Breakfast isn’t just the most important meal of the day. It is also one of the most interesting. While many of us have a similar breakfast day after day and week after week, there are countless dishes out there to try. We’ve been fascinated with the topic recently here at FoodForNet and have been digging into the different breakfast choices. Today, we’re looking at traditional German breakfast foods.
As these dishes show, breakfast foods can follow many different styles. Some of the choices in this list may be similar to breakfasts that you enjoy yourself. Others may be completely different.
The variation can be a good thing. Why not have fun with breakfast and try something new?
If you’re interested in traditional breakfast options, you can also check out some of our other lists, such as Scottish breakfasts, Russian breakfasts, and Japanese breakfasts. These countries all offer some familiar breakfast choices, along with other ideas that are very interesting indeed.
P.S. For even more German delights, why not look at German beer steins? These are beautiful collector’s items and some are even worth a lot of money.
Traditional German Breakfast Foods
The name of this dish translates to farmer’s omelet. As that name suggests, the dish is simply an omelet. Well, mostly. It’s an omelet that contains a decent number of fillings, which makes it more filling than many other omelet recipes.
Popular fillings include bacon, onions, eggs, and potatoes. The fillings are sauteed together first until the potatoes are perfectly golden brown. Sometimes an egg and milk mixture is then poured into the pan, which forms the egg part of the omelet. Grated cheese can be included as well and the omelet is sometimes served with a side of pickles.
The idea of using potatoes in an omelet is such a cool one. The potatoes add some starch to the meal, along with an interesting texture. They can also help to prevent the omelet from becoming too rich, as omlets that rely on eggs, bacon, cheese, and similar ingredients do often end up being quite intense.
Bread features in many German breakfasts, either in the form of sliced bread or as bread rolls. But, you won’t often see white bread gracing the table like you might at home. In Germany, dark bread tends to be much more popular. This includes multi-grain, rye, or brown bread.
There are literally hundreds of different types of German bread to choose from. This is fantastic from the perspective of variety, but the large number of options can make decisions difficult. Still, you’re likely to find your own favorites before too long.
Regardless of whether you’re in Germany or not, the best way to enjoy bread like this is to focus on products from bakeries or other locations that focus on artisan products. The mass-produced bread from the grocery store doesn’t tend to be nearly as good.
The bread we mentioned above might be served as toast, with common toppings including butter, margarine, marmalade, Nutella, nougat, or honey.
This type of breakfast does tend to be high in carbs. Even so, the German version may be more filling than most because you’re relying on heartier bread. And, of course, fillings can be savory too, including options like sliced meat and cheese. Savory choices will often be more filling.
Bread Rolls With Fillings
Bread rolls, called brötchen, also feature in German breakfasts. Once again, there are various styles to choose from, such as mixed rye (which relies on a mixture of rye flour and wheat flour), wholemeal, and seed-based rolls.
There are white rolls too, called weiße brötchen. These tend to have a crispy exterior and a soft interior.
Rolls are often eaten with fillings, giving you an easy breakfast to grab and go. Some of the fillings are options that you’d traditionally find with toast, such as chocolate spread or jam.
Other fillings may be more reminiscent of lunch, such as cheese, ham, salami, sliced tomato, or black forest smoked ham.
This meal is a variation on the previous example, but it deserves a special mention. Mettbrötchen is basically a sandwich served on one half of a bread roll.
The roll is topped with raw pork mince (called mett), raw onions, and seasonings. While the idea of eating raw mince might sound unappealing to many readers, the dish does remain a popular one.
While the name of this dish might seem a little overwhelming, the food itself isn’t. It translates to pancakes with bacon, which perfectly describes what you can expect. The pancake itself tends to be thin and savory, so it combines well with the flavors of the bacon.
Sometimes the bacon is included on top of the cooked pancake, while other times it might be used as a filling instead. Either way, you’ll need to cook the bacon separately first.
Other ingredients can help to round the dish out, like onions or cheese. While these ingredients might not work well with a sweet pancake, they’re an excellent choice for the savory style of this recipe.
Eggs feature in German breakfasts just like they do in so many other places. This time, boiled eggs are by far the most common style.
The focus on boiled eggs isn’t too surprising either, as these perfectly complement the cold cut style that is often seen for a German breakfast, where ingredients like bread, bread rolls, cheese, sliced meats, and spreads are often featured.
Of course, other preparations of eggs can be found too, especially if you’re enjoying a German breakfast at a cafe rather than at home. Fried eggs and scrambled eggs are both common choices.
While the name might be unfamiliar, eierkuchen should be another fairly familiar breakfast choice – as we’re simply talking about pancakes. The traditional German version tends to be sweet and may feature familiar sweet toppings, like fruit or syrup.
It is also possible to make a savory version of the pancakes. If so, sugar and flavorings like cinnamon or vanilla extract are omitted from the initial mixture. Doing so makes it easy to use savory toppings on the pancakes.
When cooked, the pancakes tend to be thin and round. This makes them fast to cook and easy to eat.
Fruit And Muesli
Cereal still features in German breakfasts, this time in the form of muesli. Muesli is similar to granola and the two terms are sometimes used interchangeably. However, one key difference is that muesli tends to be unbaked, while granola is often baked instead. Granola is also more likely to includes sweeteners and oils to help keep the ingredients together.
Fruit will often be used as a topping for the muesli, although you may find either ingredient consumed on its own as well.
Weisswurst is a type of fat white sausages and these are a popular breakfast choice in Bavaria. Accompanying items can include sweet mustard and a soft pretzel.
This combination creates a hearty breakfast that isn’t too difficult to eat either. Interestingly, the meal is often served with a beer (which may or may not be appealing at breakfast time).
Pastries are another common choice throughout the world. Both savory and sweet pastries can be found in Germany, with many bakeries offering these as an easy breakfast that you can grab and go.
Pairing a pastry with a to-go coffee is a simple breakfast on the run although, of course, this approach isn’t a very filling breakfast.
This meal is a traditional German pudding, which uses semolina as the base ingredient. The semolina is cooked in milk and sugar. Flavoring ingredients are often added too, like cinnamon and perhaps vanilla. Fruit may be added on top to give the meal more diverse flavors.
While this is often called a semolina pudding, the dish is essentially another type of porridge. It has the same heartiness that variations on porridge offer and is an easy way to enjoy a hot breakfast first thing in the day.
Senfeier is one of those dishes that you can enjoy at many different times of the day, partly because it is so simple. The meal consists of boiled eggs that are served in a creamy mustard-based sauce.
There is generally no meat in the dish. Instead, common additions include potatoes, spinach, carrots, cauliflower, or even perhaps rice. Some versions use fried onions and bacon as well, although these additions are purely optional.
Many countries use multiple types of pancakes as breakfast options and Germany is no exception. A flädle is a very basic pancake that relies on ingredients like flour, eggs, and water (or perhaps milk). The batter isn’t thick and ends up creating thin pancakes that can easily be rolled and sliced.
The basic nature of the batter means that the pancakes can easily be savory or sweet. A savory version will normally include chopped herbs and seasoning ingredients, like salt and pepper, will be used in the batter. Sweet versions tend to rely on sugar and perhaps vanilla in the batter.
There are many different possible toppings for these pancakes. Sweet toppings include options like fruit, cream, and jam.
Sliced strips of flädle are also sometimes used as an ingredient in soup. This soup isn’t generally a breakfast meal, although you certainly could eat it at breakfast-time.
- Related: Swedish Breakfast Foods