Thursday, May 20, 2010

It is bread baking day in the Black Forest

We are in Joklisbauern Hof in Gutach, Germany. This is at the edge of the Black Forest, near the French border. We were fortunate to stay in this farm B and B on bread baking day. Not really keeping count, they said they bake over 100 loaves of white and rye bread every Friday.

The town folk can see the smoke from the wood oven and several hours later, the bread smell starts wafting into town.

At 6 a.m. the first batch is started in the kitchen. A large professional mixer is rolled into the center of the kitchen. It does the mixing and the kneading. After enough proofing time, loaves are formed and left to rest on long boards in the kitchen.

During this time, Martin has built a wood fire in the oven where his father and grandfather also baked bread. The coals are then moved to each side of the large oven, excess is scraped out and the stove is brushed clean with a large, wet brush. The water also helps to provide steam which makes a crackly crust.

This is definitely a two man (woman) job. Martin and Elfriede carry the loaves out of the house and into the small oven room. Notice, Elfriede is smiling. She smiles constantly.
Metal pegs protrude out of the stone wall in the oven room where the heavy bread laden boards are laid. Can you see some of the loaves just drooping off the board?



Elfiede gives each loaf a gentle pat and reshaping as Martin shoves the loaves to the back of the oven. He uses a thermometer which he holds to the opening of the oven and gets an immediate 184 degrees C. "Perfect" he says. That is approximately 365 degrees F. Every 15 minutes thereafter, he turns each loaf to let it bake evenly, otherwise one side will blacken too much. The loaves bake for one hour. They bake three batches like this every Friday.


He bakes 1 kg loaves which he sells for 1.8 euro. The 2 kg loaves sell for 2.5 euro. All day, cars arrive to buy the bread. Just guess who was first at the breakfast table when the warm loaves came out of the oven. "Perfect", I say, "perfect." The rich farm butter just slid off the crusty bread.




12 comments:

  1. Very interesting with the bread and I bet it is delicious with it being baked in that oven. The Black Forest area was my favorite spot in Germany when living there. The rolling hills, cuckoo clocks and Black Forest Cake; many good beautiful things there! I can just taste that bread now slathered with the butter!

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  2. I can imagine that wonderful aroma of baking bread filling the air. I wouldn't be able to resist. I love the Black Forest area of Germany.

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  3. One of the things I love about European culture is that they still go to the bakery to purchase their bread or they bake it themselves.

    This looks like a wonderful time at the B&B in Germany. I can imagine the creamy butter on warm fresh baked crusty bread-delicious.

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  4. Love those loaves. I've always heard that water forming steam in the oven makes for a crusty loaf of bread. Looking forward to more of your trip. Thanks for sharing Susan.

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  5. Anonymous12:49 PM

    I remember Jack Hahn's bakery in Middle Amana as being a special place to visit just as the bread was coming out of the oven. My mouth still waters when I think about it. I can see why that lady always has a smile on her face. How could she help it living in such a beautiful and relaxing place! rw

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  6. I am absolutely drooling!! It sounds wonderful.

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  7. What an interesting post on German bread making. The French don't have anything on the Germans when it comes to great bread. I am really crazy about their rye, but I'm not sure I would be smiling, carrying that heavy load.
    Sam

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  8. I am whimpering, just knowing how fantastic the bread and butter is. Malzeit! Lucky you. So glad to enjoy your travels via the blog.

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  9. I can just imagine that gorgeous smell and the warm bread on the morning table. What a lovely experience seeing the bread baked on Friday.

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  10. I loved this post, Susan. I could almost picked up the aroma of bread fresh from the ovens. It's so nice to see artisans ply there trade. Blessings...Mary

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  11. Yum, bet that place had good smells!! So interesting to see this way of baking bread.

    Love being on this trip, (after the fact)!!!

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  12. That was so fun. Does the German bread differ from French? Now when my loaves crack so I'm just going to proudly declare I'm baking like my ancestors of long ago:) I do have to say the scenery in the background looks alot like this area of WI and MN, makes me understand why my Germans settled in this region of the country.

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