In 2001 I moved from Hamburg, Germany to Maine - following my heart.

It's easy for a North German to feel at home in Maine: water, wind, waves, and non-talkative locals in rubber boots who, like real Hamburgers, like to draw out the syllable -er to -aah.

We Mainers are not only smart, we are "Mainaahs" - and "wicked smaaht!"

Jordan Pond, Acadia National Park

A beautiful countryside, plus lobsters and blueberry pie - what's not to love about that?

Only one thing was missing in the land of Wonderbread - a good, hearty loaf!

Therefore I started baking my own. Meanwhile, I don't only feed my husband, I also supply our local natural food store with crusty breads and rolls.

No, you can't live too long in Maine!


  1. Hi Karin,
    I'm a fellow German that somehow got to Maine. I originate from Potsdam though and live in the Houlton area (Monticello). When I moved to the States I prepared myself with a Brotbackbuch, that has served me well. I baked many loaves of bread for my family and then got complacent and stopped. Now I'm getting back on track and the first thing I did was make my own starter.

    1. Das ist ja nett!
      Mittlerweile gibt es zwar ein paar gute Bäckereien in Maine, aber sie sind doch noch recht spärlich gesät. In Houlton bin ich bisher nur auf der Durchfahrt nach St. Andrews gewesen (in Potsdam war ich öfters). Wie kommst du denn mit den Wintern dort "oben" zurecht?

  2. Hi Karin,

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  3. Hallo, Karin,

    I've only come to bread-baking in the last year, but am enjoying it immensely. I've mostly been working from Jeffrey Hamelman's book to build a foundation, but I"m also exploring the various bread blogs and happened across your via Zeb Bakes.

    I must tell you that I was delighted to learn that you are from Hamburg. An old school friend (from the '80s) is German and lives there, and we are fortunate to be able to visit that beautiful city every couple of years. I won't go into my love affair with Franzbrötchen, but one of my favorite treats every morning when we're there are the often square rolls called Sonnenblumenkernbrötchen. Would you have a recipe for these or be able to offer guidance in making them in the States?

    Thank you again for your wonderful blog!

    Warm Regards,


    1. Thanks, Philip! Yes, Hamburg is beautiful, how nice that you like visiting my hometown.
      I love Franzbrötchen, too, but haven't baked those for a long time.
      But, as it happens, I have a great recipe for those square Sonnenblumenkernbrötchen, from my favorite bakery in Hamburg, Gaues Bäckerei. That will be my next blog post, so stay tuned :)
      Happy Baking,

    2. Thank you so much, Karin! By the way, my friend and his family live in Eppendorf, so that's where we spend most of our time. On our last visit he introduced me to Mettbrötchen, which I suspect you cannot find in the U.S. ;-)


    3. No, this a mett-less country! Eppendorf is my old quarter, and I visit my Mom every year. Gaues' Bäckerei is at Eppendorfer Baum, and I do love the Isemarkt. Will be flying again next weekend.

  4. Hi Karin, I wonder if you might have some advice for me. I have the small bakery that made your Leinsamenbrot occasionally in Scotland, maybe you remember?... anyway, back to basics I am trying to get a Reinhardt wholemeal on my repertoire. Using a cold biga is not really practical so I am reducing the yeast Andy leaving it at room temp. I also want to reduce butter, sugar and yeast. I remember you mentioning on fresh loaf somewhere that you have annotated all recipes in Reinhardt, but are a big fan. I wonder if you might share your idea on the wholeewheat sandwich loaf? Thanks, lyn

  5. Yes, Lyn, I do remember that you bake my Leinsamenbrot, and I'm quite happy about that!
    I bake the 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich for my customers, too. I use a starter instead of the biga, and I prepare the pre-doughs in the morning before baking day, the final dough in the evening, and let it ferment in the fridge overnight. On baking day I take it out 2 hours before using, to warm up, and then proceed with shaping and baking.
    I use only 5 g instant yeast in the final dough (instead of 7 g). This works best for the long, cold fermentation. I reduce the honey to mere 18 g (instead of 43 g). I find that the long fermentation considerably softens the somewhat harsh taste of the hard winter wheat, that's one reason why the sweetener can be less (and I don't like it too sweet, either).
    The fat (butter or oil) makes the dough softer, if you reduce it, the bread will be a bit chewier.
    Good luck and happy baking,

  6. Want to say once again what a lifesaver you are! I arrived in a small central German town in 2014 from Alabama to help the wife care for her parents. I turned to bread baking to help pass the time, and make new friends. Your most important contribution has been the deciphering of FLOUR LANGUAGE! It's truly wonderful to discover such a wide variety of flours. And thanks to you I know what to do with them. :)