Never say the Germans are not fanatical about bread. At last count, they had more types of bread than any other nation on earth. Bread in Germany is, along with the humble potato (often served just plain boiled with butter and fresh parsley), still the staple food. Eaten by many three times a day, German bread is a monument to quality, variety, and nutritious food.
Recently I was in Hamburg where I met with a baker who works for Effenberger bakery. Not only do they make some of the best bread I have ever had, they are fanatical about both quality and sustainability. All products are organic. All flour is milled to need in the bakery (there are three little mills, one each for wheat, spelt, and rye). All grain is sourced within a 30 km diameter of Hamburg. Herr Effenberger has decided that he will not sell outside of the Hamburg area. This is a revelation coming from the UK where the heart’s desire of most food producers is to get on the shelves of the high street multiples. Effenberger has decided that, with 2 million people in Hamburg, he will focus his efforts there and refuses to ship his bread long distances thereby risking both it’s quality and decreasing the business’s goals to produce in as environmentally friendly a way as possible. It was really an inspiration to speak with his staff.
On the same trip, I saw a portable bread oven, German style, in a market in Lubeck. A big three-ovened affair on wheels, this oven clearly makes a daily round of different market places in its immediate environ in Northern Germany. The bread was superb and the idea amazing. What if someone did that here in the UK? Do you think Health and Safety would prohibit it? Here are some photos to inspire anyone who fancies giving it a go.