The Swabian Pretzel rolls are our favorite when it comes to the German baking culture! They taste best when freshly baked with some butter. There are US stores who sell the pretzel rolls but they are not quite the same. Some are too sweet and the brown crust is different. We found an authentic and proven recipe for you, you just need Natron which is part of the lye that makes the brown crust. Happy Baking!
680 g all purpose flour (in Germany it would be Type 405, see below)
– Click here to go to All About Flour –
30 g fresh or dry yeast (1 package is for 500g)
approx. 400 ml water
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
coarse salt to sprinkle
3 EL Natron or food grade lye
– Mix yeast with flour, salt, sugar and water. Amount of water depends on the quality of the flour, you might need less or more. So don’t add full amount of water. Start with half then add more as needed.
– Knead until you get a smooth dough. Place in a bowl, cover with kitchen clot, let rest for 30-60 min.
– Sprinkle flour on a smooth surface or a wooden baking board. Form the rolls (see the video how this is done properly as it is a special technique). One roll should weigh 75-80g.
– Let formed rolls raise for another 30 min. Form them, if needed, again.
– Pre-heat oven to 220 C (convection 190 C) or 420 F / 375 F.
– Place parchment paper on baking tray.
Make the Lye
– Dissolve Natron in 1 liter water and bring to a boil. Watch out, the water will get very foamy!
– By using a slotted spoon place 3 or 4 rolls into the lye and let boil for 1 min, turn them.
– Remove with slotted spoon and place on the baking tray.
– With a sharp knife cut the roll crosswise on top.
– Sprinkle with coarse salt.
– Bake on medium rack for 17-20 min.
If you want to freeze the rolls don’t use the coarse salt. Add it before you will bake the rolls.
From the same dough you can also make pretzels or pretzel sticks.
What is Natron?
A naturally occurring mixture of sodium carbonate de-cahydrate (a kind of soda ash) and around 17% sodium bicarbonate (also called baking soda, NaHCO3) along with small quantities of sodium chloride and sodium sulfate. But it is not the baking soda as you find it in American super markets. It is a bit different. In the USA they use the food grade lye and Amazon carries it. It can be the alternative.
The German brand Dr Oetker carries Natron, we found it on Amazon (see below),
Video shows how German rolls get the typical form, it’s called “Rundschleifen” in German
The popular Munich Oktoberfest comes with many food specialties. One is the so called “Rahmschwammerl” or Oktoberfest Creamy Mushrooms. The classic combination would be to serve with Semmelknoedel – Find recipe here – It’s a delicious meatless alternative, and so easy to make. It’s a dish that can be made throughout the year – Happy Cooking!
750 g white mushrooms
1 small onion
200 ml heavy cream
4 tbsp cooking oil
50 ml dry white wine
100 g créme fraîche, optional
2 twigs Rosemary
4-5 tbsp chopped parsley
salt, pepper to taste
1 dash sugar
– Clean mushrooms and cut in quarters or in halves.
– Peel onion, chop fine. Wash herbs, dry on kitchen paper.
– Heat oil in a large pan, add mushrooms and rosemary twigs, brown for 6-7 min.
– Remove rosemary. Add onions.
– Fry for about 2 in.
– Add chopped parsley to mushrooms, then the wine. Set some parsley aside.
– Let cook until wine has evaporated.
– Now add the heavy cream, bring to a brief boil, then add creme fraiche.
– Let simmer for 5 min, spice with salt and pepper to taste.
– Should the sauce be too thin, mix 1 tbsp corn starch with 2 tbsp water and add to the sauce.
– Sprinkle some chopped parsley on top.
If you had been to Germany yo might have seen this classic German snack Toast Hawaii in menus in country inns. It’s such a delicious small meal that is very easy to make and it doesn’t need special ingredients. Happy Cooking!
For each serving you need ONE
sliced pine apple, can, preferably unsweetened
slice of toast bread, wheat (in Germany we would use the Golden Toast) – RECIPE: How to Make German Golden Toast Bread –
enough butter to spread on each slice
boiled ham, sliced
sliced cheese such as Swiss Cheese
if you like decorate with cherries or lingonberry jam
– Pre-Heat oven to 375 F (180 C).
– Spread butter evenly on each slice of toast. Optional: spread a thin layer of mayonnaise on top.
– Drain pineapples, let drip in a sieve.
– Place on top the ham, followed by the pineapple and at last a slice of cheese.
– Use parchment paper on the oven rack and place the toast directly onto the paper.
– In a few minutes the cheese will melt and it will get brown.
– When you see that the cheese has melted into the pine apple opening and gets brown, you should remove the toast right away. It will be after about 6 minutes.
– Let cool off a bit before you enjoy this delicious snack.
In Germany you can get a classic packaged spaghetti dinner that is called “Miracoli”. (from Italian miracolo = Miracle). You might know it because you lived in Germany, and it’s available in every supermarket. It’s very popular and widely known. But I learned that this product is not the same anymore, and you cannot get it in the USA at all. Kraft sells a spaghetti dinner that is similar but the ingredient list is not the same.
Miracoli was one of my favorites back in Germany because I wasn’t much into cooking (really!) so this packaged dinner was very convenient.
I found a recipe that is copying the taste of the tomato sauce and I must admit, it’s the best tomato sauce German style I ever had. Forget about the ones in the jars – they are tasteless compared to this home made tomato sauce. Best is to serve the sauce with Italian spaghetti that are made only out of durum wheat and are not enriched. I find them at ALDI, they are very good. And of course sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan. Happy Cooking!
7 ripe tomatoes, medium size
1 medium onion
5 twigs of fresh rosemary, thyme and oregano
1,5 tsp Italian herb mix
salt, pepper to taste
1 dash Cayenne pepper
2 celery stalks, 1/2 zucchini
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 dash sugar
olive oil for frying
1 cube instant vegetable broth (Edwards &Sons)
First you need to Peel the Tomatoes
– Cut with a knife a cross on the top or bottom side of the tomatoes.
– Place them in a big bowl.
– Pour enough boiling water over them so all are covered. Let tomatoes in the water for 10-15 min.
– Now remove the skin with hands as the skin has become very loose around the tomatoes. That’s how it should be. If the tomatoes are not quite ripe leave them in the water 10 min longer.
– Cut all tomatoes into smaller pieces, keep all the liquid from them. If tomatoes are very ripe they produce quite some liquid.
– Peel onions and chop fine.
– Heat olive oil in a pot, sauté onions until transparent.
– Add the tomatoes, chopped herbs, sugar, herb mix, salt and pepper. Mix well.
– Chop celery stalks and zucchini into very fine cubes.
– Let cook on low-medium heat for 10 min.
– Now depending on the tomatoes the sauce can be thin or thicker. If the sauce is thin it needs to cook much longer as it will thicken the longer you cook it. Is it too thick add some water.
– Add the chopped vegetable, the broth cube and Cayenne pepper.
– Leave the pot uncovered at all times.
– Let cook for another 15 min or longer depending on the consistency. It can take up to 45 min if tomatoes are very juicy.
– Mix frequently, make sure sauce won’t stick on the bottom of the pot.
– Spice as needed.
Cook the Spaghetti
– Boil water in a pot with some salt and a splash of olive oil.
– Place the whole spaghetti into the pot and make sure that they all fit nicely into the water (they will sink into the water).
– Boil until they are “al dente”.
– Drain and put back into the pot and serve right away.
Serve the sauce with Spaghetti and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
The Plum Dumplings from Yeast Dough are a classic plum dumpling version and are also called Bohemian or Silesian plum dumplings or “Zwetschgenknödel” in German. If you like to use potatoes instead of a yeast dough CLICK HERE for the recipe. The classic recipe is asking for a sugar cube per plum which will add a special sweetness to the dish. Maybe a bit too much sweetness… Either serve these dumplings with melted butter, ground poppyseeds or a mix of cinnamon and sugar. But a vanilla sauce would also be a yummy addition. Happy Cooking!
500 g flour
1 dash salt, 1 dash sugar
1 package dry yeast (must be enough for 500g flour or 1 cube fresh yeast)
250 ml semi warm milk
8-10 Italian plums
mix of sugar-cinnamon
bread crumbs, natural, no spices
1 sugar cube for each plum
All ingredients should have room temperature.
Make the Starter Dough
– Place some flour into a bowl, make a small mold, add the milk and yeast into that mold.
add salt and mix well.
– Mix in 4 tbsp flour, 1 dash sugar and 1 dash salt.
– Cover with a clean kitchen cloth and let raise for at least 30 min at a warm place until volume has doubled.
– Knead with hands until dough shows some bubbles and you can easily remove it from hands.
– Cover with a clean kitchen cloth and let raise at a warm place until volume has doubled.
– Combine remaining sugar and flour and mix well. Beat eggs with milk and add to to the starter dough.
– Wash hands with warm water and knead dough or use a mixer with kneading hooks.
– Dough is ready when it comes off hands easily and is not sticking to the bowl. If it should be sticky add more flour.
– Let raise for 1 hour. Knead the dough one time really good.
– Remove pits from plums.
– Place in each plum 1 sugar cube – that’s the original style.
– Place flour on a smooth surface and roll the dough 1cm thick. You can cut squares or circles big enough so a plum can be added and closed in.
– Place 1 plum on the dough and close it, then roll to a ball.
– Cover dumplings with a kitchen cloth and let raise for 10 min.
– Bring water with 1 tsp salt in a large pot to a boil.
– Place the dumplings into the water and let cook on lower heat covered for about 10 min.
– Remove them with a slotted spoon.
– Serve with melted butter, a cinnamon-sugar mix, ground poppyseeds or vanilla sauce.
Here is a super easy German fruit cake that can be made within minutes. We call the base cake (it’s like a sponge cake) in German a “Tortenboden” and the entire cake would be an “Obstkuchen”.
You don’t have to be a master baker or chef to create this cake – it is really very easy. I found this recipe and thought I have to try this one because I felt somewhat lazy that day, and didn’t want to bake for 1 hour or so. I also never used oil for making the base cake. So I became curious. And what do you say? It’s a wonderful cake and tastes just delicious! From now on I will use this recipe all the time when the time has come to use some ripe and fresh fruit for this special german cake from my childhood! Happy Baking!
6 tbsp sunflower oil
6 tbsp sugar
6 tbsp flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla sugar – How to make Vanilla Sugar –
fruit of your choice (strawberries, blueberries, bananas, sour cherries, canned mandarins, canned pears or peaches)
1 package red glaze Dr Oetker – Make the Glaze from Scratch –
– Mix eggs with sugar and beat until dough is foamy.
– Add oil spoon by spoon to the eggs, then sieve in flour.
– Mix flour and baking powder, then combine with egg mix. Mix well.
– Grease the baking form with some butter.
– Sprinkle the form with some breadcrumbs of neutral taste (no spices or herbs).
– Pour dough into a non-stick German baking form for the base cake, diameter 11 inches (see below the one on Amazon).
– Bake in pre-heated oven on 375 F for about 5-10 min. The cake will be done when no dough will stick on a tooth pic that has been poked into the dough. The base cake should have a light golden color.
– When cake is done let it cool off, then place it onto a big plate that should be bigger than the cake (upside down).
– Cut the fruit in half or smaller such as strawberries and place it on top of the cake.
– Make the glaze per instructions and pour it over the fruit.
– Let cool off.
If you see rhubarb in the grocery stores or on your local farmers market you must get some so you can make this delicious German Rhubarb Cake with Vanilla Cream and Streusel on top. The base cake is a simple biscuit topped with a layer of vanilla pudding and Streusel. Happy Baking!
100 g butter
80 g sugar
1 Package or 0.5oz vanilla sugar
75 g sour cream
180 g flour
1 tsp heaped baking powder
800 g rhubarb, peeled
For the Streusel
200 g flour
100 g sugar
1 package vanilla sugar
150 g cold butter
cinnamon to taste
some powdered sugar for dusting
– Peel rhubarb and cut into small pieces. Add Sugar and let sit for about 30 min.
– Pre-heat oven to 355 F.
– Let drain in a sieve so all liquid will be gone.
For the base cake mix all ingredients very well with hand mixer.
– Grease a 10 inch spring form with butter or use parchment paper. Fill in the dough.
– Bake the cake for 15 min then remove it from the oven (it’s not 100% baked).
For the Streusel combine all ingredients and knead with hands until you get a crumbly dough.
For the Cream make the pudding per instructions (with milk and sugar), while stirring let cool off a bit.
– Add sour cream.
– Spread cream on the base cake.
– Add the rhubarb pieces and the sprinkle with a layer of Streusel
– Bake for 30-35 minutes more.
– Let cool off in the form.
– When removed from the form dust with powdered sugar.
Are you looking for a delicious spring recipe? Here is one: Boiled potatoes with Radishes and Yoghurt. If you can get the first seasonal potatoes the dish would be more than perfect. Enjoy spring and Happy Cooking!
5-6 potatoes, Gold (amount depends on the size)
8-12 radishes (amount depends on size, if you use small ones then you might need more)
salt, pepper to taste
100 cubed ham, bacon or Speck, or Prosciutto
4 tbsp chopped chives
4 small cups of natural Greek yoghurt such as the 5% Fage
4 tsp sparking water
lemon juice to taste
2 tbsp water cress or chopped parsley
1 tsp fresh chopped mint, optional
– Boil potatoes with skin in water until soft.
– Wash and clean radishes, cut in slices then in small pieces.
– Sprinkle with salt and let sit for 5 min.
– Cut Speck in very small cubes and fry in a pan (without adding any grease).
– Let drip on kitchen paper
– Cut chives in very small pieces.
– Combine yoghurt in a bowl with mineral water and mix until it’s very smooth.
– Add radishes, bacon and chives and spice with pepper, salt and lemon juice to taste.
– Peel potatoes, sprinkle with cress or parsley and serve with the yoghurt.
The yoghurt with radishes could be also used as a dip with crackers or cut carrots and celery. For the dip cut the radishes in small stripes.