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.

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Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
35 mins
additional:
2 hrs 50 mins
total:
3 hrs 45 mins
Servings:
16
Yield:
1 loaf
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Ingredients

16
Original recipe yields 16 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Pour yeast into 1 cup water and set aside.

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  • Heat 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.

  • Beat 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.

  • Turn 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.

  • Knead down and let rise again, about 30 minutes.

  • Divide 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.

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).

  • Bake in the preheated oven until golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating.

Cook's Notes:

Using a large stand mixer saves on stirring. This recipe makes one braid (zuepfe) and four doves or three braids.

My Grandma made four strand braids. Check out YouTube for demonstrations on how to braid four strand challah. If you'd like smaller loaves, make strands into knots to form "doves."

Grandma would use scissors to snip feathers and put in whole cloves for eyes.

Nutrition Facts

467 calories; protein 10.4g; carbohydrates 49.2g; fat 25.3g; cholesterol 151.2mg; sodium 1434.5mg. Full Nutrition
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