German breads & Bakeries

by Simone Leonard
Contributing writer

When asked by others what my favorite part of living in Germany is, my first response is always, “the great German bakeries!”

When I walk into my neighborhood Barbarossa, my senses come to life at the wonderful smell of freshly baked breads and pastries.

My taste buds immediately begin to tingle in anticipation of the first bite of the croissant I always order along with a latte macchiato.

Carol Lopez, who has lived in the Hochspeyer community for more than a decade, attests to this.

“American breads are great for toasting, but German bread comes with a taste, freshness and wholesome flavor like nowhere else,” she said. “I know when I enter the bakery in the morning that all of the breads are freshly made that day.” There are a host of different varieties of German breads available at German bakeries.
If you want a loaf of bread, order a “ganzes Brot” or a “Brotlaib,” and if you would like to try black bread or German pumpernickel bread, order a “Schwarzbrot.”

Many German bakeries have specialty breads, such as: whole-grain baguettes, pumpkin seed bread and sunflower seed bread. If you would like your bread sliced, just say “Können Sie es bitte schneiden?” and it will be sliced for you.

When buying German bread, you must remember that since the bread is baked fresh daily, it dries out very quickly and will become hard by the next day if it’s not eaten right away.

“I love German breads better than (bread from the) bakeries at home, simply because it’s fresher,” said Sgt. Joseph Cottrell, who is stationed on Panzer Kaserne. “German bakeries have such a large variety of breads and pastries that you simply don’t get stateside. You have breads for every meal to choose from. To a bread lover such as myself, it’s like a little piece of baked heaven.”

German bakeries differ from American bakeries in a few ways. Some American bakeries use more sugar in their icings than German bakeries.

If you are accustomed to sweeter tasting cakes and pastries, you might have to acquire a taste for German cakes and pastries, since they are less sweet. “German bakers tend toward using less sugar and you can, therefore, taste the flavor of the cakes,” Ms. Lopez said. “They use fresh fruits more than the Americans and again with less sugar. Another factor is that they don’t use preservatives and additives, so cakes are generally made and sold in the same day.”

Also, don’t confuse German chocolate cake for being an authentic German cake.
This cake was created by Sam German in 1852. Instead, have the German Black Forest cake, which is arguably one of Germany’s most famous cakes.

Having the pleasure of eating at German bakeries is one of the many positive experiences I’m sure many of us will take with us from living in Germany.