Deep in rural Bavaria there is a particular farm that has diversified into offering holidays, riding lessons, a local produce food store, a high end vegetarian restaurant (yes! in Bavaria!) that offers cooking classes (vegetarian! in Bavaria!) and a fantastic bakery/cafe.
Through the glass, we watched the bread and cake bakers at work and, even better than that, the enthusiastic and friendly bakers (head pastry baker is Hungarian, head bread baker is German) actually come out and talked to me in a mixture of German, French, and English about their baking, and best of all, the bread baker said I could come back any time and hang out and bake with them. Thhis was a refreshing change from all the brush offs I have had from German bakers. “Ja, naturlich!” he exclaimed. “How else does one learn different things?” How else indeed?
The bread is gorgeous – both to look at and to eat. Different techniques make some of it new and interesting for the German market. Traditional techniques make it familiar and reassuring. The baker went through every loaf with me, telling me which loaves had yeast added to the sourdough and which loaves did not. Which had a high rye content and which did not. Seeing the traditional German bread (pure sourdough, lots of rye) made me sigh in relief (as it always does). Flatter loaves with interestingly cracked crusts and a moist and chewy crumb. Just like mine. No additional yeast+lots of rye = a totally different kind of loaf than many English are used to and this can be hard to explain and even harder to sell. Patience, yes, patience. And a return to visit the friendly baker and hang out to learn some cool new things. Until then, some bread photos to enjoy.