Great recipe and a fantastic bread. My only comment - my stepmother is Swiss and she lets the bread rise for 30 mins before plaiting, and then lets it rise a further 30 mins after plaiting. This doesn't add anything to the taste but it makes it look prettier! I think it does help the texture; however - it's more open and softer. She has had difficulty in the UK and in NZ with finding correct flour (in Switzerland you can buy special zopf flour). She suggests using a strong white flour. One reviewer has suggested brushing with butter rather than the egg yolk and water mix. I personally wouldn't recommend this - the egg yolk mix gives a beautiful golden shine to the bread that is very attractive and butter doesn't have the same effect at all. It definitely DOES need salt, but not sugar!
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Great recipe and a fantastic bread. My only comment - my stepmother is Swiss and she lets the...