Monday, August 15, 2011

The Learning Curve Begins

I remember when we moved to New Zealand how is took a little while to familiarise myself with all the goodies stored at the supermarket. The names were all the same but the packaging and the brand names were different. It didn't take too long for me to find the products that I had been used to buying in Australia and find my new favourite brands.

It is a little trickier at the moment and may take a little longer. Being in a non-English speaking country, that also has quite a different cooking culture is a real learning experience.

One of the Sunday staples in our weekly menu is pancakes. We are real fans of the Jamie Oliver 1-cup recipe as it is super simple. This is one that the kiddies had started making.

On one of the shopping expeditions, I picked up some mehl (flour) and all of the other ingredients.

It wasn't until I got home that I realised I needed self raising flour for this recipe. After a bit of late night Googling, I found that there is no such thing in Germany. It isn't something that is used here. (Please, any Germans reading this, correct me if I am wrong).

So that meant a change in breakfast plans. With all of these ingredients what was I to do?

Make crepes.

With the recipe all sorted I open the flour to find the weizen actually means wheat and not white like I had thought while perusing the shelves in Bio-Mart.

The crepes turned out well and there were no complaints about the little 'bits' in these.

This left me with a bit of a mission for the week. I needed to understand the difference between all of the mehls and see if I could find a raising agent.


I was able to find some back pulven (baking powder) at a different supermarket, and with the help of a very patient shop assistant, work out the difference between all of the mehl.

I had presumed that the numbers on the packet were to do with processing which was right. The only difference was I had it the wrong way around. I had thought that the higher the number, the more processed it would be, but it is actually the opposite. After my friendly shop assistant had explained this to me, I thought I would try to understand a little more. It isn't necessarily to do just with processing, but also the mineral content (I think). After a little more reading, I was happy with the mehl choice I had made and was confident that Sunday's breakfast would work.

Sunday morning.

New ingredients at the ready.

The batter was looking a little more promising.

Light and fluffy pancakes were on the menu again.

I just couldn't walk past these gorgeous raspberries at the market on Friday. These turned out the be the perfect accompaniment.

Breakfast success.

I still think the crepes will sneak their way into the menu too.

Take care.


  1. Amazing the things you take for granted, like Self Raising Flour!!! Is it that they still have to make their own or just that the German cooking does not require the raising agent! Now that I think of it, German food is quite thick and stodgy isn't it! Hope your enjoying your travels! :)

  2. We also use Jamie's recipe. Have you tried them with a bit of yoghurt under your fresh fruit. it's our standard Saturday morning breakfast, made by Dad. Even better is to add a drizzle of honey and a sprinkling walnuts if you have any.

  3. Gooseberry Jam, from the very limited reading I have done at the moment, I think yeast is more common. I'm not sure about with cakes but I have my fingers crossed that one of my few German readers might be able to hand out a few pointers. We are having a wonderful time. Thanks.

    Cath, aren't these just fabulous. I just bought some zitronemspalte (lemon) yoghurt that I think would go just nicely. Mmmm, nuts you say? Sounds wonderful. I'll need to add these to the shopping list. Thanks for the tips.

  4. when I visited Germany I loved all the different grains available in the health food shops, like spelt, rye and buckwheat, there's so much more variety than just wheat. Enjoy!

  5. Farmer Liz, the Bio Mart is full of fabulous products and now that I found out the oven isn't broken I am really looking forward to getting into some baking. It's all very exciting.


Thanks so much for dropping by. I really appreciate any comments you have to make.

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