Hefezopf – German Braided Bread

hefezopf - german braided bread

My background to Hefezopf – German Braided Bread dates back to my several months of attending school in Germany. My mom was born and raised in Berlin and for a short period in my teens we moved over to Germany, becoming ‘regular’ culturally non German ‘Germans’, not in Berlin, but in a small town an hour from Hanover.

During this time, I attended a typical high school and despite arriving having forgotten most of my German, by the time I left high school a lot of it had returned and those days walking to class at seven am was one of the memories.

One of the classes opted into was Hauswirtshaft as it’s called there or Home Economics. Basically a ‘how to’ in how to have a successful household,  including smart sense ‘money’ lessons in how to save and set aside income for regular outgoings and once a week we cooked or baked in class.

simple hefezopf

german braid bread

The work we completed in each class had to be saved and submitted at the end of the semester, however, the most care was taken for the recipes we made each week. Literally the only reason why I even wanted to take this class was to learn cooking and baking, particularly to take advantage of German dishes I hadn’t been introduced to yet.

Despite the helpful advice provided in class, in retrospect, you could really tell the curriculum beyond cooking was to teach women how to manage a home, especially when we had no boys in the class.

I still to this day have the cooking folder from that class and this was one of the recipes we attempted during my attendance. I can’t remember how it turned out all that time ago, so I knew it was time to try this out again.

Hefezopf – German Braided Bread Notes

The key to a soft texture for a Hefezopf- German Braided Bread is to really knead the dough for at least 5 minutes, the texture should be smooth and should hold slightly when you push your finger into the dough, but still bounce back.

When the plait is complete, push the edges together and tuck slightly underneath to ensure it holds as it rises for the second time.

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Hefezopf – German Braided Bread
Adapted from Foody Food
Makes 1 loaf

Ingredients:
640 grams/4 cups plain flour
115 grams/1/2 cup superfine/caster sugar
2 tablespoons yeast
Pinch of salt
200 grams/7 ounces butter, melted
250 milliliters/1 cup warm milk
1 egg, lightly beaten

Directions:
Place the flour, sugar, yeast and salt into a bowl and stir to combine, creating a well in the center.

In a slow and steady stream, add the warmed milk and melted butter and combine to form a dough with an electric mixer.

When a dough has formed and there are no dry parts remaining, add in half the egg, setting the remaining half aside.

Knead the dough until it is smooth, approximately 4 minutes with a stand mixer, 5 1/2-6 minutes with a hand mixer or 8 minutes kneading by hand.

Place into a bowl and set aside somewhere warm for at least an 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.

IMG 0632

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Place on a scale and weigh so you can divide equally into three portions of dough.

Knead into a smooth dough ball and  roll out into long thin strips of equal length, approximately 1 1/2 inches thick.

Take the three pieces and push one end together then slowly move each piece of dough into the center…plaiting the bread together.

Once you have finished the braid, press the ends firmly together and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/355F.

IMG 0634

Brush the reseved half an egg over the entire surface of the bread, just prior to baking.

Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove and allow to cool.

Serve with butter and sweet jam.

german hefezopf

simple braided bread

german braided bread recipe

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Hefezopf – German Plait Bread

  • Author: Sylvie
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1 loaf 1x
  • Category: Bread
  • Cuisine: German

Description

Buttery brioche style Hefezopf is a great breakfast bread best served smeared with butter and jam.


Ingredients

Scale

640 grams/4 cups plain flour
115 grams/1/2 cup superfine/caster sugar
2 tablespoons yeast
Pinch of salt
200 grams/7 ounces butter, melted
250 milliliters/1 cup warm milk
1 egg, lightly beaten


Instructions

  • Place the flour, sugar, yeast and salt into a bowl and stir to combine, creating a well in the center.
  • In a slow and steady stream, add the warmed milk and melted butter and combine to form a dough with an electric mixer.
  • When a dough has formed and there are no dry parts remaining, add in half the egg, setting the remaining half aside.
  • Knead the dough until it is smooth, approximately 4 minutes with a stand mixer, 5 1/2-6 minutes with a hand mixer or 8 minutes kneading by hand.
  • Place into a bowl and set aside somewhere warm for at least an 1 1/2 hours, until doubled in size.
  • Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Place on a scale and weigh so you can divide equally into three portions of dough.
  • Knead into a smooth dough ball and  roll out into long thin strips of equal length, approximately 1 1/2 inches thick.
  • Take the three pieces and push one end together then slowly move each piece of dough into the center…plaiting the bread together.
  • Once you have finished the braid, press the ends firmly together and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/355F.
  • Brush the reseved half an egg over the entire surface of the bread, just prior to baking.
  • Bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Remove and allow to cool.
  • Serve with butter and sweet jam.

Notes

Adapted from Foody Food

 

 

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