Spoonfuls of Germany


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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

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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


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It’s the flour: the challenges of baking German bread abroad

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This Pumpkin Seed Bread put my patience and persistence to the test. It took me at least three times before I was satisfied with it. The result is an adaptation from a recipe by Lutz Geißler, popular German bread blogger and book author whom I interviewed for a recent blog post.

What makes baking German breads in the United States America so tricky is that you don’t have the same huge variety of flours and grains as in Germany. Continue reading