Sweet Braided Yeast Bread (Rosinenzopf)

April 8, 2015
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Braided yeast bread

This braided sweet yeast bread with raisins is by far on of my favorite breakfasts (except for this super-easy sunflower bread). It’s super moist, it’s fluffy and it has a subtle sweet taste (note that it only contains 3 ½ tablespoons sugar). Told you: The perfect breakfast! I also love it as a snack in the afternoon, together with a cup of coffee.

 

I usually eat it plain when it is freshly baked – and after a couple of days, when every baked good tends to get dry, it tastes still great, spread with butter and good fruit jam.

Braided sweet yeast bread

In Austria, you can get this kind of sweet bread or Challah in every supermarket and my family is kind of obsessed with it. There is not a single day, I would say, that this Rosinenzopf (Rosinen = raisins, Zopf = braid) can’t be found in my parents pantry, ready to be served for last minute guests or serving as accompaniment for the next afternoon coffee.

 

This braided sweet bread is also a traditional treat, people would eat during the Easter holidays – no Easter Sunday breakfast without Rosinenzopf.

 
The dough is easy to make and below you’ll find a video tuturial showing how to braid with 4 strands. But if you prefer, you can simply braid with 3 strands.


I made the video for the Easter crescent recipe, to show how to braid with 4 strnads. So simple omit the crescent shaping part at the end.

Fluffy Mini Brioche Braids - Austrian Style

Mini-Brioche-Striezel. Recipe here.

Update 03/24/2016 – Brioche-Striezel: I’ve made a similar sweet yeasted bread (pic above), using a loaf pan. The recipe makes either three small loafs or 1 big (9×5-inch). You can find the recipe for this Brioche-Striezel here.


 

Sweet Braided Yeast Bread (Rosinenzopf)

Yield: 1 braided bread

Sweet Braided Yeast Bread (Rosinenzopf)

Easy to make traditional Austrian braided raisin bread (Rosinenzopf). It’s super moist, it’s fluffy and it has a subtle sweet taste (note that it only contains 3 ½ tablespoons sugar).

Recipe: Ursula | lilvienna.com

Ingredients

  • 450 g/16 oz (or about 3 ½ cups) white bread flour
  • 7 tablespoons (105 ml) water
  • ½ cup (120 ml) milk
  • 2 ¼ teaspoons (7 g) active dry yeast
  • 5 ½ tablespoons (75 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 ½ tablespoons (50 g) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg + 1 egg yolk, at room temperature
  • 2 ¾ tablespoons (40 g) plain yogurt or greek yogurt
  • 1 ¼ teaspoons fine salt
  • 1 cup (150 g) raisins, soaked in water for 10 minutes, if on the dry side

    For brushing:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons milk

Instructions

  1. First, make the tangzhong. In a small saucepan, whisk together 4 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of the bread flour until no lumps remain. Gradually add the remaining 3 tablespoons of water while whisking.
  2. Heat the mixture over low heat, whisking constantly. The mixture should be hot, but not boiling. After just a few minutes, it should thicken to a gel-like consistency. As soon as it comes to a pudding-like consistency, remove it from the heat and cover it. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  3. Sprinkle the yeast over the milk and set it aside for 10 minutes for the yeast to activate and dissolve.
  4. Cream butter and sugar together with a mixer, until light in color, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add vanilla extract, egg and egg yolk, mix until combined.
  6. Add yeast-milk, yogurt, salt and cooled tangzhong and mix until combined. Add a good cup of flour, mix until well combined.
  7. Drain the soaked raisins and squeeze out excess water with your hands. Add them to the mixing bowl and mix until they are spread evenly. Time to change your tools: Get rid of the mixer an use a sturdy (wooden) cooking spoon to gradually stir in the rest of the flour (or use a dough hook instead of beaters).
  8. When all ingredients come together knead the dough by hand, for about 5 minutes. Keep your dough in the mixing bowl for this step. The dough will be sticky, but refrain from adding more flour. It helps, if you oil your clean hands before you knead a sticky dough. If the dough is still too tacky to knead, cover the bowl and set it aside for 5-10 minutes. After resting, the dough is way better to knead by hand.
  9. Let the dough rise, covered at warm room temperature until doubled in volume (about 1-1.5 hours) or put it in the fridge to rise overnight (see note).
  10. Transfer the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide it into 3 or 4 equal parts – depending on how you want your braided bread to look like (I did 4 strands).
  11. Form the dough into 4 balls. With your hands, roll each ball into a strand about 13 inches long. Place the 4 in a row, parallel to one another. Pinch the tops of the strands together and braid them (see video tutorial).
  12. Tuck the ends of the loaf underneath and place the loaf on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  13. Let the braided loaf rise another hour at room temperature until puffy.
  14. Mix the egg yolk with 2 teaspoons milk. Brush the loaf with eggwash, if possible two times.
  15. Bake in the center rack of the 350 °F preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden-brown. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Notes

Tangzhong is an Asian technique in which a portion of the flour in the recipe is heated with water to make a roux (gel-like paste), before being cooled and added to the rest of the ingredients. Through the heating process, the flour absorbs the water in a better way, resulting in a softer, moister and fluffier dough.

Long, cold rise: Instead of letting the dough rise at warm room temperature for about an hour, you can put it in the fridge overnight (tightly covered). Before you braid the dough, let it get back to room temperature (about ¾-1 hour).

https://www.lilvienna.com/sweet-braided-yeast-bread/

Did you follow this recipe? You could share your result here. All you need to do is take a picture with your smartphone and send it to enjoy@lilvienna.com

A fluffy homemade brioche zopf made by user christina using a lilvienna recipeconaing1: 

"Thank you very much! very light and very Good :)" 





A fluffy homemade brioche zopf using a lilvienna recipeJudy tried the recipe: "I'm too uncoordinated to do four braids, so just went with three. I did the overnight rise in the refrigerator. I also put a bit of cardamom in the dough, as it's a favorite. 
Since everyone's ovens are different, I'd recommend that you provide a temperature to bake it to.  I baked it to 190 on an instant read thermometer. 
I've made this twice and it's lovely."

homemade brioche raisin bread from ayesha, using a lilvienna recipeAyesha made the raisin bread: 

"Hello Ursula,

First time I’ve made a plaited loaf and your recipe was perfect so many thanks."

Sweet Braided Yeast Bread (Rosinenzopf) was last modified: May 19th, 2020 by Ursula

12 thoughts on “Sweet Braided Yeast Bread (Rosinenzopf)

  1. Katja

    Salut Ursula, I am a Viennese working in Manila and Boston, and a friend pointed me to your website as I was constantly complaining about the missing Kaffeehauskultur in Boston (I set up my office in Media Lab in the spirit of the Jelinek :-). Contact me, if you feel like it and we’ll cook some mean Kaiserschmarren or muerbe Apfeltorte.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Anne,
      Thanks so much for pointing this out! I’ve actually noticed this mistake when I updated this recipe for my cooking class and changed it on the handout for my students, but totally forgot to change it here too. It’s 150g (=1 cup). I’ll update the recipe. Thank you so much for letting me know, I really appreciate it.

      Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Bonnie,
      Hm, good question. Honestly, I don’t know. I don’t owe a bread machine, so I really don’t have a clue… Sorry that I can’t help you with your question.

      Reply
  2. Lara Stuart Müller

    Yum. We eat this every Saturday in Switzerland. But we don’t get raisins or almonds. We call that Christmas Zopf (Zopf means “braid” literally; you know but I guess some of your readers don’t.)
    This recipe is very good thanks. Most Zopf recipes are confusing so I’ve never made it because the bakery makes it so well. I’ll try it!
    Tip: Zopf is very good toasted in the Toaster if you know how to slice it thin enough.

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Lara,

      Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I love this kind of bread. This recipe is my go-to because it always works out really, really well. I’ve never heard of calling it Christmas Zopf though. In Austria, people usually buy it in bakeries too, around All-Saint day (November 1) and Easter, people make it themselves around here too. Hope you’ll try the recipe some time, Ursula

      Reply
  3. Sara Williams

    Hello My Mother who was German made a similar loaf that had a lemon icing on top. Sadly mum is no longer with us and I’m searching for a recipe for it German yeast bread with icing on top….any pointers greatly received. Regards Sara West Sussex

    Reply
    1. Ursula Post author

      Hi Sara,

      Hmmm. Maybe it was something like a “Nussstrudel mit Zuckerglasur” which is similar to a Babka filled with walnuts and lemon icing? https://www.google.com/search?q=nussstrudel+mit+zuckerglasur&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiGx-yU09TsAhX5DWMBHSHmANwQ_AUoAXoECAsQAw&biw=1800&bih=946 Other than this, I can’t think of a yeast dough topped with lemon icing. They are also sometimes filled with ground poppy seeds (“Mohnstrudel mit Zuckerglasur”). Or was it not filled but rather plain or with raisins? I hope that you’ll find the recipe you are looking for. Ursula

      Reply

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