Weaponised Bread

German style bread I have a test for you. Find a German person who is travelling. Ask them what they miss about Germany. After a little bit of lyrical waxing about the awesome singing of David Hasselhoff and the wonder that is Oktoberfest, I can pretty much guarantee you that at some point they will bemoan the lack of decent bread available anywhere in the world apart from Germany.

This is because German bread differs quite significantly to bread in the rest of the world. The main difference being its consistency: it is somewhat denser than your average loaf. I think it was probably originally some kind of building material, confused as a lunch time ingredient by a hung-over construction worker, and then adopted into the national diet. That, or it is an attempt at weaponising a food stuff.

There is a point to this bread based rambling. My dear girlfriend, who happens to be German, has just celebrated her birthday. I am usually at a loss with what to do for these events, particularly on the road and I decided this time round that I would try and give her something she wouldn’t normally get. Creating German bread (or at least attempting to) was my solution.

It turns out that German bread is, in fact, not the simple “mix cement with flour” baking process that you may suspect. Instead it turns out to be a multi-day event, requiring the creation of two separate doughs, overnight rising, refrigeration, two different types of flour, and more steam than a Turkish bath.

German Bread

The main differences between normal bread and German bread, for those of you interested in these things, are the use of rye flour as well as normal flour, and the baking process, which requires a very hot and steamy oven.

I am pleased to report that after a lot of effort, and some serious kneading of a dough that was, to my mind, more suited to life as an emergency stopper for cracked damns than an actual foodstuff, the final product was met with great positivity. Which was the overall aim, so huzzah all round.

If you’re interested in trying to create your own deadly bread based missile, I mostly followed this recipe.

The rest of the birthday went as one would hope. There was a cake with candles. A present which had come all the way from Germany was opened. Rain fell pretty much all day. Snow was forecast to follow. Summer appears to have ended – the blackberries bursting out of the bushes are a testament to that.

German Haribo

On a totally unrelated note, the rain brought the revelation that fishing is probably the perfect outdoor recreational activity. The holiday park is filled with fishermen at the moment, and it seems that rain is not a barrier to sitting in a boat catching nothing all day. Unlike many other outdoor pursuits, where rain would entirely stop play.

You don’t need to be a fisherman to not catch fish all day I have figured – you can just sit outside in the rain and pretend just as well. It’s an option I will be offering to the morose looking hikers who peer forlornly at the grey cloud filled skies, unable to complete their journey across the Tongariro Alpine Crossing, and cursing the fickle weather gods of New Zealand.

I will leave you with that thought for the day, and of course, many happy returns to Vera, who has now managed to travel with me for nearly a year, possibly even more of a challenge than making it to thirty two ;)

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