Z for ZOPF – Swiss Braided Bread - Day 26

We are on the last day of the Mega blogging Marathon!! I can't believe I actually baked for 26 days straight :D I don't even know how this month flew by, but I do know I've gained a few pounds eating bakes from around the world. And another few pounds from just drooling over all the gorgeous bakes from my fellow bakers!


Zopf or Züpfe is a buttery brioche like bread popular in the Switzerland in all of its 26 cantons. Switzerland is very diverse in its culture as well as cuisine. Each canton has its own specialties but the Zopf remains popular throughout. The name Zopf is derived from its shape, and literally means “braid” or “plait”. Traditionally eaten on Sunday mornings, this loaf is next only to the popular Swiss cheese, chocolates and watches. Its shaped differently in various parts of Switzerland but for most part its braided.


I found this interesting piece of history here and felt compelled to quote. Read on. 

"Its origins are fairly unclear and surrounded by many legends, some gloomy, others cheerful. Apparently, in ancient times, women used to accompany their deceased husbands into the tomb and the spirit world in order for the married couple to be reunited in death. Thankfully that dark tradition was abandoned and replaced by a new, less barbarian one. Instead of being forced to perish with her man, the widow only had to cut off her hair (usually a plait) and lay it in the grave, alongside the body of her late spouse.

Still later, the practice of offering one’s hair as sacrifice was abolished and a braided loaf was used in place of the tresses. But as there is no real proof of that custom, it is more likely that butterzopf saw the light of day in a less morbid way.

In 1256, the first bakers guild was formed in Basel, and not long after, a few more were formed in various cantons in the Helvetic territory. During the 15th century, this delicacy became very popular, as it used to be given as gifts on special occasions such as Christmas and New Year. It was even offered as a token of love or to seal a promise of marriage. Since its existence has been corroborated and documented since 1430, it is most probable that it is a Swiss invention. Nowadays, the Swiss continue the tradition of bringing a “Zopf” to their hosts to mark special occasions (public holidays and feast days).”

How’s that for some fabulous history huh? :D Now onto the bread. Its light, soft and buttery with a glossy crust.

You will need:
Makes: 1 small loaf
Recipe adapted from here

1 ¾ cups All-pupose flour plus 2 tbsp
1 tsp Dried yeast
½ tsp Granulated sugar
½ cup Whole milk plus 2 tbsp
¾ tsp Salt
2 tbsp Unsalted butter, softened
1 egg yolk plus 1 tbsp of milk for brushing the top

Warm the milk. Add the sugar and yeast, let stand for 10 minutes until frothy.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour salt and butter. Add the yeast mix and combine on low speed. Switch to a dough hook and knead until the dough comes together into a ball and is silky and smooth. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover. Allow to rise in a warm place for 1-1.5 hours.

Punch the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Divide the dough into 3 and roll each piece into a long rope. Braid as shown below.

Place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover and allow to double in size, about 30-45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350F. Brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash, taking care to cover evenly.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for 40 minutes until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped underneath.

Let cool on a wire rack. Slice and enjoy! 

Stay tuned for the Mega Round-up of all our bakes from the past month :) 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

Y for YANGPABBANG - Onion Bread - Day 25

I've had so much to do this past week that I couldn't get this bake done on time. The first time I've been late in this challenge!! I was hoping not to be late anytime during the marathon but well, life happens. 


YangpaBbang is a savory Onion Bread native to Korea. While researching for recipes with the letter Y I came across this post for Onion Bread on Aeri's Kitchen. It looked simple and anything with onions definitely has my attention. I adapted the filling part to suit our tastes and we had an awesome, incredibly soft and smooth savory bread to relish. 

Aeri mentions that all-purpose flour, bread flour or cake flour can be used. I have never ever baked bread using cake flour so this was quite interesting. Cake flour yields beautiful tight crumbed cakes,I figured it would be great to get the same texture in bread. So I used Cake flour in this recipe. Cake flour is available easily here in the US but if you can't find it where you live, all you need is 2 ingredients to make it - all purpose flour and corn starch.

Cake flour: 

Measure out 1 level cup of All-purpose flour. Remove 2 level tablespoons from the measured flour. Add in 2 level tablespoons of corn starch/flour. Sift once and you have Cake flour. Measure and use as needed. 

I made these Pesto Parmesan Scones using cake flour and the results were fantastic. Now onto YangPabBang

You will need: 
Makes: 1 large loaf
Recipe adapted from here

For the Dough:

2 1/4 cups Cake flour (if using All-purpose/Bread flour use only 2 cups)
3/4 cup Whole milk, warm
2 tsp Active dry yeast
3 tbsp Unsalted butter, softened 
2 tbsp Granulated sugar 
3/4 tsp Salt 

For the Filling:

Onions are the star of this bread. All other filling ingredients are entirely up to you and can be adjusted to suit personal tastes. 

1 cup red onion, thinly sliced 
1/2 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3/4 cup Grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 tsp Dried oregano 
1/2 tsp Red chili flakes
1/2 - 3/4 tsp Salt 
1/2 tsp Black pepper powder 

1 tbsp Heavy cream 

Combine the filling ingredients except the heavy cream, in a small bowl and set aside.

To make the dough:

Combine all dough ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on low and slowly add the warm milk until it forms a wet dough. Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium-high for about 8 minutes until dough is silky smooth, elastic and breaks away from the sides of the bowl. 

If you don't have a mixer, combine ingredients in a large bowl and then knead by hand. 

Shape the dough into a bowl ad place in an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise for 1-1.5 hours or until double in size. I proved my dough in an oven with just the light on and it doubled in size in 1 hour. 

Pinch down the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface (I used all-purpose flour here). Using a sturdy rolling pan, roll out the dough into a rectangle, about 8x9.5" - the size of a standard loaf pan. Place 2/3rd of the prepared filling in the Centre on the rectangle. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the seams. Place seam side down in a lightly oiled loaf pan. Cover and let it rise for another 20 mins.

Preheat oven to 375F. 

Brush the top of the loaf with the heavy cream. Top with the remaining onion-cheese mixture. 

Bake for 35-40 minutes. If the top is browning too quickly, the cheese in particular, cover the loaf loosely with a piece of foil or parchment paper and continue to bake. 

After 40 minutes, turn off the oven and let the bread sit for 15 minutes before removing from the oven. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a cooling rack. Slice with a sharp serrated knife. 

Carmelized onions and cheese on top with a super soft scrumptious center, this was a winner! 

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 75

X for XIAODIANXIN – Chinese Almond Cookies – Day 24

This was one tough letter. There are only a few dishes that begin with the letter X and even fewer that are baked and native to a particular country. I had only two choices - Xiaodianxin which means Cookie in Chinese or any X-mas Cake. I chose to do the cookie and made Chinese Almond Cookies.


Chinese Almond cookies are eaten during the Lunar New Year. They are shaped liked coins and symbolize good luck, hence people make or buy these coin-shaped cookies. Made with almond meal/flour these are crumbly rich cookies.

I made my own Almond flour with blanched almonds. I weighed the quantity of blanched almonds needed and then pulsed it with the quantity of sugar in the recipe. If you pulse almonds without the sugar it will turn to butter! So always pulse it with sugar/powdered sugar. You can use Almond meal too which is made with raw almonds and the meal is coarse with specks of brown in it.

The original recipe has egg yolk in it, I decided to leave it out and make these eggless instead. I stuck to the recipe with no other changes and these turned out absolutely melt-in-the-mouth.

You will need:
Makes: 24-26 cookies (half recipe as stated below)
Recipe adapted from here

60 gms blanched almonds (to make the almond flour)
90 gms All-purpose flour
60 gms Granulated sugar
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp Baking powder
½ tsp Baking soda
75 ml Vegetable oil
Unsalted almonds (to top the cookies)

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Mix on low. Add the vegetable oil and continue to beat on low until the mixture forms a dough. If the mixture looks crumbly, add a teaspoon of oil at a time until it comes together.

Pinch small pieces of dough and roll into a bowl. Press an almond in the center of the ball, place this on the lined baking sheet. Continue with remaining dough. Bake cookies for 15-18 minutes. 

Cool for 10 minutes on baking sheet and then transfer to a rack carefully and cool completely. Store in air-tight container for up to a week.

Blog Widget by LinkWithin