Zupfe loaf with Gruyère


Zupfe is a rustic Swiss bread traditionally enjoyed as part of a large Sunday brunch. Its characteristic elements are the inclusion of milk and butter which adds richness as well as flavour.



  1. Warm 150ml/5fl oz of the milk in a small pan to blood temperature then mix in the yeast and set it aside until the mixture becomes frothy.

  2. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture, the butter, Gruyère and the remaining milk and knead the mixture for about 10 minutes, adding a little more flour if needed.

  3. Place the dough in a large, clean bowl, cover with a dry tea towel and set aside in a warm place until it has doubled in size – about one and a half hours.

  4. Remove the dough from the bowl, divide it into six equal portions and roll each into a long strand. Pinch the strands together at the top, plait together loosely and place on a greased baking tray.

  5. Brush the loaf with the beaten egg and place in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 170C/325F/Gas 3 and bake the loaf for 45-50 minutes or until the loaf is golden-brown and the bottom sounds hollow when its tapped.