is to make a dough with the ingredients and place it apart until it rises considerably. The braided look is achieved by dividing the dough into four equal elongated pieces and crossing them alternately in order to create two loaves. The finished product can be obtained by baking the braided dough in an oven set at 200-250 degrees F. The Zopf is often glazed with egg yolk before placing it into the oven. The heat is also turned on just before the oven is turned off in order to brown the bread adequately.
The Swiss bread is usually eaten with butter and jam for breakfast. It is also eaten with an assortment of Swiss cheese and other dairy products. Spreading the Zopf with peanut butter or Nutella as well as preparing sandwiches by slicing the bread are all admissible methods of eating it.
Nutritive Value of Zupfes
A single serving of Zopf consists of 165 calories. The bread is rich in carbohydrates along with some amount of sugars and protein. It is essential to consume the bread along with foods rich in other groups. The amount of dietary fiber is almost non existent as the bread is made with white flour. However, a healthier version can be baked by replacing the white flour with whole wheat.