SHARE
COPY LINK

BREAD

Five delicious breads you have to try in Germany

Did you know there are 3,200 different types of bread in Germany? To celebrate German Bread Day here are some of The Local's favourites.

Five delicious breads you have to try in Germany
Brezeln in Baden-Württemberg. Photo: DPA

You'll need to pause your ad blockers to see all the photos in this article.

Bread has always played an important part in the German diet. The traditional German cold evening meal is called Abendbrot (evening bread) and usually consists of different types of bread, spreads, cheese and cold cuts of meat.

Meanwhile, another German word Brotzeit (literally bread time), is seen as a snack that can be eaten at any time of the day along with perhaps a Weißwurst (Bavarian white sausage) and washed down with a beer (if it's not too early).

Photo: Depositphotos/AnnaAndersonPhotography

From Roggenbrot (rye bread) to Zwiebelbrot (onion bread) or Vollkornbrot (whole grain), there's a no shortage of carbohydrates in the Bundesrepublik.

So if you're looking to try some German bread, here are The Local Germany team's top picks.

Laugengebäck

If there is any other baked good that fills you up as much as the Laugengebäck we haven’t tried it yet.

Yes, bread dipped in lye and covered in salt is the ultimate filling snack that you can get almost anywhere in Germany, whether you're at a football match or the train station. Shaped into a knot like a Brezel (pretzel) or a Stange (stick), or popping up in your local bakery along with the other humble Brötchen (rolls), these baked lye goods are delicious.

Paired with beer (what else?) to soak up the alcohol, the pretzel is the snack of choice at events like Oktoberfest. But they’re also great when you’re rushing to work in the morning and don’t have time to sit down at a table to eat breakfast.

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

Ich habe heute Laugenbrezel gebacken. #laugenbrezel #laugengebäck #homebakingblog #dietmarkappl

A post shared by Spinnwebe (@spinnwebe) on May 2, 2019 at 5:02am PDT

You can literally eat Laugengebäck while walking along a pavement or when you're waiting for the bus (trust us, we've tried).

Of course you can buy them with fillings, like cheese or ham, or even slathered in a generous helping of butter. When it comes to the toppings, salt is the most common but you can also find seeds, nuts and even sweet flavours, like sugar or chocolate.

As with many German foods, they also vary from region to region so you have an excuse to seek out the bakery wherever you are in the country and see what you like best.

The huge variety means you'll never get bored, and perhaps they'll become a staple in your diet, too.

Pumpernickel

Photo: Depositphotos/Odelinde

A love or hate food, pumpernickel is one of Germany’s most popular breads. It’s typically a more heavy and slightly sweet rye bread. You’ll often find it in supermarkets but it’s also used as a base for canapes and open sandwiches.

Often teamed with fish, like prawns or salmon, make sure you include lots of spread on your pumpernickel because it can be a bit dry if you don't.

Pumpernickel is baked over a long period of time at low temperatures, which allows it to develop it’s distinct dense texture.

Stollen

Stollen being dusted in Saxony. Photo: DPA

Trump recently tweeted that the Mueller Report had 'stollen' two years from his life, but we’re pretty sure he wasn't talking about the yummy German holiday bread.

Still, his probable typo is onto a winner: the bread that’s traditionally enjoyed at Christmas time (though there are versions of it that are munched at Easter too) is a German favourite.

Said to be created in the Dresden area in the 14th century, this fruit bread in its modern form is known all over the world. It’s usually made with raisins, spices, butter plus the all important dusting of marzipan or sugar. There are lots of regional varieties, though, and you can even try making your own.

The best place to buy Stollen is from stalls at Christmas markets in the lead up to December 25th.

Maybe we'll see Trump at the markets this year?

SEE ALSO: The secrets behind Stollen, Germany's beloved holiday treat

Brötchen

Literally translating as the small form of bread – little bread – Brötchen are the country's beloved rolls. They are also known as different things depending on where you are in Germany. So it's Semmel in Bavaria and parts of the east, while it's Wecken in other parts of the south. In Berlin and Hamburg it's said rolls are known as Schrippen.

When it comes to flavours, you have to try the Mohnbrötchen (poppyseed), Sesambrötchen (sesame) as well as the traditional Vollkornbrötchen (wholemeal rolls).

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

Wunderbare Dinkelmorgenbrötchen vom #Plötzblog gab es heute zum Frühstück. Abends vorbereitet, über Nacht im Kühlschrank aufbewahrt und morgens in 15 Minuten gebacken! Und sie landeten noch heiß direkt vom Gitter auf dem Frühstückstisch. Die Begeisterung war so groß, dass ich keine Chance auf ein schön gestaltetes Foto hatte. Aber die Brötchen sind ja auch zum Essen gedacht und nicht zum Fotografieren. 😉 . . . . #lutzgeissler #dinkelbrötchen #sauerteig #uebernachtgare #omalore #haende_im_Teig #mostrich63 #hefe #sourdoughbaking #broetchen #backen_mit_freunden #fruehstueck #frühstück #frühstücksbrötchen #backbuch #sesambrötchen #feinkosthensler #christinas_foodspot #lecker #leckerbrot #gesundbacken #lebensvielfalt

A post shared by Brot backen – mit Leidenschaft (@brotbuddies) on Apr 22, 2019 at 8:18am PDT

And let's not forget about the Sonnenblumenkernbrötchen (sunflower seed) or Kürbiskernbrötchen (pumpkin seed).

The point is that bakeries here can make Brötchen out of anything. There's even Kartoffelbrötchen, which is rolls made from another popular German food – potatoes.

Germans are such huge fans of bread spreads that whole sections of supermarkets are dedicated to them. Topping your Brötchen really is a serious business.With such a huge choice of toppings and variety of breads, this should be your go-to meal.

Vollkornbrot
 
Vollkornbrot translates literally as ‘full grain bread’ or ‘brown bread’, a relatively boring description which defies both its deliciousness and its importance to the German palate. 
 
There are hundreds of variations of Vollkornbrot and Vollkornbrötchen across Germany, with even small supermarkets and bakeries carrying a wide variety.
 
Vollkornbrot includes rye bread (Roggenbrot) as well as bread with sunflower and chia seeds baked in.

The polar opposite to the white toast loaf on the spectrum of taste and nutrition, Vollkornbrot is the cornerstone of any nutritious German breakfast.

Indeed, when Germans travel or move abroad, it’s usually the Vollkornbrot rather than sauerkraut, schnitzel – or even beer (i.e. liquid bread) – that they miss the most.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

GERMAN TRADITIONS

10 ways to enjoy autumn like a true German

From scavenging for mushrooms to drinking Apfelwein, autumn is a truly magical season in Germany. Here's how to make the most of the fall months just like the locals do.

10 ways to enjoy autumn like a true German

As summer transitions to autumn, it can be easy to remain nostalgic for the long, sunny days. But the months leading up to Christmas can also be an immensely vibrant time to be in Germany – if you know how.

So as you swap your summer t-shirts for woolly jumpers, why not participate in some quintessentially German customs, from whipping up pumpkin dishes to collecting chestnuts in the park? 

If you’re not sure where to start, here are 10 ways to make the most of autumn in true German style this year. 

1. Give thanks for the harvest

Since the third century, Christian countries have organised festivals to thank God for the gift of the autumn harvest – and in Germany, these religious celebrations continue to this day.

Traditionally, Erntedankfest (Harvest Thanksgiving) is celebrated on the first Sunday of October in rural communities with church services, a parade (complete with a harvest queen), music and a country fair. Food is also collected for those in need. In some regions, the celebrations coincide with the wine harvest, and vineyard owners set up stalls where locals can sample the season’s wines.

A church in Lower Saxony collect food donations at harvest time.

A church in Lower Saxony collect food donations at harvest time. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Friso Gentsch

2. Eat pumpkin with everything

Say goodbye to Spargelzeit, the time of year when white asparagus is served on special menus in just about every German restaurant – autumn marks the start of Kürbiszeit, when Germans get creative with the humble pumpkin. 

From spicy soups to creamy pumpkin risotto, you may be surprised at how versatile pumpkin can be. In fact, if you happen to visit a farmer’s market in the next month or two, you may discover that there are far more varieties of pumpkin than you ever imagined.

And if you do start to get bored of pumpkin dishes as the season wears on, there’s plenty more seasonal produce to experiment with, from Grünkohl (kale) to Pfefferlinge (chanterelle mushrooms). 

READ ALSO: German Word of the Day: Der Kürbis

3. Go foraging for mushrooms

As soon as the first touch of autumn frost is in the air, many Germans wrap up warm and head out to the forest for a popular national pastime: mushroom foraging. The idea is simply to head out into nature, basket in tow, and see what wild mushrooms you can find, from the beefy Steinpilz to the slippery Butterpilz

A word of warning, though. Legally speaking, the mushrooms should only be for personal use (i.e. not to sell), and some mushrooms may not be edible at all. If you’re a beginner forager, it’s a good idea to head out with some experienced mushroom gatherers to start with, or take your treasure to your local Pilzberater (mushroom consultant) who can let you know if your mushrooms are safe to eat. 

READ ALSO: What’s behind the German fascination with foraging for wild mushrooms?

Mushroom foraging in Brandenburg

A forager collects mushrooms in a basket in Brandenburg. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Patrick Pleul

4. Visit your local Herbstfest 

Though the days are getting shorter and colder, there’s no excuse to hibernate just yet. Whether you live in a small town or a big city, there’s bound to be at least one Herbstfest (or autumn festival) going on, which can be a great reason to get out of the house and spend time with friends.

The most famous autumn festival in Germany is obviously Oktoberfest – an enormous fairground and beer festival that runs in Munich from late September to early October. If you can’t make it to Bavaria, there are usually little copy-cat festivals dotted around Germany, as well as other local events where you can enjoy delicious seasonal favourites from Apfelwein (apple wine) to Flammkuchen and Käsespätzle

5. Celebrate the reunification of East and West Germany

October 3rd is a special day in the German calendar, marking the date on which East and West Germany were reunified after 41 years apart. Though reunification can bring up complex feelings for some Germans, Unity Day (Tag der Einheit) is a national bank holiday, which is reason to celebrate in itself.

This year, the date falls on a Monday, meaning people can look forward to a long weekend with fireworks and local celebrations. Why not get a group of friends together and check out what’s going on in your area? In Berlin, for instance, stages are set up all around Brandenburg Gate each year, with music performances, comedy and street theatre. 

6. Make paper lanterns on St. Martin’s Day 

Largely celebrated in Germany’s catholic states, Martinstag (St. Martin’s Day) on November 11th is a charming German custom that has a fair bit in common with Halloween. Traditionally, children dress up and head out onto the streets in a little procession with paper lanterns. In some regions, they also go door to door and sing for sweets, fruit or cookies. 

Families marking St. Martin’s Day will generally eat a Martinsgans (Martin’s Goose) for dinner. This is in reference to a part of the legend of St. Martin in which Martin, believing himself unworthy of becoming a bishop, attempts to hide himself in a stable filled with geese. 

In protestant Berlin and other parts of northern Germany, the processions have been rebranded as the secular Laternenfest (Lantern Festival).

St. Martin's Day procession Thuringia

Thousands of people join a St. Martin’s Day procession in Erfurt, Thuringia. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Michael Reichel

READ ALSO: Six signs autumn has arrived in Germany

7. Collect chestnuts in the park

As the leaves starts to fall, you may notice something else lying on the ground on your street or in your local park: chestnuts. Heading out on a walk to collect chestnuts can be a great way to while away a bright autumnal afternoon, not to mention a fun activity for children. 

If you do go chestnut collecting, however, make sure you follow the rules: only chestnuts that have fallen to the ground can be picked up. Also take note that horse chestnuts, which are the ones usually found in cities, are poisonous – so don’t eat them. 

8. Dress up for Halloween

Though celebrating Halloween is much more popular in the United States, some American traditions – from fancy dress to trick-or-treating – have slowly but surely taken hold in Germany over the past few decades. 

Instead of saying “trick or treat”, German children tend to say, “Süßes oder Saures” (sweet or sour?) as they blackmail their neighbours into emptying their sweet cupboards.

But even if you’re not keen on an American-style Halloween, there are ways to celebrate Halloween like a true German. Why not spend the day carving pumpkins and then head out for a spooky tour of a haunted castle in the evening? 

READ ALSO: What are Germany’s 8 spookiest places?

9. Fly a kite 

The hot, humid days are over and a chill wind is in the air, so what better time to indulge in another German obsession – flying kites? 

Adorably known as Drachen (dragons) in German, autumn is prime kite-flying season in Germany, so be sure to take your kite (and your family) out to your park on the next windy Sunday afternoon to see what all the fuss is about.  

Kite flying in Berlin

People fly dragon kites at the Drachenfest on Berlin Tempelhofer Feld. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Jörg Carstensen

10. Remember lost loved ones 

In a more sombre autumnal tradition, All Saint’s Day on November 1st is a time to remember loved ones who are no longer with us.

Taking place on November 1st, the day after All Hallow’s Eve, many Germans will take the opportunity to place candles or wreaths on the graves of their relatives. Churches will generally hold sermons dedicated to the theme of remembrance and in the evening, religious families may gather together for dinner. The following morning, on All Soul’s Day, there are more religious services and prayers for the dead. 

Even for those who aren’t believers, November 1st can offer an opportunity for reflection, contemplation and most importantly, a chance to spend time with the people you love. 

SHOW COMMENTS