Spoonfuls of Germany


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German bread, always a hot topic

The quality of German bread, or the lack thereof, made headlines again in Germany this year, and the bread baking trade was not amused. In early November the weekly Der Spiegel ran an article about the growing number of passionate home bread bakers, a type of counter culture to the rapid disappearance of small family-owned bakeries, the growing number of bakery chains, and supermarkets offering bread at dumping prices (I wrote about this in a previous blog post). Continue reading

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Sealing the year with a pretzel

New Year's PretzelThis morning I made a sweet yeasted pretzel, a German Neujahrsbrezel. While waiting for the dough to rise, I checked my e-mails. Every single one from friends or family in Germany wished me “Guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr”, literally a good slide into the New Year. It occurred to me that I have said that all my life myself yet I have no idea where the expression originates. Continue reading


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Stollen meets bread

sourdough-stollen-1

It was butter that made the city of Dresden the home of Germany’s most famous edible Christmas tradition. In 1491 Pope Innocent VIII gave in to the request of the Saxonian rulers to lift the ban on dairy products during the days of fasting. After he sent the legendary Butterbrief (“Butter Letter”) the bakers in Dresden started to use butter in their Stollen, and the sweet bread that we know today was born.

I love a good Stollen and frankly, in the time leading up to Christmas, I could eat it every day – if only it was a little less rich. Continue reading