WITHOUT CHICHI, BUT WITH A LOT OF TRADITION: SOURDOUGH BREAD, CINNAMON BUNS & MORE AT THE JOHANN BAKERY
On a frosty morning, I visit Johann in his new bakery, my glasses fogging up with the warm air as I am greeted heartily. The smell of freshly baked bread reminds me of home – of carefree mornings at my grandparents’ house. If I had to say where my love of bread comes from, I would certainly say my grandfather. Chatting about baked goods at the breakfast table was how we spent most of our time. In the village where I grew up, you knew not to judge bakeries by appearance, lest you miss out on the crème de la crème. It’s more about tradition, the smell that makes you stop as you walk by, and the warmth of the people behind the counter. I found all of that at Johann’s Bakery – and it took me back to my childhood.
Next to the counter, Johann is busy putting his sourdough loaves in the oven. In between, he takes the time to personally serve visitors and share stories about his ingredients. His focus is sourdough, which he can discuss for hours. It’s clear that Johann has fulfilled a long-awaited dream with the bakery, devoting himself 100 percent to the craft. He hands me a caramelized cinnamon bun, fresh from the oven. Warm, crispy puff pastry on the outside, fluffy on the inside. I wonder for a moment why they don’t make cinnamon buns only out of puff pastry. Behind the counter, I’m allowed a glimpse into the bakery. Here, too, I’m greeted in a friendly manner and spend the rest of my morning with people who enjoy their craft. Although Johann insists on tradition, he allows himself the freedom to experiment and discover – which is why you won’t find the same thing behind the counter every day. But there’s one thing you can always look forward to: Johann’s loaves, which you can also sample at neighboring restaurant Bonvivant and Château Royal.
Text & Photos: Robyn Steffen
Johann Bäckerei, Gleditschstr.47, 10781 Berlin–Schöneberg; map
Wed, Thu, Sat, Sun 8–16h & Fri 8–19h