I've been thinking about posting this for a while. I guess most of you out there will find this irrelevant, but maybe it might tickle the few Germans reading out there. I wanted to tell you about my favourite bakery here in Jena, and in short about a couple of other ones I like too. Now, bread in Germany is usually quite nice, at least in its traditional forms: rye bread, whole grain bread and so on. I don't mind the compact, heavy texture of the traditional breads. But every now and then I feel like something else, something a bit less down to earth, more frivolous maybe: Italian and French breads. Sadly most bakers either don't produce any of these breads or offer really pale copies. So I was quite happy as, a few months ago, I discovered a market stall selling good looking French and Italian breads. The stall was that of the bakery Panetoni, a bakery from the nearby town of Apolda.
From that day on I've more or less sampled most of their production and have become an admirer of their bread. They offer a few bread sorts, different rolls and a small selection of sweets. The breads on offer (2-3 kinds every day) are usually what would be called rustic: olive bread (in the pic above), tuscan, sourdough, ciabatta and a few others. As I write I'm trying their new rosemary potato bread, a nice moist bread with potato chunks with well balanced rosemary flavour. Would be great for chicken sandwich! The bread,in general. reminds me a lot of those found in American artisan bakery books.
I almost like the rolls even better: tomato an basil, sourdough, pumpkin seed and cheese and Tessiner, a row of rolls baked together to form a sort of loaf. The sweets/pastry products are mainly of French inspiration: a few kinds of buttery brioche, croissant and some nice tartlettes filled with some sort of delicious custard (I have to find out how it's made!) topped with apple slices (very nice) or strawberries (even better). The only minor criticism I can make is that the croissant are often baked a tad too long, till quite dark: still they're flakey and buttery as they should be, no match with the pale imitations sold in other bakeries. If you live around here give them a try. In Apolda - Bergstrasse 26, in Jena look for their stall at one of the entries of the Goethe gallerie.
For those who might be more interested in more traditional German breads I'm lisiting a few of my favourites. For rolls, a must for a true German breakfast, especially on the WE, the best bakery is Kwak (yep, just like the duck) (Karl-Liebknecht-Str 50 and 15). Their small, compact doppelte (double rolls) are delicious and if you want to buy some for the WE you either have to wake up early or order some in advance. For traditional German bread I really like the Czech bakery (Karl-Liebknecht-Str 1a, Magdelstieg 73, Nollendorfer Str 24), well made tatsty, plus it's a family business and not some gigantic chain. My favourite is their Quark-Fuenfkornbrot, a multigrain bread made with quark, a sort of cream cheese. They also make nice cakes. Another place for good cakes is the bakery Altengonna (Erfurter Str 4, Otto Schott Str 34), although I personally don't really like their buttercream cakes. But me, me no likes buttercream. Sooner or later I'll have to post about Turingian cakes.
P.S. These here are all judgements coming from my own personal experience. I'm in no way linked to any of the business listed above. Apart for the fact that I like them clearly :-).