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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. They have different favourite breads to us – long crusty  white bread rolls called Knupel  are ubiquitous in Swabia, Knupel bread rollsevery 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.
  4. 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…
  5. 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 specGerman kuchenial about continental bread or bakeries? Please share by clicking on this post to post.