German baking, I don’t think, gets its due. It’s partially because the names of the pastries and baked goods don’t exactly roll right off most of our tongues. Kartoffel-Käse Dinnede, Zitronenbiskuitrolle, Aachener Poschweck, Schwäbischer Prasselkuchen, and, well…I’ll quit now, because it’s taking me too long to hunt down all those keys on my keyboard. And I’d rather be wrapping my tongue around German cakes and cookies, rather than trying to wrap it around their names.
Fortunately Luisa Weiss, who writes one of my favorite blogs, Wednesday Chef, has published them in a very accessible collection of recipes, Classic German Baking. This beautifully written cookbook features traditional German favorites, adapted for kitchens everywhere. (And yes, there’s a guide at the end of the book for how to pronounce everything.) It’s one of those cookbooks that you’ll bookmark several recipes in on your first glance, like I did. Then during the next few weeks, you’ll spend your way baking through them.
Luisa was born in Berlin. Her mother is Italian, and she’s lived in Germany, France, and the United States. So you’ll be happy to hear that all the cakes, cookies, tortes and kuchens are completely do-able in any kitchen, using ingredients that are easy to get. And for the few that might pose a challenge, like spiced plum butter and quark, she gives recipes on how to make them yourself.
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