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 for 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.

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

How to Make Braided Yeast Bread

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

More Holiday Breads You’ll Love:

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

Swiss Butter Braid

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

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


  • 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 375º. 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.

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

1 slice

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 226Total Fat: 8gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 115mgCarbohydrates: 33gFiber: 1gSugar: 11gProtein: 5g


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