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beautiful loaf of Swiss Butter Braid (Butterzopf) on a white platter

Swiss Butter Braided Bread (Butterzopf)

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Swiss butter Braid AKA Butterzopf is a slightly sweet, plaited, special occasion bread, perfect for the holidays, entertaining or when you want to treat yourself to some yeasty deliciousness. Crank up your oven and bake a loaf of this magnificent braided bread.

beautiful loaf of Swiss Butter Braid (Butterzopf) on a white platter

A Swiss Butter Braid for the Holidays

I have a “thing” for braided bread recipes. They just seem festive. My mom would braid dyed hard-boiled eggs into our Easter bread and drizzle it with icing, and I contemplated forming this loaf into a wreath as she did till it came up short in length. This butter braid or butterzopf is more of an everyday bread to the Swiss, but I think it looks pretty fancy. A good dose of sugar provides a lovely sweetness, and two eggs plus one yolk adds richness along with a lovely golden color. I think it would be perfect with any holiday meal this month. And imagine leftovers (IF there are any) as French toast. Swooning at the thought  This butter braid was a huge hit with my crew.

beautiful loaf of Swiss Butter Braid (Butterzopf) sitting on a white platter

More Holiday Breads:

slices of tender Swiss Butter Braid (Butterzopf) on a white platter

How to Make a Swiss Butter Braid

  • If you own a heavy-duty KitchenAid or another mixer, use the dough hook to knead the dough. It will save time and energy.
  • Do not force the proofing by putting the dough in an overheated area. 80-90 degrees is just fine. Any warmer and the result yeast efficiency will not be optimal. Plus, a slower rise develops better flavor.
  • Braiding bread is much like braiding hair. Once you get the rhythm, it becomes easy.  Pinch the 3 strands together at one end, then cross the left strand over the middle strand, then the right strand over the middle strand and continue. Pinch the strands together when there is not enough to braid anymore. Tuck the ends under and you’re set!
  • Let proof (rise) again, glaze and bake!

Kitchen tools used to make this braided bread recipe:


Swiss Butter Braid

Swiss Butter Braid

A sweet, buttery loaf braided for the holidays. Adapted from Nick Malgieri.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Yield 1 loaf


  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons or one envelope instant yeast (Red Star Platinum yeast preferred)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, for glaze


  1. In stand mixer bowl with paddle attachment, combine milk, sugar and melted butter. Mix in eggs, then yeast. Slowly add in salt, then flour with mixer on low. Let continue to mix for 2 more minutes to knead (unless your mixer starts to overheat). Alternatively, knead by hand on lightly floured surface. Dough will be soft.
  2. Let rise in a greased bowl covered with greased plastic wrap at a warm room temperature for 1-1 1/2 hours or till doubled in bulk.
  3. Deflate dough and divide into 3 equal pieces. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a 15-inch rope. Braid starting at the middle and working to one end, then repeating on the other side. Carefully transfer to parchment lined baking sheet.
  4. Cover with greased plastic wrap and let rise till doubled, about 1-11/2 hours.
  5. Preheat oven to 375ΒΊ. Whisk remaining egg and brush over the surface of the braid. Bake for 30 minutes, covering with foil for last 5-10 minutes if loaf is browning too fast.
  6. Cool on wire rack.


Total time does not include proofing time.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226 Total Fat: 8g Saturated Fat: 4g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 3g Cholesterol: 78mg Sodium: 115mg Carbohydrates: 33g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar: 11g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 5g

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45 comments on “Swiss Butter Braided Bread (Butterzopf)”

  1. You made one perfect bread Liz! Looks delicious! If you like this type of bread, check my site for tsoureki! It is very similar only more aromatic!

  2. Gorgeous! I can almost smell it now:@)

  3. OMG! That bread looks softer than my pillow! I absolutely love it!

  4. I agree, there’s just something about braided bread that screams festive and holidays! This buttery loaf is absolutely making my mouth water (and now I’m craving french toast). Thanks so much for being our hostess this month, Liz!

  5. I can never resist a braided loaf of bread! It’s so pretty, and it would make fantastic French toast.

  6. Oh this is a beauty! I love the color and can just imagine the flavor. Thank you for hosting Twelve Loaves this month. I appreciate all the time you spent on organizing us.

  7. OMG! What a beautifully braided bread…would be beautiful on any meal or holiday table!!

  8. Liz, I made one of these for Easter. . your swiss butter braid is gorgeous. . just like everything else you bake. . seriously. . this braided bread needs to be on every holiday table this year. . love!!

  9. Braided bread always looks more fancy! Beautiful bread!

  10. I would have a thing for them too if mine turned out this gorgeous!!

  11. Just adore all your braided breads, they do give a special look. And more butter is always a good thing!

  12. It is such a gorgeous loaf for the holidays, I would make an extra loaf just for the french toast!

  13. Swooning in plain or French toast form. Thank you for the motivation once again to make braided bread…I carefully read your instructions about starting in the middle…Wondering, too, how well your recipe could be worked in a bread maker…Well, we’ll see what 2015 brings =)

  14. Liz, these swiss butter braid look soooo good. I wish we were neighbors so I can grab a freshly baked bread. πŸ™‚

  15. Delicious looking loaf and you are right there is something so festive about a braid of bread.

  16. Braid breads used to scare me something fierce, but now that you’ve posted this they scare me….less. πŸ™‚ Well, I guess that’s a step in the right direction at least, right? Gorgeous, Liz!

  17. What a gorgeous braid, Liz! Beautiful texture and such a beautiful shine! Though I imagine this just perfect, out of the oven, warm with a slathering of butter… mind went straight to french toast as well! I’ve got to try a braid, soon! Thanks for hosting a wonderful theme this month! : )

  18. Beautiful bread! I love the braiding too- it looks so elegant! I wish one of these would magically appear in my oven. πŸ™‚

  19. So beautiful, your braided breads are always perfect!

  20. About the most perfect braid I have ever seen! How do you do that? =) Simply stunning.

  21. It does look special! Love that braid, looks like you’ve perfected it!!

    Julie & Alesah
    Gourmet Getaways xx

  22. I love braided bread too… but this one sounds so festive with its 1/2 c of sugar I bet it is very delicious. Thanks for the recipe.. this baking club is very interesting I like baking A LOT :).

  23. Buttery golden brown and soft! I would love a couple of slices with some homemade nut butter for a satisfying breakfast!

  24. An amazing bread. It does look great.

  25. Gorgeous braided bread and look at that color. Beautiful post.

  26. I agree braided bread looks so festive! Almost a shame to cut into the loaf. Although of course I always do! This is terrific — thanks.

  27. Can I just say that I totally look forward to your baked goodies even if I only live vicariously through them {baking + me + disaster}

  28. Damn you make a fine looking braid and bread!

  29. A perfect golden brown! Looks fabulous.

  30. That’s a gorgeous looking bread and I agree that braided breads look very festive. It would be lovely to enjoy this warm from the oven and then turning it into French toast would be fabulous. But like you, I just can’t imagine there would be enough left over – best to make a double quantity! xx

  31. Many years ago I attempted to braid a loaf. It was such a disaster I think my garbage disposal was angry with me!

  32. I love making bread braids! Your loaf looks so gorgeous it’s glowing :). Great photos as well. Thanks for stopping by my blog. Now I’m going to take a look at more of your yummy dishes!

  33. I know you “can bake” but I love it when you prove it so. GREG

  34. Wow Liz, these loaf of bread is sure beautiful and I am loving all the ingredients in it…great job!
    Hope you are having a great week πŸ™‚

  35. Thank you for hosting this month’s event, Lizzy! I have a thing for braided breads too! I think they are fancy and elegant and I was going to make another one for this month, but thought I make too many of them as it is! Gorgeous, as always. xx

  36. Nothing like a good brioche with a tea or a hot chocolate ! Yours is gorgeous Liz !

  37. What a beautiful braid, Liz! Thanks for sharing with #TwelveLoaves.

  38. Lizzy,
    What a lovely bread. I hope I have time to write a post for this party this month.

  39. Hi Liz, oh your bread looks so wonderful, my grandmother used to braid bread around the holidays, such a great memory.

  40. Liz, this is just STUNNING. My braided breads invariably look lopsided πŸ™‚ I haven’t baked a sweet yeasted bread in a few years – I need to correct that oversight this holiday season!!

  41. this bread is GORGEEEEEOUS-I love the braid and the bread in general!

  42. What a beautiful braid. There’s nothing better than toasted egg bread.

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