Z is for Zopf

One of the things Switzerland has in abundance is bread, in addition to, you know, mountains, cheese, chocolate, and banks…. As in most of Europe, bread is a staple part of the diet and while you can find cello-wrapped “toast” bread, the vast majority of the bread is made fresh daily and slipped into paper wrappers. You can pop into a corner bakery or any grocery store to pick some up. The huge variety means not every type of bread is made everywhere, every day. Each region of Switzerland has its own bread specialties.

Zopf ready for French toastZopf, for example, is traditionally a Sunday bread, and it’s one of my favorites. It’s a bread made with flour, milk and butter and formed in a braid. (Zopf mean “braid”.) It has a deliciously dense texture and a slightly sweet taste.

The recipes I’ve seen for it call for white flour but the stores sell a Zopfmehl, which I take to be very refined, very white and undoubtedly devoid of nutirtional value. At our local Coop, freshly made zopf is available Thursdays and Saturdays. Which makes for fabulous French toast come Sunday morning.

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