EURO BREAD TOUR: A visit with "Plötzblog" baker Lutz Geissler
Meeting Lutz was short but sweet - it’s always great to meet with likeminded people to share thoughts, methods and ideas (plus coffee, cake and bread of course…). We talked about ovens, recipes, baking bread in the US vs Germany, the “new” German bread culture (Bakeshops who use frozen yeast dough vs. hand-made, sourdough breads) and the difficulties of working in an old, sometimes not so flexible, system of rules and regulations - and the advantages of having those in place.
The German “Master Baker” law comes to mind: One can only make and sell hand made breads in a shop or bakery in Germany when there is a certified master baker on site. Otherwise you can buy pre-made dough, breads and baked goods and “finish them” in an on-site oven for sale.
Is this a good thing for quality standard? Or a hurdle for those who are truly passionate and knowledgeable about bread baking but don’t have a formal training?
The debate is open …
For those of you who read German, check out Lutz’ excellent baking blog Plötzblog: https://www.ploetzblog.de
Below you see a picture of Lutz in front of the wood-fired bread oven at Hof Wulsdorf, a biodynamic community with a wonderful farm, bakery, dairy and shop on site.
EURO BREAD TOUR - Arriving in Germany and bread baking is alive and well
First stop on our EURO BREAD TOUR 2018 is Hamburg, Germany. It was a particular chilly day in the port city of Hamburg and the sky was wintery grey as we landed.
First stop (we skipped the airplane breakfast so we were hungry) was the bakery Dallmeyer, was well positioned outside Arrivals in Terminal 1. It was a bakeshop, so definitely a chain bakery that uses prebaked dough (you cannot open a bakery and sell bread in Germany unless you are a certified Master Baker - so anybody who is not certified will call it a “bakeshop” instead), but the quality of the buns (rye sourdough and oat crumble savory bread bun) was flawless.
A crunchy thin crust was met with a soft baked-through center - one could tell, there are no human hands involved here and the character and uniqueness of each piece was missing, but on has to admit that the taste was nearly perfect.
It is nice to see that the craft of baking is well and alive, but it was also a bit scary to see the high number of bakeshops vs. proper bakeries. It seems like industrialized food is taken more and more space on our food map - all around the world.
But we were hopeful: Next week we will visit several craft bakers in Germany, traveling from Hamburg to Berlin and Cologne and then further on to Strasbourg and Paris. Next stop: Ahrensburg, a small village outside of Hamburg where one of Germany’s best know bakers Lutz Geissler aka “the unconventional outsider” is giving bread baking classes on a Demeter (organic) farm, with wood-fired bread oven, a creamery, an organic farm shop and a café.
Can’t wait! Check back soon…
Winter has arrived - we're hibernating!
...well, not really - but we wont be delivering until later this spring, now is the time of travel and adventure! We will be starting a journal of this year's trip to Europe and invite you to come with us to discover delicious foods, bakeries and visits to chefs and food-makers. Check back soon!
3/16/2016 - Preparing For Start Into The 2016 Baking Season
Back from Blue Hill at Stone Barns in New York - what an experience! The modern, light-filled bakery makes the most amazing whole grain breads from locally grown wheat flours, and the dedication of the people working in this place is truly inspiring. I will definitly be back, baking, tasting, experimenting and maybe doing some classes and workshops.
Happy to be back in Vermont now, preparing the start into the new baking season. Classes are ongoing (please check the class calender) and the first delivery to City Market in Burlington will be beginning of April. Check back soon for exact dates, new products and the baking schedule.
1/3/2016 - Winter Break
We are currently in our winter break until the end of April 2016. In the meantime, please check out our classes and workshops and come bake with us!