The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Happy New Year

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone!

Around my native town Freiburg in south-west Germany we have thae habit to eat some huge and elaborately decoreted brezels made of sweet dough for breakfast on New Year's Day. (Usually they are made by professional bakers.)

I made  some of them in the past, here some impressions from this year's bake.

A little mouse made by my wife, peeking into the future:


The somewhat more conventional Neujahrs-Brezel I made:

I used DiMuzio's sweet challah dough - I love to work with it, and it comes pretty close to what bakers use for these brezels in Germany.

The problem with making these is worktop space - the strand for a 600g brezel is about 1.3 metres long!

Best Wishes,




varda's picture

Juergen, I had never even heard of a brezel before.   The mouse is very cute.   Happy New Years to you too.  -Varda

hanseata's picture

Very impressive - I would have to clear out my whole kitchen counter to achieve that length. Beautiful Brezel.


SylviaH's picture

I just love that little mouse and the breads are beautiful!


breadsong's picture

Hello Juergen,
That is a beautiful brezel, and the '2012' and braided decorations are a nice touch, along with the mouse~
:^) from breadsong

lumos's picture

Happy New Year to you, Juergen.

Beautiful brezel!  Thanks you for sharing.

Looking forward to more of your wonderful and inspiring creation in 2012, too. :)

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

The Brezel disappeared very quickly on New Year's day.

Karin, I had to clear my kitchen workktop for this. It's a great opportuniry for  a deep-clean...


alpenrose's picture

Dear Jurgen:

I read your blogs with great envy and they encourage me to continue this journey which I have started late in life. I began working with yeast last year and have gotten pretty good at every day regular breads. I am trying to get started with sourdough and hope someday to be able to do what you can do!  

My problem is this: I am working from Peter Reinhart's book "Artisan Breads Every Day" and I have tried his seed culture to starter    (Pages 37-41). This is my third failed attempt.  I am using pineapple juice (fresh can every time), spring water, new rye flour, and new wheat flour. I can get the first stage and even the second stage of the seed culture, but when I get to stage 3 it seems to always become most active in the middle of the night--no matter what time I started it in the morning! On all three attempts I have moved forward to Phase 4 with something that looks like it was active but has slowed down. Stage 4 never moves--EVER. I have worked it three or four times a day for 8 days, and nothing happens except it starts to smell really nasty. I am not familiar yet with various levels of hydration, so I cannot understand why the Stage 4 never moves. I do understand that it is a drier formula--but, still nothing happens. Not in the middle of the night, not during the day--never--nothing! It just sits there in a hard ball.  Please help. Thank you,

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Dear Alpenrose,

I'll answer in your other posting.


MNBäcker's picture


this brings back sweet memories. I grew up in a small town between Bonn and Cologne and learned the Craft of Baking in a smalltown bakery. We would (seriously!) make several hundred of these pretzels, braided from three strands, every New Year's Eve. Right now, I only have a 24 inch wide space on my counter to make my breads for the WFO, but once we re-configure the kitchen island, I'll have plenty of space to make one of these puppies again...

Happy New Year - ein Frohes Neues Jahr!


Little German baker's picture
Little German baker

We had those when I was growing up.  New years was a very special celebration. Everyone gives these as a gift and as good luck for the new year. These bretzel come in many sizes, small, medium and large. Some where so large, they would never fit into a regular sized oven. They are so yummy!


Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

It's great to see somebody is reading old posts!

This last New Year we somehow missed out on Neujabrsbrezeln.

I agree with you, a home oven is a serious constraint, as is the space needed to roll those huge bretzels.