German baking has influenced baking traditions around the world for generations and is a source of great nostalgia for those of German and Central European heritage. Yet the very best recipes for Germany’s cookies, cakes, tortes, and breads, passed down through generations, have never before been collected and perfected for contemporary American home bakers. Enter Luisa Weiss, the Berlin-based creator of the adored Wednesday Chef blog and self-taught ambassador of the German baking canon.
Whether you’re in the mood for the simple yet emblematic Streuselkuchen, crisp and flaky Strudel, or classic breakfast Brötchen, every recipe you’re looking for is here, along with detailed advice to ensure success plus delightful storytelling about the origins, meaning, and rituals behind the recipes. Paired with more than 100 photographs of Berlin and delectable baked goods, such as Elisenlebkuchen, Marmorierter Mohnkuchen, and Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, this book will encourage home bakers of all skill levels to delve into the charm of Germany’s rich baking tradition.
Classic German Baking is an authoritative collection of recipes that provides delicious inspiration for any time of day, whether it’s for a special breakfast, a celebration with friends and family, or just a regular afternoon coffee-and-cake break, an important part of everyday German life.
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Toasted Hazelnut Loaf Cake
MAKES 1 (9 BY 5-INCH/23 BY 12CM) CAKE
In the United States, loaf cakes and quick breads are quite moist and rich affairs. In Germany, they tend to be drier and lighter; in sum, a little more restrained. In this classic Nusskuchen, hazelnuts are toasted until fragrant, and then pulsed finely before being folded into a simple cake batter plumped up with a bit of milk or brandy. You can take the basic recipe further by folding in chopped chocolate or grated lemon peel. The chocolate gives the cake more heft and makes for a great autumn weekend cake, while the lemon pairs nicely with the roasted hazelnuts for a more delicately flavored cake. Either way, slices of Nusskuchen are wonderful eaten with a hot cup of coffee or tea.
The cake keeps well for a few days wrapped tightly in plastic wrap. But if it does get stale, you may be interested to know that an acquaintance of my assistant on this book, Maja Welker, once told her that her family used to repurpose stale loaf cakes like this one by placing slices of them on buttered rye bread at snack time. Ever curious, Maja tried this unusual snack and reported back that it is indeed delicious, if a little unorthodox. What we still haven’t figured out is whether this is a regional oddity or simply a familial one. In any case, it speaks to the resourcefulness of most Germans, who are loath to waste any food.
18 tablespoons/250g unsalted butter, softened, plus more for the pan
2 cups/200g whole hazelnuts, toasted, skinned, and finely ground
1 cup/200g granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2⁄3 cups, scooped and leveled, minus 1 tablespoon/200g all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons whole milk or brandy
5 1⁄4 ounces/150g bittersweet chocolate (minimum 50% cacao), chopped (optional)
Grated peel of 1 organic lemon (optional)
Confectioners’ sugar (optional), for dusting
Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C. Butter a 9 by 5-inch/23 by 12cm loaf pan. Spread the hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a single layer and toast in the oven, until the nuts are toasted and fragrant. Remove the pan from the oven and let the nuts cool completely before rubbing them gently with a clean dishcloth (this will remove most of their skins). Place the cooled hazelnuts in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the nuts are ground to a very fine meal. Take care not to overprocess by pulsing after they are finely ground, or you will end up with hazelnut paste.
Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the flat beater attachment and beat until creamy and fluffy; beat in the vanilla extract. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until each one is incorporated into the batter. Slowly add the ground hazelnuts and beat until combined.
Sift the flour and baking powder together, and then, with the mixer running at medium speed, gradually add the flour to the butter and sugar. Finally, beat in the milk or brandy and fold in the chocolate or grated lemon peel. Scrape the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
Place the pan on a rack to cool for a few minutes before unmolding. Let the cake cool completely. Dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar before slicing and serving. Wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, the cake will keep at room temperature for at least 3 days and up to 5.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Classic German Baking: The Very Best Recipes for Traditional Favorites, from Pfeffernusse to Streuselkuchen by Luisa Weiss is a new cookbook dedicated to baking and desserts. This authentic cookbook features actual German recipes: Friesentorte (Plum Cream Torte), Butterkuchen (Butter Almond Cake), Schwarz- Weiss Geback (Checkerboard cookies) and many more. The book features sections for cookies, cakes, yeasted cakes, Tortes, breads and even Christmas. The last section is on the very basics- Quark (Sour Fresh Cheese), Streusel and more foundation recipes. This comprehensive volume in perfect for every level of baking- from the beginner to the advanced chef. This beautiful hard cover volume features thick sturdy pages, and detailed quality photographs. Background information and commentary is provided for all the recipes as well. I am giving this cookbook to my teenager who is in her third year of German language class- as she also enjoys baking as well. This cookbook will transport the reader directly to Germany! As a blogger I received a copy of this book published by Ten Speed Press for the purpose of writing this review.
Classic German Baking is filled with 100 recipes of authentic German baking for breads and sweets! We learn what it means to bake like the Germans do and learn what techniques are different from us in America. With recipes like Apple Strudel to chocolate cakes that are to die for and even some healthy recipes as well. This book is the definition of German Baking that everyone will enjoy reading and making these recipes in their own homes! My closest friend is a German and during the short time she was here in the states, I grew to love the baking that come from that house and even though she is in Germany, I can try to recreate those recipes with this book in hand but I have the feeling it won't be the same! Just reading this book, made me homesick for what the German baking is like and if any of you have the chance to eat anything German, than you understand what I mean! The only problem I had with this book, is that some of the ingredients maybe hard to find for some people like myself who live in the middle of nowhere but it's not gonna stop me from trying these recipes!! Thank You to Luisa Weiss for having this book out and I can't wait to see what is to come from you next!! I received this book from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.