Being in Germany I felt like I had to provide you with what pretty much every German living abroad misses the most about German cuisine: GERMAN BREAD! I was never a big bread eater when still living here but I do miss this the most about German cuisine, too. Everything else I have been able to easily prepare or buy abroad. German bread, however, is either very hard to get or crazy expensive. Even if I was lucky enough to find a German bakery they usually had 3-5 different loafs and rarely any typically Swabian bread like “Seele” which means soul and pretty much is the soul of South German cuisine. Most cultures have light airy taste neutral bread but German Breads like Seele have rich and yeasty flavour and the texture is chewy and dense. I absolutely love it! Cumin seeds sprinkled on top give it a earthy taste and smell, too. This bread is not prepared like many breads in a couple of hours. Authentic German bread is a true work of art. It takes time, patience, dedication and most of all LOVE. Love for baking and traditional bread-making. Love for real ingredients, real nutrition, real food.
The dough is kneaded only by hand. No machines involved. Only time, ingredients and hands. Anybody with an oven can make it. The rising periods are long enough to go run some errands, take a nap, go for a walk, enjoy some coffee with a friend or whatever else you fancy doing.
I enjoyed making this so so much. I especially enjoyed photographing part of the process including my mother’s beautiful hands. She has the perfect baker hands. Strong, rough and dark. Don’t you think they are just gorgeous?
The dough was beautiful, too. Very chewy and sticky and the smell was amazing. I almost felt like taking a bite of dough.
When it finally was in the oven it spread a delicious bakery smell all over the house. The perfect bread for an authentic Swabian dinner: Seele with butter, deli meats, cheese and raw vegetables like cucumber, tomatoes and radishes. Writing this makes me feel all nostalgic about times that this was the norm for me almost every evening. Seele, I love you! German bread, I love you! Germany, I love you!
I know it takes a long time to make but I encourage you to really make it. It is so delicious and the process is almost therapeutic. Bread-making should be something taught at school I believe. Food preparation shouldn’t always be easy and fast….