Nonna Verena's Butterzopf - Swiss Züpfe - Baked in the Fontana Wood-fired Oven

 

Zoepfe placed in the Fontana wood-fired oven to be baked

Recipe for Nonna Verena's Züpfe:  

Ingredients:

  • 7 3/4 cups (2.2 pounds white bread flour) - 1 kg 
  • 2 1/2 cups milk - 550 ml or 550 grams
  • 4.4 ounces butter or 9 1/2 Tablespoons - 135 grams
  • 1 teaspoon instant dried yeast - 4 grams
  • 1 Tablespoon salt - 20 grams
  • 1 teaspoon sugar - 4 grams
  • 1 egg diluted with a little cream and a sprinkle of salt to brush on the braided dough before baking

Find out why we use METRIC measurements in the majority of our recipes.  You will come to love the consistent results in your baking when using a small digital scale.

Prep work:

Preheat the Fontana Gusto wood-fired oven to 400°- 425°F - (200°-218°C). Make sure to check the temperature of the oven with our infrared thermometer.

Fontana Gusto Italian made oven

Allow the oven to heat up for 45 minutes or until you reach a consistent temperature of 400°- 425°.

Fire for Fontana wood-fired oven

For the dough:

Place a large bowl on the table. This beautiful terra cotta bowl is made in Impruneta.

Terra cotta bowl for mixing dough

Weigh 135 grams of butter (9 1/2 Tablespoons). 

Butter for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Measure and weigh 1 kilogram of flour (7 1/2 cups).

Measuring flour for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

Place the flour into the large capacity bowl.

Measuring flour for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

Add 20 grams of salt (1 Tablespoon) to the flour.

Mix the flour and salt inside the bowl, and make a well with your hand.

Mix the flour and salt inside the bowl, and make a well with your hand.

Measuring flour for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

Place  (1 teaspoon) sugar into a small bowl with 50 grams milk (1/4 cup) taken from the total 550 grams (2 cups).

 Salt for zoepfe baked in the wood-fired oven

Add 4 grams yeast (1 teaspoon) to the sugar and milk.

Yeast for zoepfe baked in the wood-fired oven

Stir well and allow the mixture to rest for a few minutes.

Yeast for zoepfe baked in the wood-fired oven

In the meantime drop the 135 grams butter (9 1/2 Tablespoons) in a sauce pan.

Melting butter for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

Allow the butter to melt.

Melting butter for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

Once the butter is melted, pour 500 ml (500 grams) of the remaining milk into the pan.  This will allow the butter to cool.

Milk in melted butter for zoepfe to be baked in Fontana wood-fired oven

The milk and butter can now be poured inside the flour well.

Butter and milk poured into flour for zoepfe baked in the Fontana brick oven

With a dough hook, or wooden spoon incorporate some of the flour into the milk and butter mixture.

Mixing butter and milk into flour for zoepfe baked in the Fontana brick oven

You can now add the yeast, sugar and milk mixture into the well.

Pour yeast in mixture for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

With the dough hook begin to incorporate the flour and mix all the ingredients.

Mix ingredients together to be mixed in the Fontana wood-burning oven

As soon as the water and flour are incorporated, you can begin to knead the dough with your hands until all ingredients come together. Continue kneading inside the bowl.

Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Once all dry ingredients are mostly incorporated, you can transfer the dough on a floured surface.

Take dough out of the bowl to be baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

Continue kneading the dough with your hands for about 10 minutes.

Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Stretch the dough and bring it back together.

 Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Once the dough is soft and smooth you are ready for the next step.

Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

My Swiss grandmother used to pick up the dough and beat it on a marble table for about 90 times.

 Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Who knows...., it may have been her resourceful way to get rid of some frustration! ;)

Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

She used to tell us that this method allows the dough to stretch and develop the typical elongated crumb of the Butterzopf. So, beat a few times, and when it is elongated roll it back up and start the process again.

Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Try it! It is a lot of fun.

Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Roll the dough back on itself and do this process over again.

Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Finally bring everything together into a round, soft dough ball.

Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Place the dough into a food safe container and cover with a lid or a damp cloth.

Place dough in the container to rise so the bread can bake in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Allow the dough to rise in a draft free place for about 1 to 2 hours, or until doubled in size. You can also place the dough into the refrigerator overnight. In the morning make sure to take it out of the refrigerator for at least one hour before proceeding with the following steps.

Place dough in the container to rise so the bread can bake in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Transfer the dough on a floured table and with the help of a dough scraper divide the dough ball in half.

Take risen dough out of container to be shaped and then to baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

Once again, divide the halves into even fourths.

Cut dough into sections to be shaped and then baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Pick up each piece and elongate it by gently squeezing it from top to bottom. Gravity will be on your side. Set each piece aside and allow it to relax for a few minutes covered with some plastic wrap or a damp cloth.

Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

After doing this stretching process with all four pieces and a resting time, pick up the first piece and begin to roll it from the center out.

Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Continue to do this until you have two equal elongated dough strands.

Begin kneading the dough for zoepfe baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Cross the two long strands at the very center.

Begin braiding the dough for the zoepfe to be baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

Grab both ends of the bottom piece and cross them over the top piece in a horizontal direction.

Begin braiding the dough for the zoepfe to be baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Continue crossing both ends until the left end is on the right side and the right end is on the left side.

Begin braiding the dough for the zoepfe to be baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

Do the same crossing process with the other strand, but this time you must work in a perpendicular direction.

Begin braiding the dough for the zoepfe to be baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

Continue doing the same process alternating and crossing both strands of dough in a horizontal direction and then in a perpendicular direction. 

Begin braiding the dough for the zoepfe to be baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

Make sure to always do the exact same crossing. 

Begin braiding the dough for the zoepfe to be baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

At the very end, tuck the loose pieces under the braided dough.

Begin braiding the dough for the zoepfe to be baked in the Fontana wood-burning oven

With hands cupped, squeeze along the entire braided dough allowing the braid to be nice and tight. 

Rub some butter on the bottom of a baking pan.

Rub some butter on the bottom of a baking pan.

Butter the pan for the zoepfe

Place the braided Butterzopf on the buttered pan making sure to leave enough space for the second loaf. Cover with a damp towel, and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes.

Place zoepfe on buttered pan to be baked in the Fontana brick oven

Crack an egg into a small bowl. This time I have chosen to use only the egg yolk, but you can also use the entire egg.

Egg for egg wash to put on the zoepfe to be baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Put a pinch of salt into the bowl. Often, I also add a Tablespoon of heavy cream to the egg.

Salt for egg wash to put on the zoepfe to be baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Mix thoroughly.

Egg for eggwash to put on the zoepfe to be baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Add cream to egg for bread baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Gently brush the egg over the braided dough making sure to avoid degassing it.

Egg for eggwash to put on the zoepfe to be baked in the Fontana wood-fired oven

Place the pan into the preheated oven. 

Zoepfe placed in the Fontana wood-fired oven to be baked

Quickly close the oven door.

Zoepfe placed in the Fontana wood-fired oven to be baked

Immediately close the door and allow it to bake for 40 minutes or until a deep golden brown color develops on the surface.

Zoepfe placed in the Fontana wood-fired oven to be baked

Almost ready!

Zoepfe placed in the Fontana wood-burning oven to be baked

You know the Butterzopf is ready when you tap the underside of the bread and it sounds hollow.

Zoepfe placed in the Fontana wood-fired oven to be baked

So delicious when served for breakfast, an afternoon snack or just about any time when accompanied with some good butter, honey, and preserves!

What is your favorite bread to serve to family and friends?  

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Mmmmmm bread!
Jimmy posted on .

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