Classification of bread in Germany

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Bread on sale in Germany at the present time is mainly divided into the following groups according to its ratio of wheat and rye:

  • made of at least 90 % wheat flour (wheat bread)
  • more than 50 % wheat and more than 10 % of another bread grain, each as flour (mixed wheat bread)
  • wheat flour and rye flour up to 50 % each (mixed grain bread)
  • more than 50 % rye and more than 10 % of another bread grain, each as flour (mixed rye bread)
  • made of at least 90 % rye flour (rye bread)

The classification according to the percentage of wheat and rye also applies to speciality bread. In addition here, a differentiation is made according to other criteria.

Speciality bread

  • with special types of grain (other grain and pseudo-grain)
  • with special additions of vegetable origin
  • with special additions of animal origin
  • with special baking processes (e.g. wood-fired oven bread)
  • with special dough methods
  • from specially processed milled products
  • with a changed nutritional value

This classification applies to all types of bread grain (wheat, spelt, emmer, einkorn, rye, triticale, etc.).
The types of bread brought onto the market under the following names have to fulfil the requirements in regard to the ratio of the flours. Over and above, water, salt and yeast are contained in bread in general. Other ingredients, such as fats, sugar, dairy products and seeds, etc., can vary in the bakeries depending on the bread character desired.

Wheat bread

Wheat bread consists of at least 90 % wheat flour or milled wheat products. In addition to water, baking yeast and salt, fats, sugars and milk products can also be used. Classic wheat bread is white bread, baguette and toast bread.

Mixed wheat bread

Mixed wheat bread consists of more than 50 – 89 % wheat flour as well as another bread grain of more than 10 % as flour. As examples to be mentioned are “Kassler Brot”, “Münsterländer Bauernstuten” and “Besenbrot”.

Mixed rye bread

Mixed rye bread consists of more than 50 – 89 % rye flour as well as another bread grain of more than 10 % as flour. Without acid, rye flour has only a limited baking ability. For this reason, either sourdough and/or edible acids (e.g. acetic, lactic or citric acids) are added in the form of dough acidifying agents. Among the mixed rye bread is “Frankenlaib”, “Paderborner” and “Gersterbrot”, for example.

Rye bread

Rye bread is made from at least 90 % rye flour or milled rye products. The necessary acidification takes place via sourdough and/or dough acidifying agents. In this group are “Berliner Landbrot” and “Kommissbrot”, for example.

Speciality bread

Over and above bread grain, speciality bread also contains milled products from other types of grain, i.e. barley, oats, millet, rice and maize, as well as pseudo-grains, such as amaranth, buckwheat and quinoa. Also the processing of other ingredients of vegetable or animal origin, such as malt, bran, wheat germs, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, oilseeds, buttermilk, quark or yoghurt, is common.

As it is becoming more and more difficult for a bakery to purchase all the raw materials common today individually and with the necessary care, but above all to check these, mixes are also used in the sector of speciality bread. They contain components in an optimum combination which have an effect on taste and on baking technology. But, however, the bakery still has the possibility of having variations due to the dough method and the shape and thus guarantee the wide range of products the customers are used to. What is more, mixes give an advantage to the user in that legal food regulations can be adhered to exactly.