Best German Cookbooks
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German cuisine is cooking that centers on comfort food, and whenever I’m craving solid food that will stick to my ribs, I head to my collection of German cookbooks. Because of the heavy focus on meat, bread, and potatoes, it’s my favorite cuisine when looking for winter warmers.
Whether it’s crunchy breaded schnitzel, Sauerbraten (roast beef stew), or potato pancakes you’re looking for, here are some of the best German cookbooks to add to your cookbook collection.
The Best German Cookbooks To Try
- The German Cookbook
- Easy German Cookbook
- Das Cookbook: German Cooking…California Style
- German Meals at Oma’s
- Strudel, Noodles & Dumplings: The New Taste of German Cooking
- The Wurst! The Very Best of German Food
German cuisine is a rich and compelling type of cooking that focuses on using seasonal vegetables and produce. One typical element of German cooking is that it’s a waste-not cuisine, exemplified by traditional nose-to-tail recipes, where every part was used in the daily recipes.
With influences from neighboring Austria and Switzerland, German cooking is an excellent example of central European cooking, reflecting the available foods and the use of stored foods over long dark winters. Stews are a considerable part of German cooking and an excellent way to make the most of cheaper root vegetables, onions, and tougher cuts of meat.
Germany has a long tradition of sausage-making. Today, many german sausages are famous and a staple of October Fest fairs, where you can find bratwurst, wiener, and currywurst to go along with your stein. But fish is also an essential element in German cooking, with popular freshwater fish like pike and trout on the menu and sea fish like herring and tuna.
You will also find recipes for wheat or egg noodles, potato side dishes, and dumplings. Not least are the delicious desserts that Germans are so well known for and which have inspired much of American pastry dishes, with fresh fruit often the main ingredient for tarts, cakes, and pastries.
As a massive fan of German cooking, I have a great list of German cookbooks to suggest if you want to expand your knowledge of German recipes.
The German Cookbook
The German Cookbook is the great grand-daddy of German cookbooks, first published in 1965 and now updated, and an essential authority on German cuisine. With its collection of easy-to-follow recipes for soups, entrees, breads, desserts, and pastries, this is a well-researched book with tons of advice and tips on improving your cooking technique. However, it’s not illustrated, and some may find the text-only book too dense.
Author Mimi Sheraton has spent over fifty years researching German cooking and has traveled extensively throughout Germany to build this wonderful collection of traditional, authentic German recipes. Not only packed with recipes, but Mimi Sheraton also has top tips for ordering German food when dining out and recommendations for German restaurants abroad and in the States.
Easy German Cookbook
If you’d prefer to dip your toes into German cuisine and feel intimidated by a massive tome, then Easy German Cookbook is the one to buy. With this simple introductory cookbook, you can get the best of the traditional dishes German is most famous for. The recipes are classic, accompanied by straightforward instructions and a primer on German cuisine.
Author Karen Lodder has created a simplified German cookbook designed for the American market, focusing on homey cuisine and one-pot meals for the busy family. Some recipes take only 30 minutes to make and use ingredients easily found in American supermarkets. Beautifully illustrated with photographs, this easy cookbook is an excellent primer for German cooking.
Das Cookbook: German Cooking…California Style
For those looking for the taste of Germany with a lighter feel, Das Cookbook is an inventive collection, blending German cuisine with California taste to create this modern fusion. Featuring fresh, light salads, delicious baked goods, and holiday snacks, this recipe book from restaurateur Hans Rockenwagner is a quirky delight.
As expected from Rockenwagmner, who has since focused on his bakeries, the breads and pastries in this book are mouthwatering, creating that sweetness of German desserts with some twists that make California cuisine modern and fresh. I recommend this, especially if you’re a keen baker.
German Meals at Oma’s
Subtitled ‘Traditional Dishes for the Home Cook,’ German Meals at Oma’s recreates all those recipes you loved to eat at Grandma’s house. A recipe collection put together by food blogger Gerhild Fulson, these are traditional German meals with American home cooks in mind.
Gorgeously illustrated with full-color photographs, these easy-to-follow recipes will have you whipping up traditional German food in no time.
This selection was thoughtfully designed to showcase the best regional German cooking, with helpful tips to ensure you get the taste right. With childhood recipes typical of everyday cooking, these dishes are simple and filling, and the recipes will guide you through each step, with charming’ notes from Oma’ at the end of each one.
Strudel, Noodles & Dumplings: The New Taste of German Cooking
Another modern take on traditional German cooking, this essential cookbook from Anja Dunk is a collection for the everyday family table, rich with flavor and honest, good comfort food. If you want to recreate the comforting tastes of modern German home cooking, this beautiful book with its color phtographs is highly recommended.
These German recipes have been kept as authentic as possible while updated for modern kitchens and groceries. By using easy-to-find ingredients, these recipes will have you making hearty, tasty German fare in no time. An excellent cooking guide that will walk you through the basics of German cuisine until you’re comfortable enough to start experimenting with more complex recipes.
The Wurst! The Very Best of German Food
A fun modern cookbook that celebrates the best of German cuisine, showing it can stand alongside other European counties when it comes to tasty, moreish food. German-Australian food writer Otto Wolf showcases some wonderful German recipes, delighting in letting us discover the delicious roasts, salads, desserts, and breads that make up German cuisine.
This book concentrates more on the recipes of the Rhineland, and recipes are easy to follow, accompanied by color photographs. The recipes are also more complex than essential beginner recipes and are a better option for the more experienced home cook familiar with the basics of cooking.
Easily half the recipes concentrate on sausage making, so this is one to buy for the avid home chef keen to start making their own home-cooked wurst!
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