Different Types of German Breads

There are lots of varieties of bread or das brot in Deutschland. Here’s our mini guide to four broad categories of bread – Mischbrot, Roggen, Vollkorn and Weizenbrot. The first, Mischbrot, is bread that is made up of a mixture of rye (der Roggen) and wheat (Der Weizen). You can

purchase this type of bread according to your preference for rye or wheat. If the bread has more wheat in it, it is called das Weizenmischbrot or if it’s got more rye in it, it’s called das Roggenmischbrot. The second group of bread is made from rye, hence Roggenbrot. This type is

darker in color and also healthier as it has more fiber and vitamins. The third type of bread is Weizenbrot and this is mostly made of wheat. This kind of bread is light in color and is also known as WeiBrot or white bread. Finally, you have Vollkornbrot which is made from whole

grains. The special thing about this type of bread is that they throw in the corn, including its seed and shells, making it rich in vitamins.

Apart from these four, there are also many other breads with a specific type of flour and other ingredients in there. There’s a reason why there’s so much bread variety in Germany and this is largely due to the moderate climate — which makes the cultivation of different cereals possible.

In the North of Germany, it is typical to find roggen and in the south, it is typical to grown der Dinkel which is another type of cereal. Another reason is that the country is composed of a lot of different areas which all have their unique bread making processes, attributing a name to each

kind. If you’re in Germany, pay a visit to the museum of Ulm where you can explore bread culture and its history!

Bread Rolls or Semmeln oder Brötchen

Typically, bread rolls in Germany are made out of light wheat and rye, that are available plain or decorated with sunflower seeds, poppy seeds or sesame seeds. These rolls are inexpensive and are largely available across bakeries in the country. When you tear off the bread, you will hear

the crisp sound of the broken bread shell. They have a hard exterior, sturdy, crusty, chewy, and soft inside.

Semmeln oder Brötchen
Semmeln oder Brötchen ©/Veronika Haberzettl/Flickr

Pretzels or Brezel

A pretzel or brezel (bracelet) is dough that is rolled out and twisted into this interesting form which is then cooked. Textually, pretzels can be hard or soft, and they have a variety of toppings you can garnish them with. Commonly, you’ll see salt as a topping, but it’s also not uncommon to

see sugar or cinnamon. Additionally, you can also try a stuffed pretzel. Regardless of their toppings or their shape, pretzels all have one thing in common — they are first boiled and then baked. The key ingredients include wheat flour, malt, salt, yeast, and water.

Pretzels ©/George Austin/Flickr


Pumpernickel is a typically heavy, slightly sweet rye bread that is often made with a combination of rye flour and whole berries. The bread has been long associated with the Westphalia region of Germany and was first referred to in print in 1450. Pumpernickel has a very long baking period,

which gives the bread its characteristic dark color. Like most traditional why bread, pumpernickel is made with an acidic sourdough starter, which preserves the dough structure by counteracting highly active rye amylases. That method is sometimes augmented or replaced in commercial

baking beading citric acid or lactic acid along with commercial yeast. Today, pumpernickel is largely sold across supermarkets in different flavors, including, coffee, cocoa powder, and molasses.

Pumpernickel © Pip@pip in the city/Flickr

Sunflower Seed Bread or

Sonnenblumenbrot© /Ulrike Westphal/Flickr

Sonnenblumenbrot is a delicious loaf of rye bread infused with the earthy flavor of dry-roasted sunflower seeds. This type of bread is available in many varieties and the most popular kind is particularly crumbly and has more seeds relative to bread than you would think possible. It has a

sour taste and is by far the cheapest variation on the theme. The other variant comes with a thick crust of sunflower sides and is slightly more doughy. There are also seeds that are baked in, which disappear into the bread and occasionally surprise you as you bite down. It is absolutely

delicious, regardless of whether you eat it at breakfast or as a midnight snack!



Roggenbrot © Marion Woell/Flickr

or Sourdough Rye Bread

This weizenmischbrot or light rye bread is made with 45 percent rye flour and 55 percent white flour with an overnight sponge and sourdough starter. A strong aroma and pleasant sour taste make this dough traditional. If you choose to make this at home, you can turn into rolls or a load,

whichever you prefer. You also might like graubrot, which is a whole-grain light rye bread made with an overnight sponge.


Three Seed Bread or Dreikornbrot

Dreikornbrot is a delicious bread typically made of rye, wheat, and oats. The bread has a light crumb with a nice crunch from the soaked seeds. It is great for making sandwiches and can easily be baked at home.

Dreikornbrot©/David Snyder/Flickr

Oatmeal Bread Two Ways or Haferflockenbrot

If you are a fan of oatmeal bread, indulge in some Haferflockenbrot! Typically, this bread is made with white flour, combined with whole-wheat flour or with 100 percent whole-wheat flour. The whole-grain version does best with an overnight rest in the refrigerator, while the regular version

takes just three hours from start to finish. You can either try two versions at the bakery or make them yourself.


Turkish Flatbread or Fladenbrot

Although this is not a German bread, it is found in Turkish stores and kiosks all over Germany. As the name suggests, Fladenbrot is a flat white bread, covered with nigella seeds, and has a particular taste. It can either be round or elongated in shape and can be easily made a home.

This bread is equivalent to the Italian ciabatta and calls for an overnight sponge. It is delicious with tzatziki dip!