Melissa Clark's Roasted Squash and Radicchio Salad with Buttermilk Dressing
Classic German Baking Q&A, Round One

Classic German Baking Comes to Life

A few of you have written to check if I'm doing okay. Thank you so much for your sweet notes. I'm doing just fine. December was a blur of working on the developmental edit of the German baking book, which is now officially titled Classic German Baking (ready your bookshelves!) and then the utter madness of the holidays. We stayed at home in Berlin, hoping for a quiet break, and ended up hosting countless breakfasts, lunches, and teas with friends and family from out of town. The dishwasher ran once a day and the days flew by. It was lovely and fun, but not what I'd call restorative. So January is turning out to be a slow one for me and I'm very grateful for it.

The work on the book is not yet over. I'm waiting to get the manuscript back from the copy editor because I have countless little fixes here and there to make, testing notes to incorporate and final cuts to make. To give you just the tiniest glimpse of what the past 18 months have been like in terms of recipe testing on the cookbook, here's just a small selection of the hundreds and hundreds of recipes we - my intrepid assistant Maja and I - tested. It's funny to look back at these photos now. It's like gazing at a beloved relative. They all seem so familiar and easy to me now that I've made them dozens of times. I can't wait for the book to be published for many reasons, but one of the main ones is that I'm really looking forward to baking from it myself. For the rest of my life!


Bite-sized Elisenlebkuchen, flourless and rich with nuts and marzipan.


Two-month-aged (yes!), old-fashioned Lebkuchen dough. These cookies, once baked and cooled, get enrobed in chocolate. They keep forever and get more and more delicious as they age. I'm obsessed. Worth mixing the batter in October, I swear.


Hessian potato cake studded with caraway and bacon. Can't remember the number of times this was made - we loved it immensely.


Zimtsterne, only the fussiest cookie known to man. So crisp-chewy and wonderful that they're worth the effort, though.


Yeasted dough, number 6,754. I can make this stuff in my sleep now.


Russischer Zupfkuchen, not Russian at all, but much loved all over Germany. Cocoa crust, sweet Quark filling, more cocoa crust on top. Yeah, it's pretty great.


Yeast dough number-who-even-cares-anymore. Still beautiful, each time I make one.


Ground poppy seed filling. Prepare yourselves, bakers: You are going to want a poppy seed grinder come this autumn. I have this one (it's a third of the price here in Germany).

I'd love to keep you posted and updated on the book as it goes forward. Do you have any questions about the process that you'd like me to write about? And soon: bonus recipes for you to try!

Happy new year to you all. xo