My favorite recipes – German Hefezopf :)

Zopfbrot - Deutscher Hefezopf - German Hefezopf Rezept - recipe - baking-  fresh out of the ovenAs some of you might already know, I not only love to work at embroidery or calligraphy, I also enjoy cooking tremendously. It pleases me to try out new delicious recipes like this German Hefezopf recipe. 😀

Though my blog has never been a food blog, I already posted several of my favorite cooking recipes during the last years. As people continue to ask me about my recipes whenever I post pictures of my freshly cooked food on facebook, you might see more postings about my favorite recipes in the future… 🙂

And well, I recently posted some pictures of a German Hefezopf, my latest “cooking project”, on my facebook page. I was very astonished by the attention the pictures raised and how many asked for the Hefezopf recipe which I used. The bread was indeed very yummy and I guess that the pictures look mouth-watering. Therefore I promised to translate the Hefezopf recipe as soon as possible and to share it with you. And here we are, I proudly present the translated Hefezopf recipe to you. I hope that you will enjoy your Hefezopf as much as I did.

I have to admit that I was feeling a little bit homesick lately and felt a craving for good old fashioned Austrian Hefezopf – or “Striezel” as we call it in Austria. After a short search I found the very promising Hefezopf recipe “Hefezopf mit und ohne Rosinen” at the German food page www.kochbar.de and adapted it slightly to the possibilities my kitchen provides.

German Hefezopf recipe

Zopfbrot - Deutscher Hefezopf - German Hefezopf Rezept - recipe - baking

For this recipe you need:

  • 0.5 kg (1.1 pd) wheat flour
  • 1 package of active dry yeast
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 300 ml (ca. 1cup + 1/4 cup) milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 dash of salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons water + some extra water in a small oven-safe bowl/pot
  • optional: raisins, rum raisins or coarse/decorating sugar (Hagelzucker?), flaked almonds

1) Take a small pan and put the butter into the pan. Wait until the butter is melted and then add the milk and the sugar. Heat up the milk with the butter and sugar until it has body temperature (should feel slightly warm but not hot when you put your finger inside). Now remove the pan from the burner. Mix in the yeast with a wire whisk or a spoon until the yeast is evenly dissolved.

2) Take a big mixing bowl, measure the flour and put it into the mixing bowl, add a dash of salt to the flouer. Form a “well” in the flour that is big enough for your milk-butter-sugar-yeast mixture and pour the mixture into the “well”. If you want to add raisins to your dough, you can also add them now.

3) Now mix the ingredients. If you have a kitchen aid or a similar kitchen appliance you can use it to mix your ingredients together. If you have no kitchen appliance, you can take a fork and slowly start mixing your flour into the milk-mixture until you get a slightly more firm dough consistence. From this point on you can use your hands to work in the remaining flour.

4) A yeast dough needs a lot of love and kneading. As soon as you mixed all ingredients together, put the dough on your working surface and knead it for at least 5 more minutes. If the dough sticks to your working surface, just add a small amount of flour and continue kneading.

5) Now put the dough back into your bowl. Wash your hands and use a fresh kitchen towel to dry your hands afterwards. Use this slightly moist kitchen towel to cover your bowl (some books and food blogs say that the moisture in your kitchen towel will help to prevent your dough surface from drying out). Let your yeast dough rest for about one hour at a warm and draft free location. Take a baking sheet and put some parchment paper or aluminum foil on top.

6) After one hour the dough should have doubled in size. Now you can remove it from the bowl and knead it for at least another minute on your working surface. Divide the dough into 3 parts and roll them with your hands on your surface until you have 3 nice dough rolls(?). Braid the dough rolls(?) into a nice Hefezopf plait.

7) Put the plait on top of the baking sheet with the parchment paper (or aluminum foil) and cover it again with the kitchen towel. Place the baking sheet on top of your stove and start preheating the oven to 180°C / 355°F. The indirect oven temperature of your oven will help your yeast dough to rise. Let your dough rest for another 40 minutes.

8) After the 40 minutes place a small oven-safe bowl or pot with some extra water inside your oven and close it again. Take 2 tablespoons of water and the egg yolk and mix it together in a small bowl.  Brush the surface of your Hefezopf dough with the egg yolk-water mixture. If you like, you can now add coarse/decorating sugar (Hagelzucker?) or flaked almonds on top.

Zopfbrot - Deutscher Hefezopf - German Hefezopf Rezept - recipe - baking

9) Put the Hefezopf into the oven and bake it for about 20-25 minutes until it shows a nice brown color. Then immediately remove your Hefezopf from the oven and allow it to cool down for some time. Remove it from the parchment paper (or aluminum foil) as soon as you can touch it.

Enjoy your meal! 😀

Btw. I think that this Hefezopf bread is especially delicious when eaten with some butter and jam (or nutella)… Yummy! 🙂

Zopfbrot - Deutscher Hefezopf - German Hefezopf Rezept - recipe - baking

Now you might ask why I call this a German Hefezopf. Well, this Hefezopf is very delicious but somehow it doesn’t really qualify for a “Striezel” – an Austrian Hefezopf – for me. For my taste it’s definitely not sweet enough! 🙂

…and this is said by someone who is normally not that much of a sweet tooth when it comes to bread. But well, the consistence of the bread is really good and promising. I will try to raise the sugar quota until it matches my memories and I am completely satisfied! 😀

And now, after the short German Hefezopf excursion into the wonderful world of baking, I am heading back to my embroidery and sewing projects… 🙂

Best regards Racaire

PS.: If you like this German Hefezopf recipe, you might also like the other recipe which I recently posted:

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