This traditional Swiss New Year's bread, or Zuepfe, is a handed-down recipe from a grandma that's beautiful and delicious.
- 3 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
- 3 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C), divided
- 1 pint heavy cream
- 1 cup butter
- 6 eggs
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 8 cups all-purpose flour, or as needed
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 tablespoon water
- Pour yeast into 1 cup water and set aside.
- Heat heavy cream in a saucepan over medium heat until scalding, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in butter to melt; add remaining 2 cups warm water. Add eggs and salt; mix until all butter is melted. Pour in yeast mixture and stir.
- Beat 4 cups flour into the cream mixture with an electric mixer until well combined, adding more flour as needed to make a very stiff dough.
- Turn dough out onto a heavily floured surface. Knead in about 4 more cups of flour until it is smooth, elastic, and no longer sticks. Turn into a large greased bowl and let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
- Knead down and let rise again, about 30 minutes.
- Divide dough into 6 long strands. Overlap 2 strands at a time into an upside-down "U" and braid. Place onto an ungreased baking sheet. Combine beaten egg and 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl; brush loaf with wash. Let rise for about 20 minutes more.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
- Bake in the preheated oven until golden, 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly before eating.