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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

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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

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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

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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.

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FOOD & DRINK

5 things you need to know about German Glühwein

It's that time of year again when the delicious German drink Glühwein will be on sale at Christmas Markets and in bars all over the country. Here's what you need to know about the traditional winter beverage.

5 things you need to know about German Glühwein

1. It existed before Christmas Markets

Nowadays, sipping a hot mug of Glühwein is mostly associated with a visit to a traditional German Christmas market, which might make you think that it was an invention of wine stand operators.

However, though German Christmas markets have been around for nearly 600 years, some form of mulled wine has been a popular winter beverage since Roman times.

READ ALSO: Where are Christmas markets around Germany already opening?

The Romans had their own special recipe for Glühwein which combined wine with honey and spices such as pepper, bay leaf, saffron and dates.

The oldest documented consumption of Glühwein in Germany can be traced back to Count John IV of Katzenelnbogen, a German nobleman who was the first grower of Riesling grapes in the 15th century. Archaeologists found a special silver plated cup dating from 1420 which he used to sip the sweet and spicy drink.

2. Don’t overstep the 80C mark

When making your own batch of Glühwein at home – you’ll want to make sure that your ingredients – wine (red or white), sugar, cinnamon, cloves, lemon, orange and star anise – are simmering away at a temperature of no more than 80C.

Aromatic spices give Glühwein its special flavour. Photo: picture alliance / dpa-tmn | DWI

Above 80C the alcohol evaporates, which is detrimental to the taste and causes the sugar to degrade. The ideal temperature for your Glühwein is between 72C and 73C and the perfect colour is a deep red. 

3. It literally means ‘Glow wine’

The Glüh part of the word for this drink – which sounds a bit like the English word “glue” – comes from the German verb glühen meaning “to glow”.

The origin of the word Glühwein goes back hundreds of years when hot irons were used to heat the wine. It might help you to remember the meaning of the word by looking at the glowing cheeks of your friends while drinking a cup of the hot alcoholic drink.

READ ALSO: What’s the history behind Germany’s beloved Christmas markets?

4. You can make it without alcohol (or with even more)

To make a non-alcoholic version of Glühwein – or Kinderpunsch (children’s punch) as it’s commonly referred to in German – you can replace the wine with a mixture of fruit tea, apple and orange juice. 

Children’s punch cups with the motif “Moppi” from the children’s TV show Sandmännchen at a stand of the Leipzig Christmas market. Photo: picture alliance/dpa/dpa-Zentralbild | Sebastian Willnow

If you want to go the other way and make a Glühwein mit Schuss (mulled wine with a shot), you can add a dash of rum or amaretto to your cup full of Glühwein just before drinking. 

5. Glühwein makes you merry faster

Alcoholic hot drinks get you drunk faster, as their high temperature ensures that the alcohol enters the bloodstream more quickly and easily. Sugar also promotes alcohol absorption, so a cup of mulled wine will go to your head much more quickly than a glass of normal wine.

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