Despite its name, Berlin Bread is neither bread nor from Berlin. It’s a Christmas delicacy from the Bergisch Land region of Germany and similar to Italian cantuccini, just softer when done right.
My grandma Hanna made the best Berlin Bread. It was one of her go-to recipes for Christmas goodies, and she always managed to make it soft and chewy and so so good. She kept a card index box on the shelf above her oven and the very first recipe card was always Berlin Bread. It just wasn’t Christmas time until gran had made Berlin Bread.
During my undergrad years, she once sent me three airtight plastic boxes of Berlin Bread so I wouldn’t miss out. Each December, this stuff was like currency in our family.
- Peel the almonds. To do so, you'll need a small pan and 1.5l water. Bring the water with the almonds to a boil for 2-3 minutes. Strain the water, then quickly rinse the almonds with cold water. You should now be able to peel off the skin with your fingers.
- Preheat your oven to 200°C - 225°C
- Mix the eggs, brown sugar and hot water together.
- Mix all other ingredients except the almonds and hazelnuts into the egg and sugar mixture. Keep stirring.
- Once the dough is smooth, fold in the almonds and hazelnuts with a spatula, so you don't damage them.
- Line an oven tray with baking paper and pour the mass evenly onto the tray. Smooth it out with a knife. The dough should have the same thickness throughout.
- Bake for 15-20 mins at 225°C After baking
- You need to cut the Berlin Bread as soon as it is out of the oven! Cut it in stripes, roughly the width of two fingers. Then cut it into smaller pieces that will fit into your airtight container. Storing
- Let cool a little, but don't let the Berlin bread get cold. Line your airtight container with cling film. While still warm to the touch, place your Berlin Bread in your container. You can stack it, but make sure you put some cling film between layers. This will help keep it soft and chewy. Left to cool complete out in the open, Berlin Bread will turn rock hard. This will make it great for dunking into your coffee if you like a bit of a crunch.