Zopf is a kind of fluffy sweet braided bread that the Swiss eat on weekends.
My friend Walburga makes a vegan Zopf that is too good not to share.
- Tools: bread machine and oven
- Working time: 15min tops (if you have a bread machine)
- Total time: a day (overnight soaking, 2h in bread machine, 10min braiding if you’re anything like me, 40min baking)
- Difficulty: minimal
- Nutritional value: this is for Saturday mornings. The question does not apply.
- 500g flour (Zopf flour if possible: it’s a blend of 80% white and 20% wholemeal flour, to the best of my German)
- a bunch of [chia and/or flax] seeds
- [3 dL + a bit for soaking] [soy/oat/rice/whatever] milk
- 1 table spoon sugar
- 1.5 tea spoons salt
- 20g yeast (in emergencies I’ve mixed yeast and baking soda and it was fine)
- 60g margarine
- optional: a bit of maple syrup
- Let the seeds soak in the bit of milk overnight in the fridge (experience shows that it’s ok to forget them there for a week). If it gets gooey, that’s a good thing.
- Warm up the soaked seeds + all the milk.
- Throw all ingredients in the bread machine and select setting “dough” (meaning it kneads and lets it rest and grow, but does not bake; typically this takes a couple of hours). If you are doing this by hand, knead it and leave it like you would do with bread (and good luck).
- Optional: let it rest another 30min (haven’t properly tested the effect of this).
- Turn on the oven: 200 C. Put some vegetable paper over an oven tray (you can reuse it forever).
- Braiding: Split the dough in two, call them A and B. Roll each part to a long cylinder of some 4cm diameter. Place A horizontally and B on top, vertically, in a cross. Bring the left side of A (A1) over the lower side of B (B1). From now on, there are different conventions (meaning I never get it quite right), and I think I do something as follows. Bring the right side of A (A2) over A1. Bring B1 over A2. Bring B2 over B1. Continue as it looks the least wrong until you run out of rolls.
- Optional: brush the top with maple syrup (this is just to make it shiny).
- Bake for 20-40min, depending on your oven (I normally go for 40min).
- Marvel! Let it cool a bit before eating with sweet or salty spreads.