Homemade German Nut Braid with Marzipan (Nusszopf)

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This is the best nut braid ever! It’s fluffy, moist and gloriously delicious! Made with homemade sweet yeasted dough and hazelnut – Marzipan filling.

Each and every year shortly before Easter my mum in law, Beate makes baked goodies from Geschnittene Hasen (Twisted fried pastries), Easter bread to nut braid. This sweet braided nut bread is made with a yeast dough that rises twice and hazelnut marzipan filling.

It’s very easy to make, forgiving, it can be on your table in less than 3 hours and makes the house smell amazing. If you don’t have hazelnuts, you can also use almond nuts, flavor your nut filling with rum or add raisins. And if you’re not a fan of marzipan, just cut the amount in half or omit it.

The first time I made it a few years ago Beate was very proud of the results. She was like: Oh Ester, this looks so professional. What can I say mum in law, I have a great teacher!!

How to make German nut braid

Making nut braid is very easy. All you have to do is roll out the dough after the first rise, brush it with jam, spread with hazelnut filling, then roll it up, cut and twist, before the second rise.

What you’ll need to make homemade braided nut bread from scratch

For the yeast dough:

  • 500 g (17.6 oz/ 4 cups) plain flour (all purpose flour), plus extra for dusting
  • 2 ½ teaspoons dry yeast (1 package of dry yeast (7 g/ ¼ oz))
  • 1 medium egg
  • 50 g (1.8 oz/ ¼ cup) sugar
  • 75 g (2.6 oz/ about 1/3 cup) butter
  • 250 ml (8.5 fl oz/ 1 cup) whole milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the nut filling:

  • 200 g (7.1 oz/1 ⅔ cups ) hazelnuts
  • 80 g (2.8 oz/ ¼ cup + 2 tbs) sugar
  • 200 ml (6.8 fl oz/1 cup – 2 tbs) milk
  • a pinch of cinnamon
  • 1 medium egg
  • 3 tablespoons homemade breadcrumbs
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) marzipan

You’ll also need:

  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 1 egg
  • 55 g (2 oz/ about ½ cup icing (powdered) sugar
  • about 2 ½ teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or rum

How to make German nut braid

Make the yeast dough

Warm milk in the microwave. Pour half of the milk in a jar. Put the butter in the remaining milk in the jar and melt in the microwave. Stir occasionally until butter has melted. You could also use a pot and warm the milk on the stove.

In the meantime add 2 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast to the jar with lukewarm milk. Stir well and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes.


Remove the jar with milk – butter mixture from the microwave and let cool.


Put the flour, the remaining sugar, egg and salt in a bowl. Then pour in the yeast – sugar mixture. Start mixing, while adding the lukewarm milk – butter mixture slowly. It’s very important that milk and butter mixture is lukewarm and not hot before using it.


Knead the dough very well. I normally knead my dough like this: If I’m kneading it with the hand mixer, I knead the dough for about 8 minutes at low speed and then for 5 minutes at medium high speed. With the kitchen machine, I knead the dough for 7 minutes at low speed and for 3 more minutes at medium high speed. With the hands, I knead the dough for 10 minutes. If you’re using a heavy duty kitchen machine, please knead your dough for maximum 7 minutes.

After kneading the dough it becomes less sticky. Thus why you don’t necessarily have to dust the bowl with flour before letting it rise. Cover the bowl with cling film and then with kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for 1,5 hours in a warm place.

Make the filling:

In the meantime make the nut filling: Roast ground hazelnuts in the pan, without oil.

Using a hand grater, grate the marzipan.

Combine egg, roasted nuts, grated marzipan, milk and sugar in a bowl.

Mix well

and let the filling infuse in the fridge while the dough is rising.

Roll out and twist the yeast dough

Place the dough on a lightly floured silicone pastry mat or cutting board. Slightly flour the dough and roll it with a lightly floured rolling pin into a rectangle about 40 x 50 cm (approximately 15 x 20 inches)). Warm the apricot jam in the microwave or over a hot-water bath. Spread the jam over the rolled out dough and then with nut filling.

Carefully roll up the dough lengthwise so that in the end you have one long roll.

If the roll is too long like mine, just push it gently together lengthwise, so that it will fit on the baking sheet.

Gently lift up the roll and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cut the roll in half lengthwise starting from the middle and twist the two strands together with the cut side up.

Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 15 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180 °C (356 °F), with both top and bottom heat. Then crack the egg in a bowl, mix it well and brush the nut braid with it.

Bake for 35 minutes.

In the meantime combine powdered sugar and lemon in a bowl and mix well. Immediately after baking drizzle the braid with icing.

Let cool and enjoy!!

Happy Easter!

More sweet yeasted dough recipes

Print Recipe
5 from 1 vote

Homemade German Nut Braid with Marzipan (Nusszopf)

This is the best nut braid ever! It's fluffy, moist and gloriously delicious! Made with homemade sweet yeasted dough and hazelnut – Marzipan filling.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Rise Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time3 hrs
Course: afternoon tea, Baking, Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: European, German
Keyword: all seasons, bread and doughs, Christmas, crowd pleaser, Easter, how to, Nusszopf, sweet braided nut bread, yeast dough
Servings: 12 Servings
Author: Ester from esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • 2 bowls
  • 2 jars
  • spoon
  • Baking sheet
  • Parchment paper
  • Hand grater
  • Stand mixer (OPTIONAL)
  • Rolling pin
  • cling film
  • Kitchen towel
  • Pastry brush
  • Pan
  • Wooden spoon

Ingredients

For the yeast dough

  • 500 g (17.6 oz/ 4 cups) plain flour (all purpose flour) plus extra for dusting
  • teaspoons dry yeast (1 package of dry yeast (7 g/ ¼ oz))
  • 1 medium egg
  • 50 g (1.8 oz/ ¼ cup ) sugar
  • 75 g (2.6 oz/ about ⅓ cup) butter
  • 250 ml (8.5 fl oz/ 1 cup) milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the hazelnut - marzipan filling

  • 200 g (7 oz/ 1 ⅔ cups) hazelnuts
  • 80 g (2.8 oz/ ¼ + 2 tbs) sugar
  • 200 ml (6.8 fl oz/ 1 cup - 2 tbs) milk
  • 100 g (3.5 oz) marzipan

You'll also need

  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam
  • 55 g (2 oz/ about ½ cup) icing sugar (powdered sugar)
  • teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice or rum

Instructions

  • Warm milk in the microwave. Pour half of the milk in a jar. Put the butter in the remaining milk in the jar and melt in the microwave. Stir occasionally until butter has melted. You could also use a pot and warm the milk on the stove. In the meantime add 2 tablespoons flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and yeast to the jar with lukewarm milk. Stir well and let the mixture stand for 10 minutes. Remove the jar with milk – butter mixture from the microwave and let cool.
  • Put the flour, the remaining sugar, egg and salt in a bowl. Then pour in the yeast - sugar mixture. Start mixing, while adding the luke warm milk - butter mixture slowly. It's very important that milk and butter mixture is lukewarm and not hot before using it.
  • Knead the dough very well. I normally knead my dough like this: If I’m kneading it with the hand mixer, I knead the dough for about 8 minutes at low speed and then for 5 minutes at medium high speed. With the kitchen (stand) machine, I knead the dough for 7 minutes at low speed and for 3 more minutes at medium high speed. With the hands, I knead the dough for 10 minutes. If you’re using a heavy duty kitchen machine, please knead your dough for maximum 7 minutes.
    After kneading the dough it becomes less sticky. Thus why you don't necessarily have to dust the bowl with flour before letting it rise. Cover the bowl with cling film and then with kitchen towel. Let the dough rise for 1,5 hours in a warm place.
  • In the meantime make the nut filling: Roast ground hazelnuts in the pan, without oil. Using a hand grater, grate the marzipan. Combine egg, roasted nuts, grated marzipan, milk and sugar in a bowl. Mix well and let the filling infuse in the fridge while the dough is rising.
  • Place the dough on a lightly floured silicone pastry mat or cutting board. Slightly flour the dough and roll it with a lightly floured rolling pin into a rectangle about 40x 50 cm (approximately 15 x 20 inches)). Warm the apricot jam in the microwave or over a hot-water bath. Spread the jam over the rolled out dough and then with nut filling. Carefully roll up the dough lengthwise so that in the end you have one long roll. If the roll is too long like mine, just push it gently together lengthwise, so that it will fit on the baking sheet. Gently lift up the roll and put it on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
  • Cut the roll in half lengthwise starting from the middle and twist the two strands together with the cut side up. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for another 15 minutes. Preheatthe oven to 180 °C (356 °F), with both top and bottom heat. Then crack the egg in a bowl, mix it well and brush the nut braid with it. Bake for 35 minutes.
  • In the meantime combine powdered sugar and lemon in a bowl and mix well. Immediately after baking drizzle the braid with icing. Let cool and enjoy!!

Notes

  1. If you don’t have hazelnuts, you can also use almond nuts.
  2. Feel free to flavor your nut filling with rum or add raisins.
  3. And if you’re not a fan of marzipan, just cut the amount in half or omit it.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to see! Snap a pic and share it on Ester kocht Facebook Page or tag @ester.kocht on Instagram. Or simply write a comment.

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4 Comments

  1. Gorgeous! How long do you think it would keep?

  2. Moana Marquez

    5 stars
    Im german and this is exactly how my favorite bakery in Germany makes it. Half of the zopf didn’t even make it to cool down. Love it. Will add this to my favorite recipes

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