The Hefezopf Recipe is a traditional German bread is similar to brioche. Like all yeasted sweet breads, it is at its best the day of baking.
Rising and proofing time:
4–4 1⁄2 hrs
1 1⁄2 tsp dried yeast
1 1⁄4 cup warm milk
1 large egg
2 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour,
plus extra for dusting
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 tsp fine salt
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
vegetable oil, for greasing
1 egg, beaten, for glazing
1 Dissolve the yeast in the warm milk. Let it cool, then add the egg and beat well.
2 Put the flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Make a well and pour in the milk mixture.
3 Add the melted butter and gradually draw in the flour, stirring to form a soft dough.
4 Knead for 10 minutes on a floured surface, until smooth, soft, and pliable.
5 Put in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Leave for 2–2 1⁄2 hours until doubled.
6 Put the dough on a floured work surface and gently knock it back. Divide into 3 equal pieces.
7 Take each piece of dough and roll it under your palm to make a fat log shape.
8 Using your palms, continue to roll it toward each end, until it is about 12in (30cm) long.
9 Pinch the tops of the 3 pieces together and tuck the ends underneath to start the braid.
10 Loosely braid the dough, leaving room for it to rise. Pinch and tuck the ends underneath.
11 Put on a baking sheet lined with parchment. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and a towel.
12 Leave in a warm place for 2 hours; it will not double now, but will rise on baking.
13 Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Brush liberally with beaten egg.
14 Bake for 25–30 minutes, until golden. Check if undercooked where the braids meet.
15 If undercooked, cover with foil and bake for 5 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Wrap in plastic wrap for 2 days. ALSO TRY... For variety, add 3oz (75g) golden raisins at step 2 and scatter 2 tablespoons sliced almonds after brushing with egg at step 13.