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General information about the German breads
The German citizen eats about 85kg per person on absolute average. That’s 4 slices of bread and a roll every day.
It is assumed that bread has been baked for about 8000 years and the loaves known to us first appeared in Egypt for about 4000 years from where they also reached us via the Romans.
For a reasonable bread one needs only flour, water, yeast/sourdough and salt.
Released breads have a wonderful crust all around and taste best to me. Lovers cut their needs fresh from the loaf and do not use pre-sliced bread.
Store the sliced bread cut side down in a bread box or as I prefer, in a stone bread pan.
Fresh bread is very good for freezing.
Rye bread/black bread
I start with my favorite type of bread which has a minimum rye content of 90% in the flour. Due to the high rye content, it must be raised with sourdough and thus remains longer moist and fresh. It has an unmistakable delicious crispy crust which tastes great even after days. My absolute favorite bread is called “Schlosskruste” from the bakery Schnell.
This type of bread consists of at least 90% wheat flour, the rest is sugar, salt, yeast and fats. It is a very old bread type and was already baked and appreciated in Roman times. Thus, for centuries it was considered a very high quality bread although today it plays a rather minor role here. Cut or not, it dries out quickly!
Mixed bread/gravine bread/black bread
It is the best-selling bread in Germany. A distinction is made here between mixed rye bread with a rye content of 51-89% and mixed wheat bread with a wheat content of 51-89%. It can be prepared with sourdough or yeast. The higher the percentage of rye, the stronger the taste of mixed bread. The higher the wheat content, the fluffier it becomes.
Here we have a special form, the steam chamber bread, a Westphalian specialty. A wholemeal dough is cooked for a good 16h in the steam chamber at 100°C, less baked. This makes it very moist and preserves more heat-sensitive vitamins than conventional bread.
The long cooking process converts some of the starch into sugar, so it gives the pumpernickel some sweetness.
Kommissbrot / Army bread
Traditionally, it is soldier’s bread, the word Kommiss means army supplies. It is a simple rye bread where the loaves are pushed together or baked in boxes. This gives it a crust only on the upper side. It came into civilian use in the post-war period when people ate everything that was available.
Its characteristics are: very strong, not very fluffy, dense pores.
Whole grain bread
This variety is one of the most recommended and healthy, with a high fiber content, vitamins and minerals. The ingredient must be at least 90% wholemeal or whole grains. Somewhat older whole grain bread is excellent for toasting.
The Scandinavian specialty comes in 4-6mm thick small slices in the German supermarket. Various types of flour are baked here. The baking time is very short with 10min. After baking, it is dried down to 5% residual moisture. Gluten-free varieties are also available here. In Germany, the variety with sesame seeds is very popular.
Considered rather unhealthy, but right after the mixed bread is the best-selling type of bread in Germany. It is a light wheat bread with fat, milk and sugar in box form. It comes almost only ready cut and packaged in the supermarket. The crumb is very fine and soft. Another form of toast is buttered toast with a 5% butter content.
It must be toasted to develop its flavor. Unroasted, it is also good to eat, but tastes very yeasty.