There is a bookshelf in my dining room that is home to cookbooks. I have bread cookbooks, pizza cookbooks, and more than a couple of German cookbooks. There is a German cookbook by a German celebrity chef. There’s a somewhat dated out of print German cookbook in English of traditional recipes. I’ve translated recipes from German language recipe sites and blogs. But the results are never to my satisfaction. Whatever I cook never seems to turn out quite like I hope. Then I got my hands on Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss. Weiss is a noted baker, not a native German, and she lives in Germany. I had high hopes that she would understand my plight of trying to make a foreign recipes “work.”
Simply put, Classic German Baking is a nearly one-stop-shop of German baking. Weiss covers favorites like Apfelstrudel, Sachertorte, and pretzels as well as somethings you likely haven’t heard of unless you have German, Austrian or Swiss citizenship. And cookies. Oh, the cookie recipes! At nearly 300 pages, space isn’t at a premium as the recipes and beautiful color photos of everyday Berlin sprawl across multiple pages.
Purely for science (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), I tried the Apfelstrudel recipe. While others I have tried have been plain but fine, Weiss’ Apfelstrudel is full of delicious apple flavors wrapped in flaky, delicate pastry.
My only complaint with Classic German Baking is very minor: not all of the recipes feature photos. Considering that some bakers may not be familiar with every single recipe in the cookbook, I consider the lack of photos a real oversight. That being said, Weiss’ recipes are solid and the descriptions tantalizing.
Weiss approaches each recipe with a noticeable respect and desire to “get it right.” The result is a German baking cookbook that doesn’t try to hide or tone anything down. For anyone even remotely interested in German or Austrian baking, Luisa Weiss’ Classic German Baking is a must-have that will be surely be a constant reference, especially during the holiday season. It’s safe to say this cookbook will do more than just sit on that shelf in my dining room.
Classic German Baking – Luisa Weiss
2016, Ten Speed Press, 288 pages
I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for this review. All opinions expressed are my own. This post contains affiliate links.