Täglich Brot – German bakeries
When you ask German expats what they are missing most since they have left their country, they will sooner or later mention bread. Germans tend to have a special relationship not only to bread but bakery produce in general. When visiting Germany, you will soon realize that there are bakeries all over the place, from big franchise chains to small, family-owned businesses. The vast range of goods might confuse someone, but almost everything is at least worth a try.
The Basics of German Bakeries
There are more than 300 varieties of bread known in Germany, not to mention the various styles of bread rolls. Over 1.200 types of those so called Brötchen are known, but nobody can accurately proof because almost every bakery has its style, recipe or unique product. To end the confusion about German bakery produce, let’s start with some basics: There are dark and light styles of breads and rolls available. The typical style of German bread is usually dark whereas the ordinary roll is light, but there are of course many exceptions. You will also find many styles from other countries or cultures in German bakeries such as French Baguettes, Italian Ciabatta or Turkish Flatbread. Toast is also typical – not at bakeries but in the supermarket as a packed product. For Germans, toast is just toast and not real bread – real bread has to have a brown crust and a soft, brown or gray crumb. This kind of bread called Graubrot is like the holy grail of German bread culture. You will find it in many different varieties, but all of them have in common that they are dense and very satisfying. That is why it’s a fundamental part of the traditional Abendbrot – a German dinner containing bread and numerous variations of cheese, ham, sausages and vegetables like pickles or tomatoes. It is also one of three ingredients to the basic lunch that probably every German child has had in his or her lunchbox, the Butterbrot: Bread, Butter and a topping like cheese or Wurst.
German bread – a fitness Food?
German bread tends to be heavy and healthy. That’s why you can often find whole grains inside it or even on top of the crust. Many varieties refer to the used kind of seed. There is Kürbiskernbrot (bread with pumpkin seeds), Haferbrot (bread with oats), Dinkelvollkornbrot (bread with whole seeds of spelt) and so on and so on. You can also find this with rolls: There are some with poppy seeds on or in it, with sesame, with nuts, with carrots or just different types of flour. A special one is the Weltmeisterbrötchen (“world champion bread roll”) with a bottom covered with whole grains. But there are also just the “regular” ones you can compare with a Baguette, just smaller. It comes in two basic variants: The “Kaiserbrötchen” is round and more like a bun and the “normal” one which is longish and has different names, depending on the region. For example, Berliners call them Schrippen, Bavarians Semmel, Franconians Weck or Kipf, in northern Germany, they are often called Rundstück – you can see, the terms are just as diverse as the bakery produces themselves.
Germany does not have a tradition of sandwich shops, but bakeries do the job rather good as well. Almost all of them are also selling prepared sandwiches with cheese or sliced meat on it or also regional specialties like Leberkäs in the south of the country. You will sure find something that suits your taste in one of the thousands of bakeries of Germany.