The Fluffiest Braided Bread

Fluffig weicher Hefezopf oder Osterzopf

This fluffy and soft braided bread is traditionally served for breakfast on Easter in Germany. I made it the first time last year in 2020 when Europe was in heavy lockdown due to COVID19 and it was hard to get flour and yeast. I was grateful I always have active-dry yeast on hand, otherwise I wouldn’t have been able to make this delicious bread. I have tried many different types of this bread, but this one is by far the fluffiest and softest and for that reason I am confident to present it here.

Fluffig weicher Hefezopf oder OsterzopfI am a huge fan of anything that can be done overnight. Since I love breakfast so much, I like the idea of preparing everything in advance and then basically only baking whatever I made in the morning without further waiting periods. That’s why I have overnight croissants, waffles, yeast dumplings andd cinnamon buns from Hambug on my blog. Please be aware that this braided bread is done TWO days in advance, even though I believe you should also be able to make it in two instead of three days if you start in the morning instead of evening.

Fluffig weicher Hefezopf oder Osterzopf

Credit: Das Backstübchen (in German)

Fluffy Braided Bread

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Serves: One braid
Prep Time: 45min Cooking Time: 35min

This fluffy braided bread is prepared two days in advance and gets right in the oven for breakfast in the morning.

Ingredients

  • Pre-Dough 1
  • 100 grams of milk
  • 100 grams of spelt-flour
  • 1 gram of active-dry yeast

  • Pre-Dough 2
  • 25 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 125 grams of milk

  • Main Dough
  • Pre-Dough 1
  • Pre-Dough 2
  • 375 grams of all-purpose flour
  • 65 grams of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 70 grams of milk
  • 8 grams of salt
  • 3 grams of active-dry yeast
  • 90 grams of butter at room temperature

  • Additionally
  • 1 egg for egg wash

Instructions

1

Kindly note that you can either start two days in adance in the evening or you start one day in adance in the morning.

2

For pre-dough 1 heat the milk a little (you still need to be able to stick your finger in it) and mix with the flour and yeast. Keep in a jar or tightly covered bowl at room temperature for two hours, then transfer to the fridge.

3

For pre-dough 2 mix flour and milk in a small pot while stirring on medium and let cook until it becomes denser. Then take off the flame and stir for about two minutes until it becomes a ball and slightly pulls away from the bottom. Spoon onto cling wrap and cover tightly. Transfer to the fridge for at least 6 hours or overnight. Meanwhile leave butter and egg on the counter to come to room temperature.

4

For the main dough place predough 1 and 2 in a large kneading bowl and add all remaining ingredients except for the butter. Knead for ten minutes on low, then add the butter by the spoonful and knead for another five minutes. Cover with a damp towel and let rise until double in volume. For me this usually takes about two hours, but this depends on the environment.

5

Then make 6 equally sized strings out of the dough of approximately 40-50cm. Let them rest for ten minutes, it is going to be easier to handle afterwards. Create a braided bread, either with three strings or six. Transfer to a large cutting board covered with parchment paper and cover tightly. Chill in the fridge for a few hours or overnight.

6

The next morning preheat oven to 190 degrees Celisus. Slip the braided bread with the parchment paper below onto a baking sheet and brush with egg wash. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until golden straight out of the fridge.

Fluffig weicher Hefezopf oder Osterzopf

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Amalie
    Tuesday March 9th, 2021 at 11:27 AM

    Wunderschön!
    Liebe Grüße
    Amalie

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Tuesday March 9th, 2021 at 11:32 AM

      Danke, schmeckt noch besser!

  • Reply
    Charlotte
    Sunday April 4th, 2021 at 06:22 PM

    Das Ergebnis war großartig, auch wenn der Aufwand sein bisschen größer ist.
    Sehr lecker 😋

    • Reply
      Jenny
      Sunday April 4th, 2021 at 08:14 PM

      Das freut mich! Ja, der Aufwand ist größer, aber ich find ihn super.

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