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Want to shop for the perfect slice of Kuchen to go with your Kaffee? These exceptional spots take the sweet stuff to another level.
Germany has a long, proud tradition of working wonders with flour, water, butter, yeast, and salt. Unfortunately, over the years, many of Berlin’s traditional bakeries have been replaced by chains, which cut corners and costs through mass-production. The following places treat this ancient art with the reverence it deserves by using premium ingredients and slow-rising techniques. The supremely delicious results speak for themselves.
It may be a bit out of the way, but this family-run bakery is well-worth the trek to Moabit. Around New Years, Konditorei Buchwald fries up some of the best Pfannkuchen or Krapfen. You can find these pillowy, jam-filled doughnuts, which are a traditional festive treat, all over the city, but you’d be hard-pressed to locate any better specimens than the ones here. At Christmas, the bakery serves a much rarer confection. Baumkuchen, or “tree cake,” gets its name from the unusual pattern of concentric rings resembling the marks on the interior of a tree trunk. In order to make this labour-intensive sweet, bakers paint thin layers of butter-rich batter on spinning wooden poles over an open fire. The finished cake has a toasty, caramelised flavour from the flames.
Bartningallee 29 (837,85 km)
The name of this cosy Mitte bakery, which translates to “time for bread,” serves as a reminder that good artisanal loaves take time and that even in our hectic day and age, it’s worth stopping to take a moment to enjoy them properly. The owners are just as committed to the environment as they are to the yeasty marvels that emerge from the oven. Much of their production process is carbon neutral and all of the ingredients come from farms that are either organic or practice sustainable agriculture. Be sure to pick up one of the decadent, gooey cinnamon rolls.
Alte Schönhauser Str. 4 (840,14 km)
Peter Klann might be the closest thing Berlin has to a celebrity baker and the organic breads that emerge from his clay oven have been featured in cookbooks and in the documentary Buono Come il Pane, which debuted at the 2009 Berlinale. In the film, Michelin triple-starred chef Michael Hoffmann called Klann’s creations the “Ferrari of bread.” Despite all the acclaim, the modestly sized bakery in Südstern, a rather lovely part of Kreuzberg, makes little attempt to show off its considerable credentials. Instead, Klann lets the bread speak for itself. While the dense, hearty loaves made with aged flower are extraordinary, those with a sweet tooth may prefer the delectable Portuguese egg custard tarts.
Gneisenaustraße 58, 10961 Berlin, +49 30 61671191