Grandma's Swiss New Year's Bread (Zuepfe)
My Grandma's Grandma brought this with her to the US from Switzerland in the mid 1800's. Every generation of our family makes this Swiss Zuepfe for New Year's, sharing with those who aren't bakers. Eat with butter - do not disrespect this bread by using margarine in it or on it! It also makes the most delicious French toast I have ever had.
- Serves: 1 person
- 3(.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 3cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C), divided
- 1pint heavy cream
- 1cup butter
- 3tablespoons salt
- 8cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
- 1egg, beaten
- 1tablespoon water
Step 1Pour yeast into 1 cup water and set aside.
Step 2Heat heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until scalding, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter to melt; add remaining 2 cups warm water. Add eggs and salt; mix until all butter is melted. Pour in yeast mixture and stir.
Step 3Beat 4 cups flour into the cream mixture with an electric mixer until well combined, adding more flour as needed to make a very stiff dough.
Step 4Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface. Knead in about 4 more cups of flour until it is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticks. Turn into a large greased bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
Step 5Knead down and let rise again, about 30 minutes.
Step 6Divide dough into 6 long strands. Overlap 2 strands at a time into an upside-down "U" and braid. Place onto an ungreased baking sheet. Combine beaten egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl; brush loaf with wash. Let rise for about 20 minutes more.
Step 7Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Step 8Bake in the preheated oven until golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating.