HEFEZOPF - GOLDEN BROWN EASTER BREAD
For many families, it is tradition to have brunch together during the Easter holiday.
In Germany, a Hefezopf is part of every Easter buffet. The pastry consists of several strands of dough that are braided into beautiful, weaved pastry. The golden-brown bread is best served fresh from the oven with butter and jam.
The pastry can be decorated and refined according to personal preferences and a skilled baker will be able to create some wonderfully intricate patterns. A popular shape for Easter is the bird’s nest, celebrating Spring and the coming of new life.
(One large bread approx. 1000 g.)
500 g wheat flour
200 g milk (lukewarm)
100 g eggs (2 eggs size M)
60 g sugar
7 g salt
10 g yeast
Optional: vanilla pulp or grated lemon peel for extra flavour
125 g butter
1 egg yolk
1 pinch of salt
1 tablespoon of water
Optional: Sliced almonds and hail sugar for sprinkling
Knead: Without butter, mix all ingredients for 4 min and knead for approx. 4-6 min on speed 2, add cold butter in pieces and knead in.
Raising: 1 hour covered at room temperature, then in a buttered bowl for 12 -16 hours in the refrigerator.
Working up: Degas dough on very lightly floured work surface, divide into 3 equal pieces, form them into 3 strands, let relax briefly, then roll to desired length. Braid the strands into a weaved bread.
Proofing: 1,5 - 2 hours, let rise while covered, then brush with egg mixture, sprinkle with sugar and sliced almonds if desired.
Baking: Preheat oven to 180°C, bake for about 30-35 minutes with top/bottom heat.