This is Swiss-German dialect. In German it is called "Bauernzopf". It literally means "Farmer's Plait" or "Farmer's Braid" depending on which side of the Atlantic you are from. It is a typical breakfast bread, which the Swiss eat with jams, honey, or some of their delightful cheeses such as Gruyère, Emmentaler, or my favourite with this bread, Tête de Moine. Look for the Girolle required to shave the cheese the way you want to, into little carnation-type curls. Or look for Chällerhocker, an excellent cheese to eat with it. If you're in GR, check The Cheese Lady on Fuller Ave NE for a great selection of cheeses!

I have made this in the bread machine (dough only) and it turned out ok, although if you are a more proficient bread maker you may want to do it the long way (see below).

4 ½ Tbsp Butter
7/8 cup Milk
½ Egg (lightly beat and then divide in two - this is so good you'll want to make another one anyway)
3 cups White Flour (substitute about ½ cup spelt flour for a more traditional bread)
½ tsp Sugar
½ tsp Salt
1 pkt Dry Yeast
1 Egg Yolk, mixed with:
½ Tbsp Oil (for brushing on the loaf)

Make the dough according to your bread machine's usual procedures (mine says always liquid first then dry ontop, then add the yeast in a well in the middle of the flour). Set it to make just the dough.

Divide the dough into three pieces and roll each one out to equal lengths, thinner at the ends than in the middle. Join one end of each piece together and make the plait/braid. Set on the baking sheet (dusting with butter and flour is not always necessary as the dough is very buttery) and cover with a damp cloth, allow to rise for another quarter of an hour.

Brush with the egg mixture and bake in the oven at 400°F for 40-50 minutes.

Original Recipe

If you're good with working with fresh yeast and working dough from scratch rather than using a machine, here's the dough part of the original recipe (yields double the above recipe), translated out of German for your convenience.

30g (1 oz) Fresh Yeast
1 tsp Sugar
125g (1 stick / ¼ lb) Butter
375ml (1 ½ cups) Milk
1 level tsp Salt
1 Egg
750g (6 cups) White Flour (use 10% spelt for a more traditional loaf)
2 Egg Yolks mixed with:
1 Tbsp Oil (for brushing)

Mix the yeast with the sugar and allow to become liquid. Melt the butter. Dissolve the salt in the lukewarm milk and add it to the butter. Mix in the eggs.

Sift the flour into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture into the centre and blend into the flour. Then add the liquid little by little. Knead the mixture for about ten minutes, until the dough comes away clean from the bowl.

Cover the dough with a damp cloth and leave to rise in a warm and draught-free place, until its volume has doubled. Knead for a further ten minutes. Then, follow the instructions above at the point of taking the dough out of the machine. Depending on the desired size of your loaf/loaves, you may want to divide the dough into two sets of three.

Recipe Index