Ok, that title could end up in a book. I promise I’ll stick to a short overview to the German bread culture. 😅
[part I] Everyone who was once in Western Europe on vacation or a business trip may have tried one of the thousands of bread treats you can get there. In France, Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Germany we have a typical Artisan bakery nearly on each block. There is a tempting smell when you walk past or even enter a bakery. The whole food culture in these countries is immense.
Our bread culture in one word – huge. You can get around 3,200 kinds of bread. Yes, that sounds not just a lot, indeed it is a lot. In 2014 the UNESCO added the centuries-old German bread culture to the intangible cultural heritage list. About 83 Mio residents in Germany like to have variations. From the North to South, from the East to the West and in the middle of the country, each region has its own typical bread culture. That’s what makes the whole thing so huge. We even have a ‘Museum of bread’ and a ‘German Bread Institute’. This Institute annually names one type of bread as “Bread of the Year”.
The regional difference
I.e.: The further north, the darker your bread and the more rye it contains. This is due of the influence of Scandinavia. The further south, the more whole grain and seeded breads and rolls you’ll find. The French baguette, however, made it all over the republic. The favorite bread in Germany is a ‘Roggenmischbrot’ or a ‘Weizenmischbrot’. It’s always a mix from Rye and Wheat flour. Either Rye or Wheat has then a higher proportion (60-70%).
Many types of grain are grown in Germany, because of the good climate. Often you have mix-breads of two or three flour – mostly Wheat, Rye and Spelt. Some older grains like Emmer and Einkorn enjoy new popularity, although they’re more difficult to work with. Seeds are always a popular ingredient, mostly flax, pumpkin or sunflower seeds as well as nuts. Nowadays bakers like to try new and modern variations. One of my favorite back home is a ‘Bauernbrot’ with red beet chunks, so delicious. Bread is important, it is a staple food. In Germany we celebrate our ‘bread meals’….
Before we get here a mile long text were you have to scroll for minutes, read further in German bread culture – part II 🙂