Swiss Bread (Zopf)

My name is Miss Roth and I’m from Switzerland. During the last three week, I joined hawk class, as it is part of my studies on the Zurich University of Teacher Education. Along with benefiting a lot for my English and teaching skills, I’ve wanted to teach the children in hawk class something about Switzerland and its culture.

This week hawk class had the pleasure to bake some Swiss Bread, which is called ‘Zopf’ in German. In Switzerland it is often prepared for some special events like mother’s day or birthday brunches, but you can also buy it in any supermarket. The Bread can either be eaten sweet with butter and jam or honey or salty with some salami or ham for example. Without question it tastes just as delicious without some toppings and even better when it is self-made.

After preparing and measuring all the ingredients, the children had fun mixing all together and kneading the dough. Even though their hands got a bit sticky, they’ve put all their force into their dough. Once the dough was ready, we’ve let it expand for one hour.

Double its size, the dough could be formed into the typical knotted form the ‘Zopf’ has. Although it was very complicated kneading the dough, hawk class did their best to obtain wonderful breads. Shortly after the formed breads have been swept with a mixture of egg yolk and milk, they made their way directly into the oven. Soon a mouth-watering smell filled the hallway of the school.

The results were incredibly enchanting, all the breads looked, smelled and tasted delicious. Finally our bakers could try their self-made ‘Zopf’, what they’ve really enjoyed. Yummy!

If you want to make a Swiss ‘Zopf’ by your own at home, you can use the following recipe:


1 kg flour
1.5 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
14g (2x7g sachets) dried yeast
550 ml milk, lukewarm
150 g butter, liquid (cooled down)
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon milk

Good to know: Half the amount will be enough for 1 Family


  1. Mix flour and salt in a bowl, add yeast, sugar, butter and milk, knead to a soft dough. Needs about 10 minutes by hand.
  2. Cover and let grow for about one hour until size has doubled.
  3. Cut dough in two pieces of the same size. Make two long strips. Weave as shown below.
  4. Put bread on a sheet metal, covered with backing paper, sweep with water. Let grow again for about 15-30 minutes.
  5. Before baking, mix egg yolk and milk. Sweep the dough.
  6. Bake for about 45 to 55 minutes in the lower part of the pre-heated oven at about 200 degree Celsius. (smaller breads: 30-40 minutes)

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