One morning, I sat in on baking classes at the prestigious technical school Berufsschule für den Lebensmittel-Textilbereich, Technische Zeichner und Zahntechniker (BS LTZ), where they include textile design and dental technology along with culinary studies. I had already met some of the students because they were the apprentices at some of the best bakeries in Vienna. I recognized a young woman whom I had seen stretching strudel dough at Demel just the day before, and I was able to compliment her professionalism in front of her professor/chef. This put me in very good stead with the teachers, who responded by sharing some of their favorite recipes with me.
Here’s a recipe for an outstanding sweet bread from Paul Skop, director of the BS LTZ. It is an old family favorite; the recipe he wrote down for me is entitled Briochestriezel von Opa, or “Grandpa’s Brioche Braid.” It makes a very large braid, one that just might last an entire weekend with lots of guests. Under normal circumstances, cut the loaf in half and freeze one piece for another time. Even stale, this bread can be revived in the toaster, and it also makes incredible French toast.
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