10.24.2015

The Best of the Wurst

I had my first Weißwurst when I was 14 while traveling through Germany for a month with my friends Chris and Robert.


Prior to that, a hot dog was just a hot dog. We didn't even call them Frankfurters.

I remember coming back from the trip and asking Mom to get some Weißwurst and, because of the wonderful nearby Pennsylvania Dutch community (read: Dutch as Deutsch), we were able to find them. The whole family became fans.

This post is really less about the wurst and more an opportunity to share some of the photos of our trip this summer to Salzburg, Mittenwald, and Heidelberg - places where we ate Weißwurst often. Sometimes we ate them with buns, and sometimes not, but always with a tube of German mustard at hand. We went to Cologne, too, but had a very different kind of wurst there; you will have to wait a little while for that!

Although traditionally boiled for breakfast, we pan-fried them for dinners, and served them with a simple salad. We started our big day of Alpine hiking with a couple each for breakfast. Here, back at home, we either grill or pan-fry them. Today, I made homemade hot dog buns to hold them. The mustard was a gift from our friends Laura and Arch from their trip to Germany - our last tube!

This year's trip was a great traipse down memory lane for me, having visited these areas in Germany and Austria several times since I was 14. But it was a first for Markipedia, and I loved seeing the accidental polymath take in new architecture, cultural norms, and language with such fascination. It was nice for me to be his guide.

I hope you enjoy this photo essay of our time there.

Salzburg an independent city-state for a thousand years, and heavily rebuilt by its prince-bishops in the 17th and 18th centuries, is known as the Rome of the North. Its Baroque and Rococo beauty captured our hearts!

Mittenwald - home of violin makers since the 1600s - is a beautiful German Alpine village near the Austrian border also known for its Lüftmalerai, beautiful murals on the building facades that depict daily life, the owner's trade, or religious scenes.

Heidelberg - my German hometown where I played in the summer festival orchestra in the castle courtyard - has changed a lot and become über-touristic, but it still is awash with students attending the oldest German university, and the beauty and magic are still there.

Auf wiedersehen!

~ David

Weißwurst on Homemade Buns

homemade buns (recipe follows)
Weißwurst, 1 or 2 per person
mustard

Homemade Hot Dog Buns

2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 packets or 2 scant tablespoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups warm 1% milk
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons salt
6 to 7 1/2 cups flour
egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
sesame seeds or coarse salt

In a large bowl of a standing mixer, dissolve the sugar and then the yeast in the warm water and warm milk. Add the oil, salt and 3 cups of flour to the yeast mixture. Beat vigorously for 2 minutes with the paddle attachment. Switch to the dough hook.

Add 1 cup flour and mix until thoroughly combined. Add another cup of flour, and mix well. Add a third cup of flour (now 6 cups total) and mix. Gradually add more flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl. Feel the dough - when it is still very soft, but not wet and sticky, continue kneading for 5 minutes, adding a little more flour if needed to keep it from being too sticky.

Remove the dough from the hook and place in a well-greased glass or ceramic bowl. Turn the dough so the greased side is up. Cover with plastic wrap and place in a draft-free area (I often use the microwave). Let the dough rise for about an hour.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly oiled work surface. Divide the dough in quarters, then quarter those pieces, for 16 equal pieces..

Shape each piece into a cylinder, about 5 inches in length. Flatten the cylinders slightly.

Place them on a well-seasoned baking sheet 1/2-inch apart so they'll grow together when they rise. Cover buns with a towel and let rise until almost doubled, about 45 minutes.

Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 400°F. Lightly brush the tops of the buns with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds or coarse salt.

Bake for 20 minutes. When the buns are done, remove them from the baking sheet to cool on a wire rack. Separate and slice horizontally for serving. 

Makes 16.



38 comments:

  1. I now have Salzburg envy, David! It was a choice of Vienna or that and we chose Vienna because of timing...

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    1. You will love Salzburg, Liz! It is so beautiful!

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  2. Dear David, beautiful pictures of your travels to Germany. I am happy that you and Mark enjoyed your stay in Heidelberg so much - homemade buns, are, of course always the best and can´t be beat. One little (sorry) correction though if I may - these are not Weisswurst but Bratwurst - Weisswurst, as you undoubtedly know are boiled in hot water, eaten without a bun and served with sweet grainy mustard in the water used for preparing them (sorry about that - but Weisswurst just happen to be may very favorite sausage of all times) - there are a true Munich breakfast treat. But your Bratwurst buns look wonderful. and I am sure that Stevan Paul would be proud that you made your own Bratwurst sausage buns!
    Liebe Grüße auch an Mark und euch beiden ein schönes Herbst-Wochenende,
    Andrea & Co.

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    1. Ah! This does help with some confusion. Most bratwurst sold in the U.S. are not white, and are very coarse. Having had them boiled for breakfast, and then grilled at other times, I hadn't realize that is what made the difference. Thanks for that info, Andrea.

      On to the buns - I really dislike the buns available in the stores, so I always try to make them for both burgers and dogs. It makes such a difference.

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  3. Weisswurst or bratwurst - I'll take any of them. Our travels through Germany and Austria were filled with wurst consumption. I couldn't get enough of them! I still remember sitting in the gravel courtyard of the Bräustübl zu Mülln in Salzburg - chugging on steins of beer and scoffing wurst, sauerkraut and pretzels.

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    1. John - by the time we made it to Bräustübl zu Mülln, we had already eaten too much and didn't even feel like a beer! It will definitely be first on our list for the next visit.

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  4. I did the same this summer in England. I ate regional sausages wherever I went. Licolnshire is my particular favorite.

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    1. Well, now I need to look for Lincolnshire sausages, Cathy!

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  5. I'm loving your photo essays , helping me get ready for my trip to Germany this Christmas. I may have to get some tips from you:-)

    Love the recipe and bravo on making the hot dog buns! Btw this all reminds me of my favorite show favorite episode - My grandmothers ravioli episode with Cookie Oma. Check it out.

    Xoxo
    Ahu

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    1. I am so excited for your trip to Germany at Christmastime! You will love it - so beautiful and incredibly romantic. Definitely let em know if you need any info!

      I am off to check out the ravioli recipe... not sure I have heard of this show, but can't wait to find out!

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    2. A very fun cooking show My Grandmother's Ravioli : Cooking Channel
      www.cookingchanneltv.com/.../my-grandmothers-ravi...
      Cooking Channel
      Join the very funny Mo Rocca as he learns to cook and discover treasured family recipes and stories from grandparents in their kitchens across the country.

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    3. Thanks ,Jill! Off to check it out!

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  6. What a lovely visual breakfast. My eyes are full!

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  7. David, your blog, with fantastic photography, clever commentary, and excellent recipes make my Sunday mornings. Can't wait to make your buns!

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    1. Thanks, Connie - you are so sweet! In a side note, my friends bought their birthday cakes from your shop without knowing it was you, or that we "know" one another. They said that the cakes were fantastic.

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  8. I have never been to Salzburg, but have been to Heidelberg twice. Germany, in general, is one of my favorite countries, and one of the reasons is the sausages! I loved looking at all of your gorgeous pictures, David, but I'm now salivating over the sausage pics! I don't believe I've ever had Weißwurst! I always seek out Bratwurst! Oh no!! What have I been missing? I must do my research before heading back, hopefully next year! Great buns, by the way (now THAT sounds funny)!!! ;)

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    1. Well, Christina, as you can see from Andrea's posts - the difference is apparently when they are served and how they are prepared. You might have had them! :) Glad you are planning a return trip!

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  9. So beautiful pics, David, such a wonderful way to take us with us on your trip to Germany and Austria.
    As far as I can see, you were lucky with the weather too.
    After looking at the Fotos, I'm really hungry for a Weißwurst together with one of these delicious buns.

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    1. Thanks, Daniela! We had wonderful weather - only one day of rain in Mittenwald. It was really hot, though, almost as hot as the desert! Thanks again for all your suggestions for Salzburg! We followed all of them, and love every bit of it. One place we found that was new and fantastic, was the Christmas Museum!

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  10. Hi David, wow! looks like you guys had a great time. The pictures are beautiful the architecture must be amazing.

    Love these buns, they look perfectly baked and the sesame seeds are a nice touch. Take care!

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    1. Thanks, Cheri - the other batch has some sea salt, and they were good, too!

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  11. What a commented upon post! Love all the photos and
    the wurst, no matter where they are from, how prepared, and served! Will report on any wurst we find in Asia!! We will be cautious and always ask for ingredients!

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    1. Thanks - it was hard to pick just a few photos to show how beautiful these places were! Have fun in Asia - there are lots of sausages there for you to enjoy!

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  12. I love the association that you have with these wurst. Aaron and I ate lots of them during our trip to Germany last year also, most commonly in a little dish covered in a curry tomato sauce (I can't remember what it was called!) with a side of fries and mayonnaise. So delicious (made even better by the fact that we were on holiday!). Love the look of your hot dog buns. And the pictures... ah, you've given me wanderlust again! Great post x

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    1. Hi Laura - I think that must have been Currywurst. We saw it listed often, but never tried it. Now I need to go back to get some! We are in a constant state of wanderlust... so many places, so many dreams, and just never enough time or money!

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    2. Wait. your parents let you go to europe when you were 14? i'd like to have a little talk with them... This is a beautiful post. There's not a wurst I've met that I haven't loved. But I definitely need to make these buns! Thanks!

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    3. Yes, Mimi, my parents let us go, although Rob was 17 at the time. You see, they told me that if I earned the money, I could go. And I did. My father later told me that, when he said goodbye at the plane, he thought he'd never see me again. And, thus, my love of travel began. Enjoy the buns! :)

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  13. Beautiful pictures! Growing up in Wisconsin, I think we start eating bratwurst as soon as we have teeth. German restaurants were huge when I was growing up and I remember going to Disney Epcot and asking people where I should eat. Everyone said the German Restaurant was wonderful and when I got there I was like "what's so special?" Then I realized that everyone didn't grow up with good German food all around them. We did the Moroccan my next trip there ;-)

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    1. Thanks, Inger! I never thought of dining at the German restaurant at Epcot - I went straight for the Moroccan, probably because I had already had a lot of good German food. Next time, I will go there!

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  14. I've been thinking about Germany myself lately. It's one of the cuisines I really know little about. The only time I went there (in the early 80s) I was more interested in the beer than the brauts (or the wurst and furts)! On a side note. This post is well-timed from an SEO point of view. Hotdogs made the front page "of all the world's papers today" (to borrow a phrase from Evita). GREG

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    1. There is some really good German and Austrian cuisine - definitely worth a gander, Greg! I saw the WHO ruling about hot dogs (sent by a friend who said, "Bad timing...") but my thought is, people still smoke like chimneys - I doubt they will give up hot dogs and bacon! (And I love that you borrowed from Evita...)

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    2. One would have to eat a lot of hot dogs--or Weisswurst or bratwurst--to have such an impact, I am sure....and what a pleasure that would be, especially if wrapped in one of your buns!

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    3. Thanks, figure something has to kill me eventually... it might as well taste good!

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  15. I forgot to add that I love your photos and the way in which you organized them! Makes me want to return to Germany--I've not been there since 1974!

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    1. Susan, I had such fun putting together! The hardest part was choosing a few to represent each place!

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  16. Such beautiful pictures! The interior of those churches must have been breathtaking. And thanks for the homemade bun recipe, can't wait to try them out!

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    1. Thanks, Marcelle! Yes, the churches were truly amazing inside. The Baroque interiors were so different to what we have seen in Italy and France. Enjoy the buns!

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