Hefezopf, or literally, ‘yeast braid’ is a type of sweet bread from the German-speaking countries. It is associated with such celebrations as New Years, baptisms, and Easter. Like its name implies, the bread loaf is braided and added with raisins, slivered almonds, and coarse sugar pieces.
To celebrate Advent, I made a Hefezopf loaf yesterday. I referenced several english recipes (because German recipes are always metric and I am more comfortable cooking with US measurements) and was quite scared because each recipe had vastly different proportions and ingredients. But in the end it worked out. I’ll give the following recipe:
- 2x 8g packets of yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 Tsp of sugar
Mix them all together and wait 15 minutes or until the yeast foams.
- 2 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 stick of melted butter
- 200mL of milk (better if room temperature)
- 3 cups of flour
- a bit of lemon juice
- several pinches of salt
- 1/3 cup sugar
Mix them all together into the yeast mixture.
It will be quite liquid… which caused me to panic because some other recipes recommended only 1 egg….
But then the kneading started, and this process required adding a lot of flour continuously to the mixture.
Knead until the dough is no longer sticky and is smooth.
Cover with a towel and put in a warm place for 1 hour.
After 1 hour, knead the dough lightly again on a floured surface, adding in raisins.
Divide the dough into 3 equal pieces. Make each piece into a long, long cylindrical shape.
Then attach all pieces at one end and start braiding!
If you wish, mix an egg and apply it as wash on top (you definitely won’t use all of it). Then sprinkle coarse sugar and sliced almonds over the top.
Preheat oven to 180-200 Celcius, depending on your oven. I did 180 because my oven circulates the air inside.
After 35-40 minutes, it’s ready!!!
Eat with a little butter on top of the slices!
And here’s a nice Instagramed picture….