After a few weeks sampling the delights of lots of continental bakeries – French, Luxembourgian, Belgian, Dutch & especially German – the Rex Baker is back full of ideas and excited to bake for you again. Germany is definitely a major power of baking in Europe because whilst the French have mastered crusty white light breads, Germany has led the drive for healthier & perhaps tastier, more dense breads.
We noticed some interesting differences in German bakeries & bread versus UK:
- There are very many bakeries, even in the tiniest local Black Forest village there were 3! We learned that a Backstube meant baking takes place on the premises and a Backerei that the bread is baked elsewhere & shipped in for sale – the shops looked the same out front.
- People shop at their favourite bakery every single day, typically in the morning to get the just-baked fresh bread. You see slow cyclists of all ages with bike baskets laden with loaves or even just with a baguette in it
- They have different favourite breads to us – long crusty white bread rolls called Knupel are ubiquitous in Swabia, every picnic seems consist of these. There aren’t many tin or bloomer shaped loaves like you see in England , instead Germans love lots of different varieties of bread. Some very dense dark loaves packed with seeds , nuts or fruit such as Schwarzbrot or Vollkornbrot and others lighter and tangy to the taste (looking like Rex sourdoughs) called Bauern Brot or Berne Brot (Switzerland is a couple of hours away) which people tend to get sliced when they buy. Their flour, even the white flour, is darker than we are used to, and they use a lot of rye flour (rogge) and spelt flour( amusingly called dinkel ! ) in their bread.
- All this bread accompanies a daily favourite meal of smoked Blackforest hams, wursts such as blutwurst & leberwurst, pâtés and cheeses. We suspect they’d love a Rex sausage roll…
- Cakes & buns are different too! Our family favourites were the krantz , which is like a cinnamon nutty twist using danish pastry dough and the streuselkuchen , baked in a big tray like focaccia, but sweet buttery dough with a crumble topping. Of course as good tourists we also sampled schwarzwalder kirschen torte. As is often the case in Germany there was quite a bit more cream than than chocolate sponge and cherries !
Have you noticed anything special about continental bread or bakeries? Please share by clicking on this post to post.