Zopf – A Swiss Sunday Bread

img_3259

Zopf is a typical Swiss plaited bread that is often eaten for breakfast on Sundays. It is made with a simple dough that contains mostly flour, together with yeast, milk and butter. After rising it is braided and covered with a cracked egg to give it a nice brown crust. There are different ways in which the Zopf can be braided. I use the method in which you make two strings and cross them so you have four ends to braid the dough. It’s is very easy to do and I’ll be explaining it further below, so you’ll be able to make your own Zopf for your Sunday breakfast!

img_3168

Time: About 30min of preparation and about 3h to let the dough rise overall.

Ingredients:

  • 500g of flour (17.64oz)
  • 20g of baker’s yeast (0.71oz)
  • 3dl of milk (10fl.oz)
  • 1 tsp. of sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. of salt
  • 60g of butter (2.12oz)
  • 1 egg

img_3152

Steps:

-Put 500g of flour in a bowl and mix 1 ½ tsp. of salt and 1tsp. of sugar into it.

-Add the 60g of softened butter and incorporate it well.

-Then dissolve the 10g of baker’s yeast in the 3dl of milk.

-Start adding the liquid to the dry ingredients and mix everything together gradually until you get a homogenous mass.

-If you want to get a smoother dough, it helps to knead it for about 5-10 minutes at this point after it has become homogenous. Afterwards form it into a ball and leave it covered for at least an hour somewhere warm to let the dough rise.

-Divide the dough into two and form each half into a long string. It should be too thin so as to not fall apart.

img_3188

-Lay one of them on a clean surface, and then lay the other one in a right angle over it so that they cross in the middle. You can see how to do that and then braid the dough more clearly below in the pictures.

img_3193

-Position yourself in front of the cross so that the horizontal string is the one on top and the vertical one the string underneath that touches the surface where they cross. Start by lifting the end closest to you (it should be from the lower string) and laying it across the middle where both strings cross and a bit on further on the right than then end of the string across from you. Then take the end of that string and also cross it over the middle towards you.

-Afterwards cross the end of string on the right over the middle a bit lower than the end of the string already on that side. Then pick up that end and cross it over the middle to the right side too. At this point, you should have one end of string on each side vertically and horizontally again.

-Repeat crossing the end of the strings in the same order as many times as you can. Then fold the ends over one another as well as you can so they end in a nice shape.

zopf-fertig-flechten

-Pick up the braided dough carefully and put it on a baking tray over a baking sheet.

img_3232

-Let the dough rise for at least another hour now.

-Crack the egg into a cup, then use a brush to spread the egg onto the loaf twice.

img_3239

-Let the dough rise for another hour.

-Preheat the oven to 200° C (392° F).

-Once the oven is at the right temperature, put the baking tray with the loaf into the oven for about 30 minutes. The crust should have gotten a nice brown tone like in the pictures when you get it out of the oven, but the folds should be lighter and a bit yellow.

img_3246

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. And if you use this recipe, be sure to link me to a picture of the result somewhere on social media and tell me how it went! 🙂

img_3258

One Batch of Dough, two Types of Cookies – Christmas Trees and Snowmen

img_3017

As it says in the title, this recipe is for a dough that can be used to make two different kinds of cookies, in this case Christmas-themed ones: snowmen and Christmas trees. After putting in all the main ingredients, the dough is separated in two and then one additional ingredient is added to each half of the dough. Cocoa powdered for the Christmas trees so the trunk is brown and vanilla sugar for the snowmen. Afterwards both are decorated with differently coloured icing and sugar pearls as ornaments for the Christmas trees and little pieces of orange marzipan for the carrot noses of the snowmen. Of course if you prefer to only make one of them you could just use the full mass of dough and add twice of the additional ingredient that would be put into the halves.

 

Time: Half an hour to make the dough, one hour to leave it to rest in the fridge and almost three hours to cut out, bake and decorate the cookies.

Ingredients:

Dough:

  • 250g butter (8.82oz)
  • 150g powdered sugar (5.29oz)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 egg white
  • 350g flour (12.35oz) (and a little bit more to roll out the dough)
  • Additional ingredient for the halves: half a pack of vanilla sugar for the snowmen and one tbsp. of cocoa for the Christmas trees.

Icing:

  • 250g of powdered sugar (8.82oz)
  • green food colouring for the Christmas trees. Depending on the snowmen cookie cutter maybe another colour for the hats (I chose blue) and either black for the eyes and mouths of the snowmen or some melted dark chocolate.
  • some water to make the icing liquid enough
  • orange marzipan for the carrot noses of the snowmen
  • sugar pearls as ornaments for the Christmas trees
  • smaller sugar pearls or glittery liquid sugar paste as garland

Steps:

Dough:

1.) Mix the 250g of butter until it’s soft and smooth. Then add 150g of powdered sugar and one pinch of salt. Continue mixing until you get a homogenous mass.

2.) Then add one egg white followed by 350g of flour and incorporate them into the mass too.

3.) Once you’re done with mixing the dough, separate it into two. Mix the vanilla sugar with one half and the cocoa powder with the other one. Afterwards put them in separate bowls, cover them up with a towel or saran wrap and let them rest in the fridge for one hour.

img_2976

4.) Preheat the oven to 200° C (392° F).

5.) Roll out the doughs with some flour to about one centimetre. To make this easier, lay some saran wrap on the dough to roll it out so it won’t stick to the rolling pin and be teared into pieces.

6.) Then cut out all as many of the corresponding cookies as possible. Leave each baking tray with the cookies someplace cool for 15 minutes.

img_2978

7.) After the 15 minutes, put them in the oven for about seven minutes. Take them out once they start getting brown around the edges.

8.) Leave them to cool down while preparing the decorations.

img_2981

Decoration:

8.) Put 150g of the powdered sugar into a bowl and the other 100g of powdered sugar into another one. The latter is for the bodies of the snowmen first so only add a bit of water until it becomes liquid enough to spread easily. The former bowl will be for the green of the Christmas trees, so add a bit of water too it and as much green food colouring as necessary to get the colour you like.

9.) Before starting to put the white icing on the snowmen cookies, prepare the carrot noses by picking of small parts of the orange marzipan and forming them into the shape of carrots. Once you have enough ready, start spreading the white icing on the snowmen and before it dries out, stick the carrots into it. For the Christmas trees you just need to have the sugar pearls ready to put on before the green icing dries out too (If you are using smaller pearls for the garland put them on at this point as well).

9.) While the white and green icing are drying, add the blue (or different colour of) food colouring into the rest of the white icing until you get the colour you like. Then spread it on the hat part of the cookies, Also, put some darker colour into a bit of the green icing (or melt some dark chocolate for this) and  use a small decorating tool to draw on eyes and a mouth on the faces of the snowmen.

9.) If you haven’t used smaller pearls as a garland on the Christmas trees earlier, but are using some form of liquid sugar for it as well, wait for the green icing to dry, then draw the garlands on and you’re done!

If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. And if you use this recipe, be sure to link me to a picture of the result somewhere on social media and tell me how it went! 🙂

img_3010

 

 

Gilmore Girls Coffee Nails Tutorial

img_2945

If you’re as excited as me for the revival coming out tomorrow, how about showing it with some Gilmore Girls coffee nail art? I did two different coffee cups, so you can choose to just make one of them or both. The one on the left is supposed to be like the coffee cup seen from above in a lot of the promos for the ‘A Year In The Life’. The one on the right is of a white mug again, but from the side. For this one as an added bonus, you can also use a bit of a cotton pad to make it look more like steam coming out of the cup.

 

Continue reading

Gradient Nails Using a Brush

img_1941

Gradient nails are usually done with a make-up sponge, but it’s also possible to make them very easily using a wide nail art brush. This time I made the gradient vertically, but horizontally would work as well. Below you can read how I made them and what material I used. I’d recommend using three colours for the nail polishes as well, but if you can fit more on the brush feel free to do so!

Material:

  • Clear nail polish for the base and top coat: “Catrice’s Quick Dry & High Shine Top Coat”
  • Ideally three nail polishes of your choice. I made the gradient from a dark green to a lighter green and to a similar blue. These are the specific polishes I used:
    • Catrice’s Hugo Moss”
    • Catrice’s Emerald Bay”
    • Essie’s Parka Perfect”
  • A wide nail art brush to apply the different colours in a gradient: “Essence’s Nail Art Multi Effect Brush”

img_1958

Continue reading

Glow In The Dark Ghost Nails

img_20161027_220239

Here’s a short description of how I made these glow in the dark ghost nails. Just the little ghost looks great on a dark base colour and would work well for Halloween. Giving them this glow-in-the-dark effect using a special glow-in-the-dark top coat is just an added bonus! I had this idea for Halloween because I had two types of special nail polish that I hadn’t used much before, but would be perfect to do this. The following nail polishes are all those I used and the latter two are the ones that were helpful to draw the ghost and give it its glow-in-the-dark effect.

Continue reading

Jack O’Lantern Sugar Cookies (Miroirs/Spitzbuben)

Still looking for a treat to make for Halloween? Well, look no further! img_2530

These sugar cookies are based on the typical cookies called miroirs in French and Spitzbuben in German for which I already posted the recipe here. I still used the same recipe for the dough, but adapted the part for the icing and filling to make these Jack O’Lantern Halloween cookies. I haven’t been able to find a cookie cutter with the shape of a pumpkin, which is why I drew my own template. In case you need one as well, here’s a PDF of it that you can print, cut out and use to make your own Jack O’Lantern cookies as well:

jack_olantern_template_pdf

img_2601

Continue reading

The Cuchaule Bread- A Swiss Specialty

img_2055

The Cuchaule is a specialty from the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland, which is where my family is from. It is a type of brioche bread, which gets its wonderful yellow colour from the pinch of saffron put into the dough. It is usually made in the autumn for the Fête de Bénichon, originally a sort of celebration of harvest among other things. One typically spreads the moutarde de Bénichon on it (you can see it in the picture below), which is a special type of mustard that also contains sugar and sweet spices like cinnamon, with or without a layer of butter underneath it. But I think it tastes great with any spread, whether it’s jelly, honey or Nutella on top of butter or just with butter, and thus makes for a delicious Sunday bread if you’re looking for something new to try! You have to let the dough rise several times in between steps, which is why it takes several hours for the bread to be done. For this reason I usually make it on Saturday afternoon so that I’ll be done by the evening and even ready for an early breakfast on Sunday morning. Yet in comparison to the amount of time it takes, the list of ingredients is pretty short and mixing the dough does not take much time, so that it still makes for a simple bread recipe with delicious results!

Continue reading