Brot (bread) is an important part of German culture – there are more than 300 kinds and different regions have different specialties. German bread tends to be more dense in texture than bread in other countries and it’s very nutritious. Rye flour is used extensively and many German breads are made with a sourdough starter, which keeps the bread moist and acts as a natural preservative. Some typical German breads include:
Pumpernickel – dark rye from Westphalia, made from a mix of rye flour and rye meal. It’s steamed rather than baked. Once packaged, it will keep for months. It’s usually thinly sliced and topped with cheese or sausage.
Vollkornbrot – a dark, whole grain rye bread. It contains no yeast and is very popular in Northern Germany. It’s dense and heavy with whole sunflower seeds added to the mix – healthy, filling, contains a lot of fiber.
Roggenmischbrot – a combination of rye and wheat flour. It’s popular and eaten on a daily basis by many. It has a light color and texture and, unlike many German breads, does not keep for long after it has been cut open.
Brezel – (“pretzel” in English), they’re made from sourdough and have a soft center encased in a crisp, salty crust. Varieties differ. They may be topped with sunflower seeds or poppy seeds but usually just come with salt crystals.
Everything pictured above are Brötchen (literally: ‘little breads’). There are endless varieties of these as well. Usually, Germans eat these rolls for breakfast, especially on the weekends. They’re made fresh daily by corner bakeries and bakeries inside supermarkets. Going to fetch fresh rolls for breakfast in the early morning is a popular thing.