Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 7 --Jolly Holiday or " I Knead to Bake..."

It's the last day of the Blog party, and I told you I would tell you about my Zupfe bread.  (I'm not sure how to spell it, maybe someone from Switzerland can help us out.)  You pronounce it Zoop-fa. 
 This is the yummiest bread!  Before I share the recipe, I need to remind you to finish the Jolly Holiday Party!  Today is the last day, and we are visiting two HG designers.  Chelsea at Pink Fig has some great children's patterns and lots of fun stuff.
Chelsea Anderson     Pink Fig Designs
And Linda Lum DeBono is just full of fun ideas!  Linda has been the gal in charge of our hop and has done a lot of work coordinating and planning and arranging.  Please make sure she knows how much you appreciate it, because it is not easy getting this many creative, strong women to go in the same direction!  Thanks so much, Linda!
 Now on to the bread.  Here's the list of ingredients:

3 tablespoons of yeast
1/2 cup warm water

9 eggs
1 1/2 tablespoon salt
1/4 cup sugar
2 cubes butter
2 cups milk
12 cups flour (approx.)

Dissolve the yeast in the warm water.  Set aside to raise.  Beat the eggs.  Add the salt and sugar and mix in.  Melt the butter, add the milk and warm it up a bit.   Now start adding the flour to the egg mixture.  I do this in my mixer with the bread hook on.  Add just 2 cups to start with, then add the yeast mixture. Alternate adding the rest of the flour and the milk/butter liquid.  I almost never use exactly 12 cups of flour, that is an approximation.  Add flour until the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl and is not too sticky.  You don't want to add too much or it will be tough and dry.

If you can't fit all of that in your mixer, (like I used to do before I got a new one) just turn it out on a floured counter and knead it in by hand.  This part is really fun.  I can fit it all in my mixer now, but I still like to finish it off by hand, to make sure it is juuuuust right.  (The Goldilocks phenomenon.) 

When you feel the dough stretching and pulling back, you know you have the gluten going.  Knead it until it is smooth and shiny, and elastic-y.  (How's that for technical writing?)
Place the dough in a large oiled bowl.  Cover with oiled plastic wrap or a damp flour-sack towel.  Place it in a warm area and let it raise until double in size. 

This is when it has raised in my gi-normous (16" across)  stainless bowl.  Then I punch it down.  (I don't have a picture of that, because my hands were all oily.)  Place it in the fridge to cool down.  Check on it, you will probably have to punch it down again.  Keep it covered with the oiled plastic wrap.  It is best left several hours or overnight, so that it is nice and cold, then it is easy to roll out.

 Cut the dough in half to make 2 loaves.  These will be really large, and sometimes they are hard to fit on a baking sheet, so I usually cut into 3 loaves.  At Christmas I give loaves to my neighbors, so I make even smaller loaves or I would never get done!  Cut each loaf of dough in half to make two chunks of dough.  Roll them out into long ropes, like you used to do with Playdoh.  (I know you did.)  Make the ropes the same length and same diameter all along.
 Place one rope on top of the other making a "t". 

Grab the ends of the side-to-side rope, one end in each hand.  Throw them over the center up-and-down rope with your right hand going over your left hand.

 Now step to the left side in front of the rope on the left.  Grab the two ends on ropes on either side of this new center, and throw those ropes over, left over right.

 Move back to the center and go right over left again.  Continue moving to left, and center, and throwing right over left and then left over right. (I really should have made a video!  What was I thinking?)

When you get to the end of your rope, (HA!) tuck the ends under and press them together so they don't show, and look pretty.  Hummm,  I think there is a life metaphor in there somewhere....

Place on a greased baking sheet.  Roll and braid the other one and place next to it, leaving space between the loaves for raising.  Cover with oiled plastic wrap and set them again in a warm place.  Let them raise until they are double in bulk.  Pre-heat your oven to 350.  Bake for 30 - 35 minutes until golden brown. 

Mine got a little too brown this time, but it is still within the normal range.  As soon as you bring them out of the oven, brush with butter all over the top and sides.  This keeps it nice and soft, and of course makes it yummy!  (Interesting observation:  Fat makes things yummy, and yummy makes things fat.  What goes around comes around or becomes a round, in this case.)

Now slice up that bread and eat it!  Just wonderfully rich and eggy and the texture is super.  You are going to love this.   This bread makes the best leftover sandwiches and toast and is great even plain!
Now I know this has been a long post, so thanks for sticking with me.  

Remember that today is the last day of the blog hop, so go collect the last of those secret words at each designer's place.  I will have a special help here for you tomorrow, so be sure to check in.  

And don't forget to enter to win my fabric bundle by commenting on my Day 1 post and becoming a "follower!"


Gill said...

I've never heard of this bread before but it looks delicious!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Thank you for the bread recipe - I must try this.

Kd Brown said...

Beautiful job, Jill! What a lovely bread . I only wish I could smell it baking. Kd

Dorian said...

MMMM, I haven't made a braided loaf in a long time. This recipe looks great! Thanks for such a fun blog hop!

Anonymous said...

It actually is German and you spell it: Zoepfe Brot

looks good

Martina said...

Thats how we call it here in our area of switzerland. Looks yummy, well done!

Mrs.Pickles said...

The bread looks great. My husband is from Switzerland and he says that they call it Zupfe and my Swiss cookbook

Mary said...

Thank you for posting all the pictures to go along with the recipe. I love to bake bread and can't wait to try this. This post will definitely be bookmarked!

janequiltsslowly said...

Oh that bread looks yummy. I may have to give it a try. Or maybe just move into your neighborhood so I can be one of your lucky neighbors!

NancyL said...

Looks yummy!!! gotta make this!!

Unknown said...

Oh that bread sure looks good!

The Retired Mama said...

Such a pretty loaf. I alsways think the bread is the hit of the Thanksgiving meal!

Judy1522 said...

Here is a link to a Swiss website that has a recipe also for your bread and they call it Zopf there are many Swiss recipes on the site including one for Fasnachtsk├╝chlein which means carnival cookies. We called them Swiss cakes for some reason and they were much larger than cookies but the recipe and stretching the dough thin is how they were made by my grandmother and aunts.

The Stevenson's said...

Love this bread. My recipe is alittle different but my mother in law makes it every year at Christmas and my kids love it. We dip ours in Hot Chocolate.

Patricia Lessell said...

We have two every Friday night to bring in the Sabbath and we call it Cholla.