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German Brotchen in the US

Four years after breaking up with my DeutchLiebe, I'm stil craving "kurbiskorn brotchen" or pumpkins seed rolls we used to get in Frankfurt. My love for them is so strong that I've contemplated the whole breakup with the Deutchmann.

To my question: Short of going to Frankfurt with my tail between my legs, does anybody know anywhere in the US that stocks Brotchen, particularily the pumpkin seed variety?? I'll pay crazy shipping costs; I just need to know where it is.

My second question: Why isn't Panera bread/whole foods/Cosi all over this "whole foods" movement and start stocking some uber German whole grain foods?

My last question: Does anyone have a recipe for it? I've tried making my own with one I found on "Grandma's recipes", some website and, while it was close, it still wasn't there. I'll trade cases of Gerolsteiner for a decent recipe.

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  1. Maybe you could find an old German and/or a German cookbook.

    1. ooh, well...

      i've found brotchen nearly impossible to get here, although if you ever find a small, ethnic bakery in your travels, you can find excellent ones. (i literally chose my college bc their german bakery has excellent brotchen!) Short of that, a friend in Germany sends me mixes (brand name: Muhlen Gold); if you could find those here, you'd probably be able to make your own! There's all sorts of european food shops around, and websites too.

      5 Replies
      1. re: kryrinn

        living with a german host family for a year in berlin, my host dad would trek out every sat. morning and pick up a huge sack of broetchen for the whole family. he never forgot the kuerbiskern broetchen (my favorite) for me.

        i wish i could help you find it too...equally going through german bread syndrome withdrawls.

        while were at it...how about those doener kebap cravings?

        1. re: kare_raisu

          For me it was Lachmajun...hmmm...I found a place in Patterson which makes frozen Lachmajun and, with a small salad atop, I can imagine I'm in a smokey Frankfurt Turkish restaurant.

          1. re: kare_raisu

            I did a semester in Berlin and doener kebaps were the best!!! I searched and searched, and even did a post on chowhound, just to see if anyone knew how to make the awesome bread they were served in, to no avail. I guess I'll just have to go back. :)

            1. re: immelu

              all i remeber was it was called 'fladenbrot' and i miss it too/

              there was a great schwarma place at winterfeld platz (i think) that had a lighter than air pocket bread

          2. re: kryrinn

            Kryrinn:

            Without a doubt, brotchen would be an incredible enticement to any college. Moving to the food has always been important to me...it's the only concrete reason I can say that I wanted to move to New Jersey (ah, the tomato).

          3. I find a lot of recipes for brotchen that are just standard bread recipes with the addition of sugar and egg whites. I also find recipes for Altdeutxche Brotchen which is a baking powder muffin with vanilla, rum, cinnamon, ground almonds, orange rind, and maybe raisins. Which are you looking for?

            2 Replies
            1. re: yayadave

              I'm looking for more of the savory brotchen - not so much like stolen and more like a savory roll. The best ones I've had are VollKorn -full seed- and more akin to multi-grain than anything

              1. re: sixelagogo

                Yes, "vollkorn" in English is "whole grain." Try other bakeries (Mexican is good usually), though they tend not to be so whole grain.

            2. I love those things! I get maddening cravings for them. I wonder if they're the same throughout Germany? Each region seemed to me to have completely different broetchen/semmel.

              1 Reply
              1. re: commie hound

                Ja, I spent a year in Hamburg more than 30 years ago. There was a bakery just a couple of blocks away where I'd often trot over to to get fresh Brötchen for breakfast. They were unflavored (as far as I could tell) white rolls, but oh! so delicious in some way I've never found the equal of since. I sure wish I knew the secret.

                Jim (Jakob)

              2. In Boston, the local metzgerie, Karl's Sausages in Saugus, who make their own hams (including schwarzwald schinken), wursts, and a great landjaeger, sell brotchens only on Fridays and Saturdays until their supply runs out. They're pretty good - I lived in Germany for 3 years and these come as close as anything I've seen here. I'm sure they don't make them and get them from somebody - somehow, I've never asked who they get it from. I'll ask next time I'm there and pass on the info.